Ebay alert -- inexpensive DACs

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by bangsezmax, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I had a now-48-hour burn-in, and I hear a distinct improvement over my Rega Planet. Now, the Planet has an older DAC than the unit you describe. Fortunately, it's not an expensive experiment, in audio consumer terms.

    I'd give a cautious "yes".
     
  2. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    South of Canada
    For the price it's going for you could buy it and if you aren't happy, probably sell it for close to the same price on ebay.
     
  3. DjBryan

    DjBryan New Member

    Location:
    USA
    Toslink
     
  4. J. R.

    J. R. Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I just bought one of the 205.2...I have a 203.2 for one of my Squeezboxes and love it....now I will have a 205.2 for the other....
     
  5. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, NC, USA
    Unfortunately, he's raised the Buy-It-Now price by $15. Maybe due to the interest from this thread. I still think it's a great deal, and I still am thinking about getting another one.

    I think they're pretty remarkable little units. CDs are just so much more appealing and less fatiguing to listen to now. I hope mine lasts for decades.
     
  6. Joe D.

    Joe D. Active Member

    Location:
    Oak Forest, IL
    Count me in too.

    I grabbed a 203.2, I've had it about a week. A good tweak for not much cash.

    CD's do sound better with my 563A and my Boss dual CD player/Burner!

    I'm using the Boss as the main transport, it will have some war and tear on the 563A.

    FYI, I'm using a coax cable.

    Joe
     
  7. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I listened again this morning and it's the best tweak I've ever gotten. I think anyone would tell the difference, although, as I cautioned, my CD player may be old enough that anything would improve it. I read somewhere that the Entech does a good job removing jitter.
     
  8. I just bought one of the remaining 203.2's.

    I'm eager to hear how it sounds.

    John
     
  9. DjBryan

    DjBryan New Member

    Location:
    USA
    What do you think?
     
  10. I received the DAC on Friday and only had time to play one CD. I am really suprised about how good it sounds. It has more bass than the DACS' in my Aragon Stage One and it seems to be not as bright.

    I am currently "burning" it in over the weekend. I will do some serious listening with it on Monday.
     
  11. Soundman

    Soundman Active Member

    Location:
    .
    Anybody end up with a 230v version and want to sell it on??
     
  12. I "burned" in my Entech Number Cruncher 203.2 all weekend and did some serious listening this afternoon. I did my best to level match the Entech to my Aragon Stage One. My conclusion is that the Entech is a very good sounding DAC, however it does not match the sound quality of the DAC's in the Aragon Stage One. This should be no suprise since the Stage One is quite a bit more expensive than the Entech.

    The Entech is for sale at $45.00, shipping included. Send me a PM if you are interested.
     
  13. Shawn1968

    Shawn1968 Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Hollywood, CA
    PM sent.
     
  14. leopoldstotch

    leopoldstotch New Member

    Location:
    Phila. Pa USA
    My current CD player is an brand new NAD C542 so I guess it's safe to assume that this DAC wouldn't be an improvement?
     
  15. bangsezmax

    bangsezmax Active Member

    Location:
    Durham, NC, USA
    No way to tell without putting them head-to-head. The NAD looks like it's got a nice DAC, and it does HDCD. My guess is that the Entech might sound on par with the NAD, but I doubt either would blow the other out of the water. This is NOT the case when pairing the Entech with gear such as inexpensive universal players (which a lot of us own). The Entech clearly outshines the DACs in those.
     
  16. wirewood

    wirewood New Member

    Location:
    Boston
    Got one, 44.95, 55.00 with shipping. I just got a DAT tape box and am hoping to use this to get it to my tube preamp.


    Brian
     
  17. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    After a week+ of burn-in, mine sounds great, better than I expected. Last night I listened to a 1980s disc of harp music (Georganne Cassat) on the Jonatha Wearn's defunct O.M. label. It just sounded beautiful, especially noteworthy was the room sound reproduced over the speakers. I suppose the two B&K microphones didn't hurt either.

    I'm happy with my purchase.
     
  18. CardinalFang

    CardinalFang New Member

    Location:
    ....
    I have a bid in for one right now. We'll see in 8 hours...
     
  19. mrdon

    mrdon Well-Known Member

    I purchased my ENC 203.2 a month ago off of eBay. I am very pleased with the sound for $50 shipped! It can get better with a few modifications and I say few. From my research via the web, DIY'rs have made attempts to mod the ENC's only to find that the usual tweaking tricks do not reap as much audio juice as they would have liked. Nevertheless, here are two mods that seem to work well.
    1. Remove the opa2134, socket the opening, and roll-in an AD8066 on browndog adapter. This was recommended by DIY tech MisterX after he rolled in a number of different opamps. The AD8066 will maintain the high level of detail while adding some warmth to the sound.
    2. Perform the "Wildmonkeysects Filter mod." I found this one over at audioasylum. Here's the schematic
      [​IMG]
      Here's my drawing for the schematically challenged. :D

      [​IMG]

    This really works well. It adds a level of blackness to the background. Highly recommended.
     
  20. kurtphyre

    kurtphyre Senior Member<br>Formerly fogged.zep

    Location:
    Germany
    Would this improve the CD sound quality from my Sony DVD player if I use only analog (red and white) cables and not a digital cable?
     
  21. pdenny

    pdenny It's only an album

    Location:
    Ask the NSA, narc
    A DAC takes a digital stream (optical or coax) and then sends out an analog signal via RCA's to your amp or receiver. So, to answer your question, no can do. You need a player with a digital out if you're going to use an external DAC.
     
  22. kurtphyre

    kurtphyre Senior Member<br>Formerly fogged.zep

    Location:
    Germany
    i have a Sony DVP-NS75H player. I use the optic audio out for surround sound on DVDs so I have it connected directly to my Onkyo receiver.

    Could I use the Coaxial Audio Digital Output only for CD playback and plug this into the Number Cruncher? If I did it this way, would the Number Cruncher output better sound that if I just used the analog outputs from my DVD player directly into my Onkyo receiver?
     
  23. sicksteve

    sicksteve New Member

    Location:
    California
    When i don't use AES/EBU, for a great, cheap digital transmission device, I have a few Audio Alchemy powered, S/PDIF-toslink, selectable 75/110ohm digital transmitter/receivers that carry digital audio with very low jitter. They also act as a conversion from S/PDIF to optical. And whenever they're on ebay, they go quickly.
     
  24. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    South of Canada
    Yes, that should work fine. Whether or not the Number Cruncher improves the sound depends on how good the DAC is inside the Onkyo receiver. Try to search out some reviews of your particular model to see if the D/A conversion is discussed.
     
  25. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Yes. It has a coaxial input. It would be placed between the DVD player and your receiver, as you suggest.
     

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