The Great BAAS Budget DAC Shootout of 2013

Last Saturday, about 40 BAAS members converged on Jason’s house in Oakland for another DAC shootout. (The then-new Berkeley Alpha DAC was the star of the last such event.)

This time around, the devices were:
  • Audioquest Dragonfly ($250)   (link)zod
  • iFi iDAC ($300) with iUSB ($200) power supply (link , designed by AMR)
  • Schiit Bifrost ($450 with USB)   (link)
  • Halide DAC HD ($495)  (link)
Our reference was the Antelope Zodiac Gold with optional Voltikus power supply, equipped with HIFi Tuning fuses (at least $6100 with fuses).
Thanks go toBAAS members Tuan (Bifrost) and Steve (logistics) and Aaron Hammack (Halide).
I have distributed comparative details in an email to members, but three things stood out to me:
  • USB has emerged as a mature, great-sounding standard
  • There are some seriously-good fidelity to be had in the $250-500 price bracket; and
  • The Halide DAC deserves its Class A Stereophile rating. It is special

Given this last point, many members were delighted to hear that Jason has secured a BAAS “Group Buy” discount on the Halide.

Bob

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Thursday, January 10th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, Events

1 Comment to The Great BAAS Budget DAC Shootout of 2013

  1. this was a very good event, very helpful to do many A/B tests at Jasons.
    Got your email about possibly testing the Mytek DSD DAC: sounds great.
    Any chance we could also test the newer Benchmark 2 DSD DAC?

  2. Gary on January 22nd, 2013
January 2013
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