ClassikFan

DAC Suggestions for Node 2i please

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Hi All

I'm thinking of trying a DAC with my newly aquired Node 2i and my attention was initially drawn to the Topping E30 as it seems to have a decent performance and doesn't cost a fortune.

I then spotted the Soncoz LA-QXD1 which appears to be a great performer for less than £200.

Any views or suggestions, please?

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What’s your budget.  The Mode2i can pas through MQA to an MQA enabled DAC, so if you had the budget, the Topping D90 would squeeze every last drop out of the Node’s capability. 
The D90 is an awesome DAC. But, not cheap 

You can pick up a D50s for well under £200, it’s not got MQA capability, but still sounds great. 

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Possibly have a look at something from the Schiit range???

I appreciate that the UK distributor is currently showing OOS on some products but importing from the USA could be an option??

The Modi 3+ £125 or so when in stock in the UK. US price $99 but you need to add taxes, shipping, etc.

‘The Modius (which also has balanced connections) UK £215. US $199 ditto above taxes, shipping.

For what it’s worth, I imported my Modi 3 (forerunner to the 3+) about 6 months ago. from memory, it cost me around £138 all in and arrived in about 4 working days. I now have the Modius.

Just something to think about/add to the list of possibles? however, what I have no idea about is the DAC built in to the Node 2i and to what extent (if at all) an external would improve upon things. I’m sure experienced Node 2i users will be able to help here.

Edited by Cool Dude Ted
Typo

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Super Wammer

Why would a cheap dac be any better than the built in dac? There are people on here who can’t justify upgrading the Node DAC after listening to some expensive alternatives. 

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What about the SMSL M500 which is an MQA DAC for £399? Available from Amazon UK so no import duty issues.

Looks like the cheapest way to get MQA decoding if that's an issue.

EDIT: Hmmmm, after reading a review it looks likes it only does MQA decoding via USB input which is not good for Node 2i then. Still seems a good quality DAC though.

I have a Node 2i as well and I'm not convinced an external DAC will make much difference, but could be persuaded to try this SMSL in future.

Edited by iann

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28 minutes ago, DomT said:

Why would a cheap dac be any better than the built in dac? There are people on here who can’t justify upgrading the Node DAC after listening to some expensive alternatives. 

There is one way to find out! Try it. Both the cheap DAC’s have a good reputation for punching above their weight so seems worth a try.

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Super Wammer

The DAC in the Node2/2i, is merely fit for purpose. Even when my Node was in an unpimped state the performance (to my ears) was marginally improved by both a FiiO Taishan & a Pro-Ject DAC Box S FL. 

Jerry has a Teac UD-501 for sale in the classifieds and I seem to remember these have a good rep. 

Depending on your Budget these are also currently in the classifieds. 

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1 minute ago, Lurch said:

The DAC in the Node2/2i, is merely fit for purpose. Even when my Node was in an unpimped state the performance (to my ears) was marginally improved by both a FiiO Taishan & a Pro-Ject DAC Box S FL. 

Jerry has a Teac UD-501 for sale in the classifieds and I seem to remember these have a good rep. 

Depending on your Budget these are also currently in the classifieds. 

My Sugden DAC-4 is now sold (STP) but it was easily better than the DAC in the Node 2i I had. Should be for a £2k DAC I suppose. I have read that a lot of people have find the RME ADI-2 DAC works well - could get that on a sale or return basis (as in 14 days distance selling return) to see if it makes a difference. I would be very surprised if it didn't. 

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I have tried several, jolida tube dac, chord qutest, benchmark dac1 all significantly improved upon the node 2i internal dac. 

However biggest improvement was pimping the node. 

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5 hours ago, DomT said:

Why would a cheap dac be any better than the built in dac? There are people on here who can’t justify upgrading the Node DAC after listening to some expensive alternatives. 

I know of one such fellow.  Chord Qutest, Jolida tube, Lampizator Amber tube.  Not much, if anything, and not able to justify the expenditure.

Edited by ChemMan

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8 hours ago, The Marlin said:

What’s your budget.  The Mode2i can pas through MQA to an MQA enabled DAC, so if you had the budget, the Topping D90 would squeeze every last drop out of the Node’s capability. 
The D90 is an awesome DAC. But, not cheap 

You can pick up a D50s for well under £200, it’s not got MQA capability, but still sounds great. 

MQA is only of use if you use Tidal. Otherwise I would not bother with MQA DACs.

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I did not use the internal DAC much on the Node2, it's ok but found my Jolida with the right valves to be better.

No experience of Toppings, seem to get mixed reviews from users.

Edited by StingRay

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Super Wammer
5 hours ago, DomT said:

Why would a cheap dac be any better than the built in dac? There are people on here who can’t justify upgrading the Node DAC after listening to some expensive alternatives. 

As a matter of interest, what is the dac chip used in the Node?

Edited by greybeard

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5 hours ago, DomT said:

Why would a cheap dac be any better than the built in dac? There are people on here who can’t justify upgrading the Node DAC after listening to some expensive alternatives. 

There are some but many who have found an external DAC to be an improvement.

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