Best value SABRE DACs?

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by nickwin, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. nickwin

    nickwin Acquaintance

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    Im looking for a stand alone DAC that uses a SABRE chipset that will be at least as good as an Oppo BDP83SE and ideally have a similar sound signature. Budget around $600 new or used but thats flexible. Oppo Sonica was an obvious choice, but a lot of people seemed to think it sounded pretty mediocre. Are there better valued options out there? I know the SABRE sound can be kind of polarizing, so I'm really looking for feedback from people who like the SABRE sound. Anyone using SABRE DAC they really like?
     
  2. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    [​IMG]

    You don’t need to see these opinions.

    These are not the opinions you’re looking for.

    You can go about your business.

    Move along.
     
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  3. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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  4. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    Really? A Sabre DAC?
     
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  5. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    Lol they did drop to $400 for yesterday and I needed a new one... so i got it.
     
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  6. GTABeancounter

    GTABeancounter Friend

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    I have an Oppo HA-1 that is in pristine condition that I'm trying to offload, I mean sell for about $600. It comes with a free Class A headphone amp built in. :)
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Mytek 192 stereo DSD or 256 stereo or whatever. Represents the "ultimate" in SABRE sound. Matrix X-Sabre too, but the Mytek takes the cake for SABREs upon your eardrums.

    Be sure to isolate the power transformers to the chassis with pieces of cardboard.
     
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  8. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    PS Audio Nuwave DSD DAC was the least offensive Sabre implementation I had heard before I gave up on them and moved over to Schiit Multibit DACs. Of the delta-sigma DACs I had owned, it was the closest to the Gungnir Multibit tonally that I recall - and relatively sweet in the highs compared to other Sabre implementations.
     
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  9. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    There are no good value Sabre DACs. The bad ones are horrible, the best I've heard pretty meh and cost thousands.

    Personally if you have to buy Delta Sigma I like TI / Burr-Brown stuff. Micro iDSD Black Label seems well regarded here, not too pricey, built in USB decrapification, portable-ish, loads of power, etc.
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Dudes, why are you recommending good SABRE implementations when the OP specifically asked for bad sounding SABRE implementations?
     
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  11. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    @nickwin could buy my used GOV2+ Infinity, version 2.0 firmware.
    battery powered, with 3.5mm single ended + 3.5mm TRRS balanced.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  12. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    Why is there an attachment to Sabre chips? Have you heard a range of chips from a variety of manufacturers? How can you conclude the sound you prefer is from the chipset and not the output stage of the DAC?

    I think the question is kind of silly, honestly. A list of sonic qualities would be easier and more direct to search for than a brand.
     
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  13. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    I know it's not what you asked for, but get the sabre thing out of your head. Look for virtually any DAC running AK branded chips or Cirrus logic, and it will likely sound loads better than your old Oppo. There are literally too many examples to quote, so I will just say do some window shopping and figure it out. Oh, and give a budget range.
     
  14. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    A prime example of bad implementation Cirrus Logic chips is the latest line of Astell & Kern players. It seems to me the basic sound signature of CL chips is quite horrifying.
     
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  15. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I have a friend trying to offload his Buffalo III DAC, which is supposed to be a pretty competent implementation of an ESS chip.
     
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  16. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Yeah, but guys, these sabre dacs measure reeeally good.

    Seriously tho, best I've heard for peanuts (which isn't much, admittedly) is the flat-sounding Topping D10. Flat, like, lifeless but inoffensive, and lacking coherence. Nice and boring.
     
  17. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    I have the sr15 (with the atrocious a&Norma name). I like new CL dacs they are using in that model. They use a Sabre for the mid level model and AK chips for the the flagship. The Masterfi (also stupid sounding) chips remind me a lot of the 4490 in the bass and treble regions, but with better mid-range thickness and without the Velvet bullshit. I still stand by AK or CL over Sabre in general.
     
  18. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Apogee Groove
     
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  19. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    I honestly LOL'd on this and almost spit my IPA across the room in the process! Well played Marv...

    And I would have offered my up my GO V2+ Infinity, but @jexby already beat me to it!
     
  20. nickwin

    nickwin Acquaintance

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    Ok ok, I should have seen this coming lol. I don’t even know why I’m going to try but let me attempt to explain myself.

    I’m asking for my brother (yeah I know, likely story... lol). Hes been asking me for advice on this so I was trying to help him out. I personally use a Modi Multibit (and am happy with it) and used several different DS DACs befor that. He’s had a bdp83se forever and still loves the sound of it through his speakers. Maybe he’s crazy, maybe his ears are broken, but he what can I say he likes it! You guys do realize your talking about something thats purely subjective right?

    In his defense I’ve heard the 83se through several speakers (years ago) and I didn’t think it sounded bad with any of them. In one case it actually sounded excellent (b&w speakers). That’s about all I can say because I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with it, but I admit, I didn’t think it sounded bad at the time.

    On the flip side the worst sounding DACs I’ve ever heard were usb powered Sabre DACs so I know they can be bad.

    So they really suck huh?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018

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