Add External DAC or Upgrade to a New Streamer / DAC?


So upgrade-itis has struck again and I'm looking to improve my digital front end. Right now I am using the HiFi Rose RS250 (Quobuz - Roon - Ethernet - HiFiRose) which is fed into a PrimaLuna Evo 400 Integrated into GoldenEar Triton One.Rs Cardas and Wireworld interconnects and cables. My question is this. In order to achieve a marked improvement in digital sound quality (and being that I enjoy the look and interface of the Rose) is there an external DAC you would recommend running the Rose through (as cost effective as possible - pre-owned or demo preferred) or is there a Streamer / Dac combo product that would be the smarter upgrade move. I'd appreciate any input / advice. Thanks!

Ag insider logo xs@2xjdm11
jjss49

 

Many keen observations there. The synergy of the Primaluna with the GoldenEars is very good for basically the exact reasons you mentioned. It plays out in reality the way you explained it in theory. I've gotten there through a lot of trial and error with different pieces so I'm happy with those. In terms of Cardas I like those cables with the turntable and the Kimber Kable with the digital. To answer your question specifically, I'm at the point where I'm ready to really improve either my vinyl or digital front end but I only have the funds for one. I'm going digital for numerous reasons including OCD tendencies and funds. I can afford a good dac now to pair with the Rose. Or I could save for a better streamer / dac. After the input here I'm leaning toward separate dac. I actually prefer the sound of vinyl overall. My ears are a bit sensitive to very crisp sound especially treble. So what I'm trying to improve is the richness / fullness / warmth / smoothness of the digital. As close to the stereotypical attributes of good vinyl sound as possible with the variety and convenience of Quobuz / Roon.  

 

hilde45

 

Thanks for the question and observation. I have done a ton setting up the room. It's not perfect but it's definitely as good as I can get it. My modest vinyl front end is letting me hear the system is capable of a lot more with a better digital front end so that's what I'm trying to capture. 

Keep the streamer and DAC separate, and sell the Rose and upgrade your streamer when you get the chance.  You’ll be much better off. 

@jdm11

i have not had a hifirose unit in my own system, but it seems that pretty much all reviews of hifirose gear points out that this brand of gear voices their sound on the leaner/clear/crisp side - this is also consistent with the typical sound of a dac section using ess sabre d/a chipset and standard solid state output stage implementation

given the above (and i agree it is more cost effective to upgrade the digital front end these days than a similar good sounding analog front end, so i support your choosing to improve the digital), i would suggest using your hifirose unit as a streamer and feed one of several possible candidate dacs

-- mhdt orchid (modded if possible, but the standard unit is perfectly fine to try)

-- denafrips pontus

-- audio mirror tubador

all three should have a notably warmer tonality, a richness to the sound, without sacrificing too much in the way of treble detail and effortless resolution compared to your hifirose dac section

each of the above appear on the used sites fairly often and can be purchased and resold pretty easily (if necessary) if the trial does not lead to a sound you desire - i especially like the orchid (or similar mhdt tube buffered dacs, they have several models) since you can affect the sound additionally through easy tube rolling

other point i would make is to make sure your internet feed is reasonably well cleansed coming to the streamer... there are plenty of threads on this on this forum, there are numerous cost effective options to do this

good luck have fun