Analyzing DACs

As I am new to the hifi hobby, reading various product reviews and noting the details of the test environment have made me very confused.  I understand Stereophile is the hifi bible. In the publication’s DAC published tests the reviewers almost always tested the DAC connected directly to the amplifier. I think I understand why—nothing in the chain influencing the DAC sound. Is that the correct assumption? If that’s the case why incorporate a preamp if the DAC has a preamp section that is a common feature even on high end DACs? I’m in the market for a new DAC. I’m trying to avoid unnecessary components if possible. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.  


jasonbourne52's avatar


2,738 posts


I'd rather trust ASR's rankings than the subjective blather here.

Oh good! Go back there to ASR. The world will be a better place. What are you doing here? Why are you here in this “horrible subjective blather place”?? Polluting every single adult conversation with your childish (or senile, rather ) comments 





Which tracks? I’d love to fix them.

Try listening to White Flag by Dido. The initial 10 secs are beautiful. However the track is painful as the vocals kick in.

BTW, my streamer is connected via USB > Brooklyn DAC > P6 via XLR > A21+ via RCA.





Have you compared them against each other, section by section?

This is something I'm trying to analyze, though it's quite difficult to match the volume. I find the Brooklyn plays louder. I'm unsure whether the detail I hear is a result of higher volume or simply better DAC on the Mytek.

Your advice is sound. I may go that route, though many reviews poo poo the P6's DAC.



I have one of her albums, but not that song. Although I've heard it on the rardio before. Send it to me. I'll fix it and send it back.

Check my profile for my YouTube channel/ just email me a link to a shared file.

@laoman   "You get what you pay for" . Wouldn't THAT be nice?  I hope you were joking. 

But probably not, if I see and read about some true audiophile nutcases. "Wishful thinking" or "I spent $300,000k on that turntable and I can hear every single dollar" is the driving force in the esoteric part of high fidelity. 

Take a $100k amplifier. Material cost shoiuld be in the $1-10k range. Leaves $90k for labor. At $100/hour (yes, that includes a hefty profit margin/overhead), that is 900 hours or 110 man days!