are you interested, what we did yesterday ?
Oh, we had a surprising evening…
But let me start at the beginning.
I had eight guests (3 women, 5 men) including Sergej Sawazki the builder of the TauDAC DM101.
And we had 10 volumio devices on the table. 5 boards for the RPI zero with RCA and headphone jack and 5 ‘king class’ DAC boards for the RPI2/3.
Due to a shipping delay, boss v1.2 and 502DAC pro did not come in time so we had:
IQaudIO DAC zero, JustBoom DAC zero, SABREberry zero, pHAT DAC, DACBerry ONE zero
all played with the allo 5v psu.
TauDAC-DM101/TauOUT-TP101 powered with the BOTW P&P ECO 9V from Sbooster
TERRATECHNOS – Terra-BerryDAC 2 powered with the THEL NT25HQ (2x5V)
Mamboberry HD DAC+ with Crystek clock powered with the mambo power supply
Piano 2.1 (dual mono) /kali with the allo dual power supply
IQaudIO PI DAC PRO powered with the ifi iPower
All boards where prepared with volumio 2.323 with three looped internal tracks and autoplay plugin:
Bob Dylan - Oh Mercy - Man in the Long Black Coat (96/24) (thanks Emilios for suggestion)
Leonard Cohen - You want it darker - Traveling Light (44/16) (thanks Stefan for suggestion)
Pink Floyd - The dark side of the moon - Money (96/24) (thanks Michelangelo for suggestion)
Turning on the masterswitch, all devices starts simultaneously.
After switching ~15min between the lines we start talking about our experience.
We where talking more about feelings and emotions than in a technical language.
After sharing some hints, we came back for a short listening.
Then we decided, that we like most the JustBoom board, just next to the DACBerry ONE. IQaudIO and SABREberry on place three. The pHAT DAC had problems with the bass from Leonard Cohen.
Turning on the ‘king class’ boards - we immediately thought ‘this is a step in a higher class’ (is this a group euphoric experience). We did the same as above and spoke about that some boards make a wider listening room, with other the room is more narrow. Also with some boards we thought just to be with the musicans, with other we felt a distance to them. These feelings differed from the participants to the boards. In fact that personal preferences differs, we decided to like the piano 2.1/kali bundle most. This board was just followed by the IQaudIO and TauDAC Setups. The mamboberry HD+ was great, played also everything fine but was inconspicuous (no magic soundlover present?) The TerraBerry DAC2 did not meet our imaginations.
The last step this evening was a direct comparison of the TauDAC DM101 with the JustBoom zero.
To my amazement some prefer the JustBoom for listening. Does it turns everything upside down?
We where surprised after realize what happend here…
So, every taste is different and very personal. And what about having the best DAC board and the other equipment does not meet the same level of quality. There are breaks in the the system. At the end, there is no winner, because it always depends. My thoughts are, if you are looking for the best DAC, you have to compare a bundle of DACs in your home and see where is your heart going to. (what about a rental service for a test bundle?)
And the winner is for shure VOLUMIO, because with this beautiful tool, we could come together to share our thoughts on music, with music.
Thanks for everyone following my musical journey, thanks for your listeners in the soundchecks, and thanks
to you Michelangelo, Emilios, Sergej, Oliver, Oriol, Michael, Ioan, Gordon, Stefan, …
small addendum to our select:
we also said after a third listening, that we found piano 2.1, IQaudIO and TauDAC equal good.
And also some of us definetly said, that there favorite is the TauDAC.