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Message Forums Car Stereo Message Forums > Head Units > best DAC's in a HU?
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clunkified
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 best DAC's in a HU?

hey bros... first post. i'm looking to replace the stock HU in my 02 VW Jetta 1.8T. i'm big on super high audio fidelity at home. but now i want something similar for my car. what HU has the best DAC's? i figure this will pretty much be the weak link or defining feature of any HU. was i reading that a Pioneer model has 24 bit Burr-Brown DAC's?...that sounds like music to my ears. cheers! PS. any HU recommendations would be welcome...i have a Monsoon system in my car so it has an amp already. and at the very least i need a CD player and iPod control. thx.

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New Post 10-11-2005 09:08 PM
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N2Audio
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There's some BS here and there, but overall a good read.

http://www.carsound.com/cgi-bin/UBB_CGI/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=019755

This ones so informative they should charge admission.
http://www.carsound.com/cgi-bin/UBB_CGI/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=018979

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New Post 10-11-2005 09:31 PM
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clunkified
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-11-2005 by N2Audio
There's some BS here and there, but overall a good read.

http://www.carsound.com/cgi-bin/UBB_CGI/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=019755

This ones so informative they should charge admission.
http://www.carsound.com/cgi-bin/UBB_CGI/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=018979


thx for the links. good reading... those guys over there not too keen on the importance of DAC's in the signal chain?. coming from a pro audio world, can't say i understand the stance on that one at all. a jitter free clock and high quality DAC's are the heart and soul of a good piece of digital audio gear. i can usually tell the difference (but i guess i've trained my ears to pick up on every subtle audio detail). thx again.

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New Post 10-11-2005 09:54 PM
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N2Audio
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I've never had enough of a budget to buy the high priced stuff to make an honest comparison, but one thing I can say regarding high end audio -- in your house - dead silence, (relatively) huge room - if a listener has the money I can see where it might be worth getting every last detail out of your sound. In a car - tiny cabin, road noise, engine noise - all you need is a good signal, good speakers installed well and getting plenty of power.

All the bells and whistles accomplishes, at most, 2 things. One, breaks you, and two, might impress a judge or two.

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New Post 10-12-2005 09:44 AM
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OnYrMrk
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Ok..here is what I know...which is not much... 1)McIntosh MX406...IMHO the absolute best when it comes to sonic clarity. It is a bare bones HU with no internal amp, but with a dual 20bit Burr-Brown DAC box on an umbilical line. ABSOLUTELY TOP NOTCH! 2)Clarion DRZ9255 (?)...the red-headed step brother of the McIntosh. Same design on the same assembly line, DAC's are on-board, with more features. VERY GOOD HU! 3)Pioneer P9 Combo....excellent combination for serious audiophiles. I believe dual 24bit Burr-Brown DAC's including a parametric eq. EXCELLENT! 4)Alpine F#1 Combo....Best of the best from Japan! Figure on about 5 grand for the combo but you will gain the argueably the best sound money can buy. DAC's are on the processor, but amazing sound 5)Eclipse CD8455 and CD8445....Both have dual 24bit DAC's, but not Burr-Brown as my understanding. I have the 8445 and I must say, with 8V pre-out too, one to consider. These Head Units are listed in no particular order, just how my brain works. I hope I have shed some light on this, I am sure there are others out there that offer excellent DAC's like Nakamici (sp?) but these are the ones I have researched for my own car. I hope you find what you are looking for Joe

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New Post 10-12-2005 09:57 AM
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clunkified
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thanks for the replies guys. yeah, i pretty much figure it's the law of diminishing returns at the $500+ price range that i've been looking at. i've been looking at the Eclipse CD8445 and CD8455 and they look pretty sweet. i can't really figure out what the main difference between them is to justify the $100 price diff other than an additional 10 band graphical EQ in the pricier one... what was your deciding factor? how much you pay for your CD8445? thanks for all the help!

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New Post 10-12-2005 10:45 AM
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N2Audio
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-12-2005 by OnYrMrk
Ok..here is what I know...which is not much... 1)McIntosh MX406...IMHO the absolute best when it comes to sonic clarity. It is a bare bones HU with no internal amp, but with a dual 20bit Burr-Brown DAC box on an umbilical line. ABSOLUTELY TOP NOTCH! 2)Clarion DRZ9255 (?)...the red-headed step brother of the McIntosh. Same design on the same assembly line, DAC's are on-board, with more features. VERY GOOD HU! 3)Pioneer P9 Combo....excellent combination for serious audiophiles. I believe dual 24bit Burr-Brown DAC's including a parametric eq. EXCELLENT! 4)Alpine F#1 Combo....Best of the best from Japan! Figure on about 5 grand for the combo but you will gain the argueably the best sound money can buy. DAC's are on the processor, but amazing sound 5)Eclipse CD8455 and CD8445....Both have dual 24bit DAC's, but not Burr-Brown as my understanding. I have the 8445 and I must say, with 8V pre-out too, one to consider. These Head Units are listed in no particular order, just how my brain works. I hope I have shed some light on this, I am sure there are others out there that offer excellent DAC's like Nakamici (sp?) but these are the ones I have researched for my own car. I hope you find what you are looking for Joe

Wouldn't it be closer to the truth to say the Mc is the red headed step brother of the 9255? Being that clarion builds them both.

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New Post 10-12-2005 11:32 AM
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OnYrMrk
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 RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-12-2005 by N2Audio
Wouldn't it be closer to the truth to say the Mc is the red headed step brother of the 9255? Being that clarion builds them both.

Actually Clarion owns McIntosh, but all McIntosh equipment is made in New York. The 9255 is Clarion's version of the Mc. It has the internals of the Mc, and Clarion incorporated their bells and whistles to make it marketable. but the bottom line is, McIntosh is the upper crust of the Clarion name. McIntosh is made on the same assembly lines as it's home audio. The 9255 is assembled at the same location. Think of MB SLK320 and Chrysler Crossfire. Both are owned by the same company, both are built in Germany, both on the same platform, but one is $35K and the other is $50k. The McIntosh appeals to the upper crust of the mobile audio world, the purist. The Clarion is more of a bargain compared to the Mc, but in essence, internally they are the same.

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New Post 10-12-2005 02:07 PM
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OnYrMrk
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 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-12-2005 by clunkified
thanks for the replies guys. yeah, i pretty much figure it's the law of diminishing returns at the $500+ price range that i've been looking at. i've been looking at the Eclipse CD8445 and CD8455 and they look pretty sweet. i can't really figure out what the main difference between them is to justify the $100 price diff other than an additional 10 band graphical EQ in the pricier one... what was your deciding factor? how much you pay for your CD8445? thanks for all the help!

I paid 479 for the 8445. The difference between the 8445 and the 8455 are not only the 10 band eq, but also that the memory stick and microphone are included with the purchase of the 8455. That is where the extra 100 bucks comes from

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New Post 10-12-2005 02:08 PM
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N2Audio
Member

 RE: RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-12-2005 by OnYrMrk
Actually Clarion owns McIntosh, but all McIntosh equipment is made in New York. The 9255 is Clarion's version of the Mc. It has the internals of the Mc, and Clarion incorporated their bells and whistles to make it marketable. but the bottom line is, McIntosh is the upper crust of the Clarion name. McIntosh is made on the same assembly lines as it's home audio. The 9255 is assembled at the same location. Think of MB SLK320 and Chrysler Crossfire. Both are owned by the same company, both are built in Germany, both on the same platform, but one is $35K and the other is $50k. The McIntosh appeals to the upper crust of the mobile audio world, the purist. The Clarion is more of a bargain compared to the Mc, but in essence, internally they are the same.

cool, not that I'd ever drop the $$ for either of them, but thanks for the good info.

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New Post 10-12-2005 02:25 PM
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sdempsey
Member

 

Check out the Kenwood KDC-X889. It has QUAD 24 bit Burr-Brown DAC's for about $450.

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New Post 10-13-2005 07:06 PM
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riva16
Member

 RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-13-2005 by sdempsey
Check out the Kenwood KDC-X889. It has QUAD 24 bit Burr-Brown DAC's for about $450.

What does the KDC-X789 have DAC wise? This is the HU i own, and am sure it can't be much less than the X889.

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New Post 10-13-2005 07:18 PM
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sdempsey
Member

 RE: RE:

quote:
Originally posted on 10-13-2005 by riva16
What does the KDC-X789 have DAC wise? This is the HU i own, and am sure it can't be much less than the X889.

same as the 889.

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New Post 10-13-2005 08:58 PM
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ExcessLancer
Member

 so...

quote:
Originally posted on 10-11-2005 by clunkified
thx for the links. good reading... those guys over there not too keen on the importance of DAC's in the signal chain?. coming from a pro audio world, can't say i understand the stance on that one at all. a jitter free clock and high quality DAC's are the heart and soul of a good piece of digital audio gear. i can usually tell the difference (but i guess i've trained my ears to pick up on every subtle audio detail). thx again.

You sound like an audiophile, and you want 24bit DACs then why do you play MP3s??? THey sound like crap!!!

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New Post 10-16-2005 07:36 PM
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clunkified
Member

 RE: so...

quote:
Originally posted on 10-16-2005 by ExcessLancer
You sound like an audiophile, and you want 24bit DACs then why do you play MP3s??? THey sound like crap!!!

encoded at 192kbps and above, i cannot tell the difference.

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New Post 10-16-2005 09:50 PM
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