$1000 (+/-) DACs

I’m reposting this under a new title since the question got no response earlier. $1250 is my maximum budget.

I have been considering either a Schiit Bifrost or Gungnir multibit as a replacement for my current DAC. After reading @DSkip and others, the North Star Design Intenso looks very promising for a price that splits the difference. Has anyone heard these back-to-back? Any other suggestions?
Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
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Comments

  • SIHABSIHAB Posts: 282
    Don't do it.
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    Do what?
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,668
    As a North Star Incanto owner, I would say go with the Intenso.

    But I am biased and my only experience with Schiit is with a couple of their pres.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    Thanks. No shame in being biased. We all are. I am attracted to Schiit (Like a fly?) because of their irreverent attitude and affordable pricing for Made in the USA products. However, the more I read lately, the more narrow-minded it appears for me to consider only multibit DACs.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • SIHABSIHAB Posts: 282
    What are you trying to do? Do you still spin silver discs?
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    I do, but I plan to get a decent streamer at some point.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • SIHABSIHAB Posts: 282
    edited October 8
    Spit ballin' here. You have some nice kit.
    Maybe Underwood Hifi would mod your Joule pre.
    Rising Pre might lift all components.
    Then, I would pick up a Jolida jd-100.
    Underwood mods those as well, but you don't have to
    do much to have a great sounding CD player.
    Post edited by SIHAB on
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,131
    The source is an absolutely critical piece in the system.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    Agreed, Skip. The Joule could be modded at some point, but a new DAC is higher on my list.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • machonemachone Posts: 1,018
    I picked up a factory refurbished Mojo Audio Mystique v2 SE for $1250 with a 2 year warranty and 45 day no questions asked trial.

    It rocks!!!!!!
    Mojo Audio Joule v5>>Quantum Byte w/JRiver 24 and Fidelizer>> Starlight 7 USB >> Mojo Audio Mystique v2 SE>>ModWright SWL 9.0 SE Signature>>Hafler DH-500 Amp+ (Musical Concepts PA-6 Elite Mod)>>
    SRS 2.3TL (Fully Modified)...SDA-1A (Fully Modified with Dimensional Tweeter Delete)
    1KVA Dreadnought
    Marantz SA 8005
    Pioneer PLX-1000 Turntable - Shure SC35C/N35X - V15III/VN35HE
    Yamaha TX-540 Tuner...Sony BDP-S570

    Separate subpanel with four dedicated 20 amp circuits.
    1. Amplification 2. Analog 3. Digital 4. Video

    "All THAT IS LOST FROM THE SOURCE IS LOST FOREVER"
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,959
    maxward wrote: »
    I’m reposting this under a new title since the question got no response earlier. $1250 is my maximum budget.

    I have been considering either a Schiit Bifrost or Gungnir multibit as a replacement for my current DAC. After reading @DSkip and others, the North Star Design Intenso looks very promising for a price that splits the difference. Has anyone heard these back-to-back? Any other suggestions?

    I evaluated the first gen 4490 Bifrost Uber against the Intenso back to back.

    But my findings would be meaningless to share, as it all comes down to personal system synergy.

    Consider a nicer transport than the CD-53.
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    The CD-53 is filling in for a Music Hall that I soldered in a new laser, but still would not work. I’m debating ordering another laser or replacing with a dedicated transport. Considering a Cambridge at the low end to a Jay’s Audio at the high end. Did you like the North Star?
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • Jetmaker737Jetmaker737 Posts: 855
    Speaking of Gungnir and Jolida JD-100. I did a Gumby DAC review using my Jolida as a reference. It's a short read:

    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/182635/oh-schiit-back-to-the-drawing-board

    I also ran the Intenso shortly afterwards. It was good. Still didn't float my boat but I was headed very far north in terms of pricing to get what I was looking for. You can try the Schiit risk-free (but only 15 days. Should be 30).
    System
    Yamaha A-S3000 Integrated Amplifier
    Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeakers
    PS Audio Directream Jr| Jolida JD-100A CDP | Sansui TU-717 Tuner
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,959
    maxward wrote: »
    The CD-53 is filling in for a Music Hall that I soldered in a new laser, but still would not work. I’m debating ordering another laser or replacing with a dedicated transport. Considering a Cambridge at the low end to a Jay’s Audio at the high end. Did you like the North Star?

    Nice. Cambridge CXC's pop up on their eBay store fairly often.

    I liked certain things about the North Star and disliked others, but again it's all about system synergy. It could sound completely different in your system than it did in mine. Only way to tell for sure is to try it. Hit up @DSkip and you might have a chance to.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,131
    Synergy is always king - glad you recognize that now Drew. o:) The Intenso won't be a fit for every system but that is true for all components. Any DAC is going to have trade-offs in the $1,000 market so its finding what works for you and your system.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,959
    I will say I really liked the fit and finish of the Intenso, with the polished aluminum front. The buttons felt good, and the blue screen was slick. The RCA jacks were also of very high quality. It has a lot going for it in the build quality department.
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,583
    SIHAB wrote: »
    Spit ballin' here. You have some nice kit.
    Maybe Underwood Hifi would mod your Joule pre.
    Rising Pre might lift all components.
    Then, I would pick up a Jolida jd-100.
    Underwood mods those as well, but you don't have to
    do much to have a great sounding CD player.

    No offense to Underwood meant here, but, if a Joule pre is going to be upgraded (though they are quite good as is) I would seriously consider Rich Brkich at Signature Sound. He was close with Judd and bought most/all of his stock when Judd retired. He was great to deal with and did a great job on my upgrade. I wouldn't trust my priceless Joule to anyone else.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • SIHABSIHAB Posts: 282
    Good tip @kharp1. Thanks!
    One could do at least some of the work themselves.
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 22,385
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,316
    Here's a DAC that has my interest. http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=61&product_id=80

    A big thread about it. https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=148213.0

    I believe a member here, marvda1 owns one as well. Musical Paradise is scheduled to release an updated version toward the end of this month, 'October'.
    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,131
    Anyone interested in the Musical Paradise DAC should get in touch with Voltz first.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,583
    Unless you know someone that owns the piece you're interested in, or, have a good dealer near you, you're kind of stuck with the trial and error method of buy and try. You can get all the advice you want about a piece from folks on forums, but, you'll never really know until you get if in your system and hear it with your own ears in your system.

    I have great respect for Skip and others on this forum, however, we'll never agree on everything. For that very reason one person's smooth can be syrup and slow to me. A detailed high to you can be harsh to me.

    You can get an idea of some properties, but, you're never going to know until you bring one home.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    Thanks for all the feedback. Skip reached out to me and it looks like I will be getting the North Star Intenso in for a trial. The Musical Paradise DAC looks quite interesting for this price point as well. Lots of ways to get tweaky with it.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,131
    That's why I'm getting one in his hands Kerry. I'd rather him experience it and decide for himself.
    DSkip wrote: »
    Anyone interested in the Musical Paradise DAC should get in touch with Voltz first.

    I'd like to reemphasize this if it gets to the point of actually wanting to pursue a Musical Paradise product.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    I’m sensing that there is a point to be taken here. A cautionary one.
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,212
    You can find hiccups for just about every brand on the market, if you can't get one in to demo in your system all you can do is get your read on.
    There are several large threads on the musical paradise, read them and do a pro/con.
    Check audio circle, head-fi, audiokarma, Canuck audio, and audio shark.
    I think if there were any major problems, they would show up.
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9, Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro, MG Audio Design Planus Cu2,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • maxwardmaxward Posts: 188
    True. I read the thread on Audiocircle. Do you own one and are you happy with it?
    Thorens TD-160C; Sumiko Talisman S; Jolida JD9; Marantz CD-53; North Star Intenso;
    Joule-Electra LA-100; Balanced Power Technology AC conditioner;
    Odyssey Khartago monos (with most factory upgrades); Magnepan MG 3.6R
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,131
    maxward wrote: »
    I’m sensing that there is a point to be taken here. A cautionary one.

    Moreso information you might find vital to pulling the trigger.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,212
    Yes i own one, the original mk1 version and am thinking about getting the new mk3 version when it is released. This dac's sound can be modified in so many different ways it's like getting a new dac each time, not to mention it sounds great.
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800, Usher R1.5
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: Cayin Venus cd-100i, Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9, Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro, MG Audio Design Planus Cu2,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,009
    DSkip wrote: »
    Anyone interested in the Musical Paradise DAC should get in touch with Voltz first.

    Well I bought a MP DAC also, but after less then 2 months my USB board went out. then it took months and months to get one back. I finally wrote Guarry and ask when he was going to send it out?
    a week went by with no answer so I ask how to return this dust collected ,so he finally wrote me back and said he try and get one out soon. got a tracking number from him that show it coming from China not Canada where he lives so he must have had it sent to me.

    after getting it back in I found that sometimes when playing a hires track and I switched to another song I get a loud click sound or pop. I use it with my Aries mini stream which had a 1 TB SSD drive inside and I tried all setting to get rid of this pop when changing tracks
    anyways I regret not getting a North Star DAc from skip and well that is just my experience and I would not order another one from MP.
    I recommend the North Star DAC but that is just my 2 cents .
    2 ch- Polk CRS+ * Vincent SA-31MK Preamp * Vincent Sp-331 Amp * Marantz SA8005 SACD * Project Xperience Classic TT * Sumiko Blue Point #2 MC cartridge

    HT - Polk 703's * NAD T-758 * Adcom 5503 * Oppo 103 * Samsung 60" series 8 LCD
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