Any dac recommendations under the 300$ mark?

I am currently running a elekit tu 8150 dx tube based headphone amp with a pair of nos bendix tubes on a set of hd800s and a looking for a decent warm sounding dac, any recommendations?

1 Like

Hi @Jean4197 - Welcome to the HiFi Guides Forum !

The first DAC that comes to mind is the Schiit Modius. For myself I found it to be not only the best DAC <$300, but the best upto @ the $700 mark. For detail retrieval, stageing, speed, dynamics, and control nothing was better for me until upgrading to a Bifrost 2. The modius leans towards a warmer/organic sound while still offering clarity in the upper mids and treble. It also has a nice complement of inputs and outputs making it one of the most versatile DACs in its class. At least during the time I owned one.

I don’t know if you have any other requirements such as pre-amp functionality, the Modius does not have that. So if you need volume control on the DAC - this might not be for you.
Also, not sure where you are located. Outside of the US availability for Schitt products can be limited. I just checked their site and they are showing that it will ship in 1-3 days (US). You can also find them on the used market regularly @ $150 USD.

There are probably some other DAC out there too. I’m not trying to be a Schiit shill - it’s just that for me of the Toppings, Zens and SMSLs that I’ve had upto @ the $350-400 range the Modius was the best to me. YMMV

1 Like

I hate to confess this @Delta9K, but to my never ending shame I’ve not listened to the Modius yet

Have you compared the Modius to the Allo Revolution DAC? I’ve wallowed around in the <$300 DAC world for a long time now, using the Modi3, E30, LA-QXD1, and EL DAC. I recently picked up a Revolution DAC, and so far it’s my favorite out of the bunch that I’ve tried. It’s a little out of the $300 grouping when you throw on a Shanti Linear Power supply ($259 + $149 = $408). But I got my set used for $300, so it’s roughly in the <$300 category.

2 Likes

No, and I’ll confess to you that I have not heard the Allo Revolution. It was suggested to me on several occasions but alas…

It doesn’t surprise me that it is one of your favorites. All the reports (and I’m adding yours to the list) have been favorable. And yes, the Shanti LPS was always part of the recommendation.

Good callout!

2 Likes

J2 Geshelli 250$

2 Likes

Thanks for the recommendations guys was really close to pulling the trigger on the allo revolution, but the build quality threw me off so ended up purchasing the ifi zen dac signature :grin:.

1 Like

The Allo Revolution build quality reminds me a lot of Geshelli Labs products. It’s solid, well put together, but looks a little like a hobby kit. I can see how there have been quality concerns with it in the past. But I’ve not had any issues, and mine was purchased second hand.