Best DAC option for THX 789 AAA

What do people find works best with the THX 789?

I’m aware of the Drop SDAC balanced and SMSL SU-8 and was initially keen on getting the SU-8 until I read some negative reviews of it on this forum and similarly for the SDAC. There is also the ENOG 2 Pro but I really don’t like its I/O design as I want to run the amp and DAC as a stack on my desk.

I also lightly looked into the Arist R2R, however, the fact that it is unbalanced is slightly offputting and (not recommended by Z). What do you guys think of this? Ideally, I’d love an RME ADI-2 but I cant quite afford one yet (hopefully in due course).

FYI - I currently run a Schiit Modi original which needs to become a paperweight as Schiit have not maintained their Windows driver support thus constantly has USB issues.

Keen to hear your thoughts, thanks in advance.

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get it in black

I think the arist would be great, it’s a very nice dac, and the fact it doesn’t have balanced really didn’t bother me. I have no problems with my su-8 v2, so I wonder what those reviews were

Just curious if you had some examples of negative experiences with the SU-8 because I had no problems with mine before I upgraded to the RME ADI 2

Yeah, I’ve had none, besides having a conflicting driver already installed causing issues, but that is a real edge case that really won’t be a problem for most people. I just fixed it by uninstalling the old driver

Not particularly interested in another schiit product and given the price of that product It comes fairly close to an RME when you convert to AUD (Australian). From what I gather Schiit dont really stand by their products judging by the communications I’ve had with them regarding my Modi 1 issues. So yer, no faith in any of their products anymore.

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Mon what are you talking about, It was your post I saw from a couple months back where you explained you had issues with your SU-8 LOL.

See here for Quote SMSL SU-8 v2 just dropped on (and thought's)

i prefer my ifi xDSD(burr browns) as DAC over my SU-8(sabre) with the THX AAA 789

  • will keep both DACs and plan adding the Airist R-2R
  • balanced vs not balanced should not be the highest priority with the 789 beeing powerful enough for most cans - even fed single ended

don´t you guys get crazy, please because of the red LED - I tried the xDSD in all modes, like line out (DAC only) and maxed out in DAC/Amp (double amped with the 3D+ and XBass+ available)
plus single ended line out vs balanced line out

what I quite liked with the SU-8 is “apodizing” + “rich1” - which comes near to the xDSDs DAC soundwise
the standard options are with some songs to fatiguing for my liking
I used 660s balanced, Elegia balanced and DT 1990s with a Pads + some Tin Hifi T2 Pros/T3s single ended/balanced
Foobar with FLACs/DSDs/DxDs and Tidal(mqa) notebook + USB Audio Player Pro App over Android phone/tablet

on long term I see me selling the R-2R and SU-8
I want the RME ADI 2(AKM) + a bottleheaad crack OTL with the 789

another option could be a Soekris R2R DAC

Yeah look at the edits, I said this won’t be an issue for most people, and now that we know the issue it’s fairly easy to fix

It still clicks when you turn it on and off, but not after very track change once you get the driver installed correctly, so it’s not a big deal


Was there a consensus here? I have been looking at sub $800 USD DAC/ DAC pairs to go with my thx 789. I had a refurbished RME ADI 2 FS on order until I decided to back out on it last minute. At $1425 CAD it was a lot for me to justify its difficulty to repair locally as well as the limited 90 day return window from Amazon. Similarly had a SMSL SU-9 on order until Shenzhenaudio dropped the ball on customer service and I chose to bail on them too. Preferably more than just the bifrost 2 because schiit provided a subpar experience when I ordered one. The struggle is real boys and gals. Sorry for reviving a dead thread but it’s been almost 2 years since there have been any posts made here lol