Poll - which Dac?

Okay… I am aiming at a Dac to feed my Cayin CS-55 tube and a future SS amp like the SPL Phonitor XE or similar. I want something decent and that clearly makes an upgrade.
Today I use the Dac in the Cayin and the Dac in the Monolith THX Dac/amp.

Re sound I am not fixed on neutrality, warmth on anything in that order. I want the quality and sound difference from a dedicated Dac and one that has some reach into mid-tier amp’s, what ever that is…

Feel free to vote and comment, but give me a hint re which of these you might prefer.

  • RME ADI-2
  • Soekris 1421
  • Schiit Bifrost 2

0 voters

If you want something that sounds noticeably different, then it’d be best to get the 1421 or BF2. The ADI-2 is all about the DSP.


Picked ADI-2 for being a bottomless toolbox. Default is going to be clean and neutral, but you’ve got the ability to create and save EQ profiles, a slick display and more tweaks. Also has an outstanding output for IEMs.

The other DACs will provide their own character, but then you get that character on all the downstream devices. With RME at the head you can go reference SS and fun / colored / tuned tube.

Depends on how important that upstream tweakability is.


i just voted on what someone else voted on that wasnt the schiit

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Do the other Dac’s offer Firmware updates…without going through a loada schitt?

i mean if i buy something that NEEDS a firmware update, i either sell it or return it
its a faulty POS if it NEEDS one

That would’ve cost me 8+ MacBook pro’s over the last year or two, iFi do the same with their Dac’s :+1: Schitt moves on you know :upside_down_face:

macbook pros are junk tho

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also operating system updates or reinstalls or upgrades are not firmware updates
firmware updates change how the HARDWARE reacts
if you cant get hardware right, why am i paying for it?

Macbook’s are indeed crap, but mainly due to the Apple universe membership you become a part of. Even at work where everybody is using an iPhone, I am not. I want a 3,5mm jack in my phone!

The RME has hat a lot of firmware updates, but I haven’t seen much about that. Is Schiit doing the same?

good thing i voted on the soekris HAHA

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So, I’m going to say that I think the bifrost 2 would match the system best here, I think the rme would be nice but only if you actually use the features, the soekris is a good dac but imo not a match for the cayin nor the phonitor imo

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That’s the only Apple down side for me but hey ho I don’t listen to music off of my phone :nerd_face: and if I do then an adaptor ain’t no biggie?.

thats the smallest downside to apple, not the only, i dont even use the headphone jack, i use daps
the biggest advantage to an apple phone is that its so locked down that dumb people cant fuck their phones up
if i wanted that experience i would buy a nokia flip phone or something.
no way am i paying for an adblocker and no way am i using a phone i cant add one to very easily.

Agreed, but I use a normal IEM with mic everytime I am on the phone and I don’t want to charge a cordless all the time. So for that alone iPhone is not me; put the constrained Apple universe on top and I am out.

Your RME remark is to be expected, as the RME is a toolbox and to get the best out of it, you need to use it. But I didn’t see comming that the Soekris is not up for the job for the Cayin nor the Phonitor.

Can I get you to say a bit more about that?

So I think the soekris tends to be a bit too aggressive with the phonitor, it ends up being overly forward, the speed is nice but the two together wasn’t that pleasant imo

For the cayin, I find that the soekris gear works a bit better, but I think it messes with the tonality a tad depending on the filter used

Also have you considered the holo cyan?


I did, but with taxes it end up at $1800 (PCM version) and the other 3 are all $1000-$1200 in my part of the world. My sweet-spot re price is around $1200 as max.
And thus I end up with the 3 mentioned as my “last Dac’s standing”.

it hurt
i think we’re all just in an abusive relationship with our wallets and need to just call it quits
edit: @M0N ran away because his money ties him in bdsm leather on the daily

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Ah yeah not good price for sure, going to guess the ares ii isn’t an option either? (Prob not as well)

I feel like it will come down to sound vs features lol

Also what county again I keep forgetting?

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