Upsampling DACs

What are some of the better high end upsampling DACs out there today? And are any of these upgradable. Thanks.
Look on my thread about the Allnic D5000 DHT.

It best my EMM dac2x by a wide margin and much cheaper. It is more versatile than the Empirical Audio Overdrive SE but produces a different sound. Although Empirical does not upsample, it plays redbook files better than the same tracks in DSD format on the EMM.

I have not a to b the Empirical to Allnic formally. However, Allnic has not left my system. Often times I get hairs standing up my back on certain tracks and I really like that.

I have a review pending for the Allnic D5000. What part of the country are you located?

I would be interested in hearing a to b with Lapmi series dacs as this would be a great comparison.
The Vitus RD-100 is an excellent upsampling dac and employs filter-down technology from the previous Signature series spinner (SCD-010). It also includes a good analogue linestage which uses a new version of Vitus's relay-based volume control and 2 'true' analogue inputs (1 rca + 1 xlr), including an array of digital inputs.

The RD-100 benefits from extremely wide bandwidth, future-proof discrete modular architecture and impeccable build quality. The sound is neutral, natural, flowing and sounds somewhat tube-like in terms of its tonal saturation, texture and dimensionality. An easy recommendation, unless you need a good sacd player, in which case i'd recommend the Vitus RCD-101. The dac section is in that player is on par with the RD-100, but omits the analogue linestage.
Ok, thanks guys, much appreciated. How much are these units?
Dave, the Vitus RD-100 is $14kUSD retail, whilst the RCD-101 is about $2kUS more. A good Dealer however should be able to do a deal south of that. Not cheap, but I still rate these components as high end bargains imho.
Dave - I think you're unnecessarily limiting your enjoyment by restricting your choices to a certain technology. Years ago, I went into a dealer asking for stand-mount speakers because I thought they were better than floor-standing for some reason. The dealer said "rather than looking for a certain type of speaker, why don't you just try to get something you like?".

It sounds stupidly simple, but I can't tell you how many people here do the same thing in one way or the other - they want an upsampling dac, a dac with a certain chip, a non-oversampling dac, whatever. IMO, it's the wrong way to go about things.

Judging from your system, you're probably not in the market for an EMM or Vitus, but seem to think very highly of the Metrum Octave, the Auralic Vega, and the Eastern Electric.

BTW - that Onkyo you have is not a bad player for the money. What are you trying to achieve - warmth? That's what most people seem to want. Nothing against Bryston, but warmth isn't their strong suit.
Good point Chayro, at the end of the day members here can only make suggestions based on what we think is a good unpsampling dac based on our preference and relative budget. At the end of the day, it's all about finding out what kind of sound you like, then building a system that suits your tastes. I mean, if you believe some of the bs on this forum, you'd end up with $40k of cables plugged in to a Chinese cd player and $700 vintage speakers. Best to forge out on your own. Ultimately listening to gear and having a good relationship with a Dealer is the best way to go.
Hi Chayro, I actually am gonna upgrade to more expensive and better sounding units than the Bryston stuff. I've been saving up for the last 2-3 years to do so. Yes, the Onkyo is fine, but I would like to upgrade the digital side of my system so it sounds more what I hear from analog, if that makes sense. Not that I'll say it will sound exactly alike. I know better than that! Anyway, I've heard what upsampling can do, and I'm a fan of it more or less...
I asked this in the other thread, and I didn't get answer, so here goes: What do you guys think of the TEAC UD-501 DSD DAC? Sound, reliability (it is made in China,) and build quality.
Dave, I can't comment on the sound of the Teac dac you mentioned, but to be honest, Teac are not in the same league as Vitus. Not saying Vitus is the only brand you should consider, and others I am sure will chime in. But from my experience they are doing it better than anyone else if bang for the buck & musicality matter.

Hand on heart if you're looking to buy new, I would recommend reading up on the Vitus RCD-101 if you want to improve the digital side of your system. The RCD-101 is a true balanced sacd player which has had an extensive rework to add SACD and DSD compared to the previous model, including a new heavily modified Sony SACD drive, a better power supply and better dac section which uses the same modular architecture as the Signature Series SCD-010! According to Lotushifi, the RCD-101 sounds better than the SCD-010 (which i've heard & sounds amazing). VA gear is hand-made in Denmark using some of the most sophisticated engineering i've ever seen.

Waxing lyrical perhaps, but i'm just a happy end user and have no ties/connections to VA. Good luck with your auditions!
Hi Melbguy1, yeah I would have guessed that the Vitus is better than the little Teac.

However, the general consensus is the Teac is amazing for the money ($850 USD) You can get it direct from Teac via their online store, if you wish. The store has a 30 day money back guarantee for whatever reason, I believe.

Ok, no problem, I'll check the Vitus out sooner than later.

Thanks, I appreciate that. :D
Obviously it depends entirely on your budget. Below the price point of Vitus, the Aesthetix Romulus Signature is a very good value player imho, as is the Modwright Sony XA-5400ES at its price point. Happy auditioning!
Ok, thanks. I appreciate your comments here. :D
as you already know that, in audio, price of a component has nothing to do with its performance. Case in point - the very 1st post in this thread by Ketcham.

If you have a lot of discretionary income (like some people replying in this thread) you can sure look at the Vitus & the Aesthetix & the other high-priced brands.

One upsampling DAC that is getting a lot of praise these days is the Chord Hugo. The Chord Qute is a very good DAC - I've heard it at my friend's place & a close family member owns the Chord DAC64 (also a fantastic DAC).
Another choice is the Lavry DA11 ($1400) & the less expensive Lavry Blue DA824. The Lavry DACs can upto 96KHz.

I answered your question but what I really wanted to ask you was: why do want an upsampling DAC?
Yes, that is true. Well, digital is secondary to me, and LPs are king of my listening room. So, I'd rather not spend too much money on it. However, I'm looking for better sound than my stand alone cd player can provide. Which is why I inquired about the TEAC unit. Because to me, at $850, the price is right.

Ok, thanks for the recommendations. Much appreciated.

I want an upsampling DAC because from what I've heard it sounds better...
BY upsampling, I take it the OP means SELECTABLE upsampling?

If so, only the Allnic, Nagra and the Sony HAP-Z come radily to mind. The Hugo by definition upsamples all to 2048fs PCM, BUT it is NOT defeatable. Many Dacs upsample all signals to a chosen processing sweetspot like the Directstream, PBD and EMM.

Many others prefer to let software do it on the fly offline, like BADA, Lampi, iFi, Phasure NOS1, and Exasound.. who specialize in native playback or pick a certain sweetspot and the user forces input to that sweet trate.

I cant recall exactly what the Signalist Dac does...

Ketcham, where are you located?
want an upsampling DAC because from what I've heard it sounds better...
not a very good reply, Dave_72 - shows herd mentality.
"sounding better" is a relative term, as you already know. Are the people recommending an upsampling DAC friends of yours? Do you know these people? In that do they have similar music tastes as you do? If yes, then, you can more believe what they are saying. If no, they are just some people recommending electronics based on what they feel & hear in their system or other people's system. Those recommendations have zero reference to you because they are largely strangers to you. Something to remember in your quest for an upsampling DAC......

An upsampling DAC is, when you boil it right down, a sophisticated digital filter. Every company making an upsampling DAC has its own flavour of this digital filter. In process of upsampling, the digital data gets stuffed with extra zeros/logic0 (digital data is a logic1/logic0 stream, as you know) at the higher sampling rate. Zeros have to be stuffed because you cannot create new data.

For example: say, you are sampling at 48KHz & you have a data stream that looks like 1, 1, 1, 1 occurring once every 1/48KHz seconds. Now you want to upsample this data stream i.e. increase the clock rate to, say, 192KHz. I.E. you want to increase the data rate 4X.
Well, the original data has a data rate of 48KHz & so new data occurs every 1/48KHz seconds. How can you make new data occur every 1/192KHz seconds i.e. 4X faster? How can you create new data 4X faster in a data stream that has 48KHz rate? The answer is you can stuff the original data with zeros in between the original data. So, the new data will look like: 1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,1.
Now when you read each bit of data (be it 0 or 1) you will have to run your clock 4X faster i.e. at 192KHz. But the 0 is of your making & 1 existed in the original music stream.
Can you imagine listening to this zero stuffed data stream? it's going to sound horrible. So, you have to smooth it out so that when you look at the average of the waveform the newly inserted zeros will meld into the original music. This smoothing function is the digital filter & there are many, many algorithms to smooth the zero-stuffed data stream. Each of these sophisticated algorithms has a sonic signature of its own - some you will like & others you will not.
So, when you say upsampling DACs sound better, it's anybody's guess what better means to you. Hopefully better means the same thing to you as the people who recommended upsampling DACs to you! Otherwise, you could be a very unhappy listener - spent your hard-earned money & still not happy with the sonics....
See, if you can get a home audition or a 14-day/30-day money back.
Sorry, wrong sentence structure. When I wrote "from what I've heard" I should have said "in auditioning" right after that. I would never take someone else's word as the absolute truth.

Anyway, thanks for the explanation, I appreciate it. Like you said, get the home audition or a money back guarantee. For the Teac, both the Teac online store and Amazon have 30 day money back gurantee, for whatever reason...
Wisnon, yes I mean selectable upsampling...
welcome dave_72 & thanks for clarifying.
I know that Ayon cd players offer the option of switching off upsampling which some purists prefer. I've seen 2nd hand examples show up on the 'Gon as low as $2750 (not sure if that's beyond your budget). The CD-2 is also ripe for upgrades if you want to improve the sound later on (ie: caps, tubes, op amps).
You're welcome, Bombaywalla. And thanks for the recommendation, Melbguy1. Basically my budget is up to $5000. However, I'd rather not spend too much on digital when I can do so with analog. That's why I asked about the Teac at $849 USD. I'm looking for some low cost but high quality alternatives to the big boys.
Dave, another nice sounding player on a budget would be a 2nd hand Modwright Sony XA-5400ES. A good example sold back in July on the 'Gon for $1990 -

That player will give you a big tube sound & you gain SACD. Dan's Truth Mod improves the Dac section and lifts the player up to a whole new level. A giant killer for sure.
Then try the new Hegel dac and BMC Puredac...both below $2K
Ok, thanks guys. Much appreciated...