Soundstream DAC-1 DACs

Soundstream DAC-1 DACs 

DESCRIPTION

Digital-to-Analog converter

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 16  
[Apr 09, 2020]
jeff89


Strength:

I am writing this review after 10 years of owning this product. I can say that it is still sounding better than ever. If it was built with cheap parts do you think it would still be working after 10 years? I don't think so. The previous reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about it (even though his review was 7+ years ago). I am listening to this DAC connected to a Harman Kardon HK3390, and 10 year old Sennheiser HD 570s and loving it. They just don't make things like they used to. I doubt this DAC will be available at this point in time, but if you can find one grab it.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
4
[Feb 28, 2012]
mch2475`
AudioPhile

I got my DAC-1 back in 1997; we are now in year 2012 and I still very much enjoy this device's musical performance. Over the years, I have bought, sold, upgraded and laid to rest all kinds of cd players, dacs, amps, speakers, pre pro receivers, cables, dvd player then blu ray; yet some how, I always kept My DAC-1. If used right, Dac-1 can give you a satisfying glimpse into the "higher end" world with better imaging, transparancy and detailed bass few cd players can ever show you. To make this thing "work", you need to have either a pure analog preamp/receiver or a home theater preamp/processor/receiver that has Analog Bypass. without pure analog or bypass mode ON, you are wasting your time as the receiver's built in A to D processor will automatically digitize the incoming analog signal so it can offer bass management and soundfield functions. Unfortunately that digitization process usually obliterates the tiny-tiny muscial nuances us audiofiles are hoping to get by adding an external DAC to our systems.
As for build quality, Metal film caps, Burr Brown D/A converter, Class A output stage, all in a thick metal box with bolted on RCA and Coax inputs.
As one of the other reviews says: "If you can find one grab it."

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 27, 2011]
SnTholiday
Audio Enthusiast

I am writing this review after 10 years of owning this product. I can say that it is still sounding better than ever. If it was built with cheap parts do you think it would still be working after 10 years? I don't think so. The previous reviewer doesn't know what he's talking about it (even though his review was 7+ years ago). I am listening to this DAC connected to a Harman Kardon HK3390, and 10 year old Sennheiser HD 570s and loving it. They just don't make things like they used to. I doubt this DAC will be available at this point in time, but if you can find one grab it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 05, 2003]
Gordon01
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Good look Case

Weakness:

Outdate chips, very cheap parts are used. Poor power supply and used phono jack for the power supply connected.

This supplement is for my published last time. It has marked 28/02/92 on the main board of DAC-1. I start to take a test for the sounds formally after the DAC-1 has continued to run-in over 100hrs with my audio system. (Usually I never turn off the power of my pre-amp.) So this test would be so fair. The results of the DAC-1 are overall sounds have a bit unnatural, lost sensibility of the vocals, sound stage became narrow (about 1 to 2 feet’s) in my system, none of improvements from LF to Ultra HF, musical instrument fuzzy, it completely wasted money even power fee. Otherwise, the DAC-1’s out board power supply. It should call power adapter. I think it was for the reduced costs more than improved the sounds. Because it just used very cheap parts and has very poor structure as same as your children’s toys. Then I discovered all diodes were negatives direction in combination. So the output wire also needs to negative connection. It built like as by children. Even has over about 30% or higher power output without notice in the user’s guide. . So nobody would knows how acceptable power input range of this DAC-1. It is very dangerous for your audio system. For the stuffs with their adverted, you would mirages that at lease to used ERO, Holco etc. Caused it speaks of designed in conjunction with KRELL Digital Inc. Now, you must accept the fact. All of the capacitors, transistors and RCA jacks that I believed they are mostly have made in Taiwan. As I know the grade with them should be within US$ 3.5 to $4.0 (1000 pcs.). Cause I was a technician in the electric manufactory until I have with my own business. In present, I think the DAC-1 as garbage. It cannot against every challenger today which budget about US$ 100 range. Unless you take it to process 80’s made CD player. If you are now want to upgrades for your audio system. I suggested you to pay US$ 100 to $200 for a new model CD or DVD player (with 24bit/96kHz or 24bit/192kHz). Even just pay $20 for the quality audio cables. You will be got more harvests certainly. Remarks: to think about why lots of peoples were taking DAC-1 on E-Bay with short period owned.

Similar Products Used:

DAC in the box. PS Audio Ultralink.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[May 02, 2003]
Gordon
AudioPhile

Strength:

Nice Case.

Weakness:

Outdate chips, very cheap parts are used. Poor power supply and used phono jack for the power supply connected.

Certainly, It is not a Hi-End product. It using very cheap capacitors(Toys Grade)and over half of the case inside is just space. The power supply has marked made in Taiwan, AC 230V input and DC 16V output. I used AC 215V input but it has DC 20V output. I very worry that it would burn my real Hi-End audio system. While I felt the DAC-1 and power supply is very hot as a class AB amplifer. So I cutted off of the power supply box then discovered it just has a very cheap transformer , very small 2200uF electrolytic capacitor and 4 cheap diodes. Even discovered the transformer's wire has been poor contacted. For the sounds. It just as same as a $100 range Onkyo DVD player and has nothing can be improve even I have made a very hi grade power supply to fill with. Anyway, to the actually operating 48kHz is enough. Because DVD audio and SACD's digital output still didn't for open. They are still using CD audio format(44.1kHz). And the finally sampling resource and target still within 20Hz to 20kHz. But we need to accept the chips of YAMAHA YM3623B EIAJ decorder, BB DF1700P dual 8X digital filter, BB PCM67P 18bit D/A were outdate. As same as PC 80286 cannot compare with P-4. To remind: I have run in over 100hrs with this DAC-1. My system: KRELL 200, Excutive M5. KRELL KBL, JADIS JP200(self-made). Electro Voice Sentry 500SFV plus 1 pair of EV T-35 Alnico, 2 pairs of EMIT Cobalt, 1 pair ESS AMT tweeters, 1 pair of Klipsch horn.

Similar Products Used:

DAC in the box. PS Audio Ultralink.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Dec 09, 2002]
plantto
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Great quality, Cheap, Easy to hook up, you can use it with anything

Weakness:

None at all or ever

I just bought this dac online at audiogon.com and am amazed by its quality for how much it was it sounds like a million dollars i have it conneced to my SB Live! computer sound card and use it for listening to mp3s and dvds the quality is outstanding.

Similar Products Used:

msb link dac II, AMC dac8

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 03, 2002]
Steven T
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The power supply looks to be of good quality. The DAc-1 is a 17" wide component that looks great with other components. Very good build quality, with panel mounted RCA jacks. Sounds great, with a deep and wide soundstage.

Weakness:

None of any significance.

In my opinion, the Soundstream DAC-1 is a definite improvement over the internal DAC of the Denon DCM-370. When I started to use the DAC-1 I also made a change in interconnect cable, (to MIT Terminator 4) so that may have also had an influence on the sound. With the DAC-1 the soundstage is much improved, with the image being more 3-D. The speakers just disappear. Instruments sound more natural, and the digital harshness is all but gone. This is the first stand-alone DAC I have ever used, so I cannot compare it to Audio Alchemy, MSB, etc., but I have no desire to. The DAc-1 is completely satisfying, it has given me the sound I was looking for without having to invest in an expensive CD player. If you have a CD player with digital output in the $250.00 to $400.00 range, I would recommend auditioning the DAC-1 with your own equipment.

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 18, 2002]
Carlman
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Size and looks. Quick warmup. Good, honest sound.

Weakness:

Don't pay over $200 and there aren't any.

I have had 3 DAC's and the Soundstream DAC1 sounded very good compared against the others I've had. It's nice that it doesn't need a lengthy warmup to sound good. I won this DAC along with a Museatex DAC (now owned by A/D/S). I have also owned an Audio Alchemy DAC v.1. Of the 3, I'd rank the Museatex first, the Soundstream second, and the Audible Ill 3rd. I listen critically for natural voices and accurate acoustic guitar. Bass needs to be right on as well. I'm currently using an Arcam Alpha 8SE as the transport. The Arcam alone is good and fairly neutral. Adding the Soundstream gave it a smoother, crisper sound. It wasn't an extreme difference, but, definitely an improvement. Any DAC has a higher voltage output so, it gets into a better sweetspot on my amp. So, that makes as big of a difference as what the DAC is doing. I need a bigger amp... but, that's for later. I think this is a good value in the $1-200 range.

Similar Products Used:

Audio Alchemy DAC v.1 Museatex DAC

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 27, 2002]
sam46
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Reasonable price, solid build quality

Weakness:

No power switch, not an issue if you have switched outlets on your other equipment.

I have used the DAC 1 with four different CD players, and on three it made a nice improvement in the sound. The most noticable difference to me is the sound of cymbols of a drum set, the DAC brings out a clean sizzle thats wasn't there with the onboard convertors of the CD players. Overall, a more natural and warmer sound. It may not perform miracles for all systems, but a definate improvement over the DAC in most lower priced CD players (under $400). Very solid construction with a hefty power supply that keeps the transformer away from the circuitry to avoid interference. It may not be suitable for high end audiophiles, but it doesn't cost $3000 either. I am happy with it.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 08, 2002]
up4
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

cheap nice looking

Weakness:

hard sound cheap stuff used

suggestion: not a good item. unless you have a poor CD-player~ I checked the interor stuff with a professional audio technician, who sells and fixes audio equip., here are some reasons not buying this product: 1. the power it used 12V adapter which is not adequade for a high end DA. A nice DA requires AT LEAST 4 different power supplues. Yet for this one, only have 12V input, and gave all the components 12V and uses a cheap converter to 5V (for ICs). it results: sound is not clean!!! and S/n ratio is VERY low. 2. the main DA IC: SoundStream DAC-1 uses only YAMAHA IC, which is same as a $100 US CD-player. I think I am going to sell it... cheaply... cuz the sound is not recommended for high-end audiophile :(

Similar Products Used:

normal CD-players around $100 US

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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