DACs... which one?

MikeT.

Senior Member
Forgive me this has been stated elsewhere already but does someone have the iFi micro black iDSD? I am looking between that and the musical paradise unit recommended above. Anyone who could compare the two? I know they both have their pros and cons and are not identical units per say other than direct DSD comparison. @MikeT. I know you mentioned having the black, is this nano or micro?
I have the Nano Black Label. Very nice unit. The Micro has higher native sample rates, something called 3D and X Bass, more power for headphones and better overall construction. I’m not a big headphone guy.
Frankly though, I’ve been looking at the MP unit, the iFi Micro and the Chord Mojo. The Nano is USB powered which is OK but an option to manage the battery charging, as with the Micro and Chord Mojo is a plus. The MP I think is just a superb main DAC.

MQA is nice to have but I’m pretty sure I could live without it if the overall performance were superior. The Chord Mojo gets rave reviews at a pretty attractive price, in the neighborhood of the Micro. Still trying to decide if I go with the Micro or the Mojo. The MP is out of my range in the foreseeable future. (Maybe if I sell my Thorens though.....hmmmmm).
 

Prime Minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Interestingly, the DAC I'm using almost ended up in my system by accident. I needed a DAC, and my local dealer is awesome with trades. He had one of these, slightly used, that he'd offer me a great trade in allowance on. I'd been trying most of the usual suspects in the $1500- $2000 range, but this was the the first one that didn't sound like anything. Intenso_grande.png

It's been in my system for about a year and a half, and I've had zero thought of replacing it. Not totally true. I did have some thoughts when I heard the same companies totl DAC. But that isn't in the cards right now.

What I love about this DAC is that it draws no attention to itself. It just goes about its business, making music. It doesn't sound notably warm or detailed. Neither tubey or solid state. I've never felt the need to do any tube rolling with it, which is a good thing, as it had no tubes to roll.

My only negative on it is that it's a bit questionable ergonomically. The controls don't work the way I would want them to. But, I don't mess with it enough to make that a huge issue for me.

So what is this DAC? It's the Italian made, North Star Intenso.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I have the Nano Black Label. Very nice unit. The Micro has higher native sample rates, something called 3D and X Bass, more power for headphones and better overall construction. I’m not a big headphone guy.
Frankly though, I’ve been looking at the MP unit, the iFi Micro and the Chord Mojo. The Nano is USB powered which is OK but an option to manage the battery charging, as with the Micro and Chord Mojo is a plus. The MP I think is just a superb main DAC.

MQA is nice to have but I’m pretty sure I could live without it if the overall performance were superior. The Chord Mojo gets rave reviews at a pretty attractive price, in the neighborhood of the Micro. Still trying to decide if I go with the Micro or the Mojo. The MP is out of my range in the foreseeable future. (Maybe if I sell my Thorens though.....hmmmmm).
I bought a micro iDAC2 recently and really like it. Wish I chose this a couple years ago instead of the Schiit, but live and learn. The MP was out of my range too.
 
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