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Emotiva Stealth DC-1 DAC Conclusion

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If the Emotiva Stealth DC-1 DAC, headphone amp, and preamp does what Emotiva intends, you'll never hear it. That's right, the whole point is to get out of the way and let your source shine. The $500 price tag would be worth it for the DAC and headphone amp or the DAC and preamp alone but Emotiva gave you all three for that price. That's amazing from a company that I thought was done amazing me. The Emotiva Stealth DC-1 - if it isn't on your Christmas list, you need to reevaluate your priorities. Highly recommended!

Emotiva Stealth DC-1 DAC

MSRP: $499

stealth_dc_1_logo 

www.emotiva.com

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Two-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStar
Ease of SetupStarStarStarStar
FeaturesStarStarStarStarStar
Remote ControlStarStarStarStar
VersatilityStarStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarhalf-star
ValueStarStarStarStarStar
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

AllanMarcus posts on April 24, 2016 11:36
Nice review. Has anyone tried it with high end headphones?
RichB posts on March 26, 2014 20:51
The Oppo HA-1 Product Page has been updated:

A notable quote:

OPPO designs the HA-1 headphone amplifier with the same universal approach as our Blu-ray players. The HA-1 is a high performance headphone amplifier, and it doubles as an asynchronous USB DAC, a stereo pre-amplifier, a digital audio dock for mobile devices, and a Bluetooth audio transport.
Its fully balanced design and numerous inputs ensure the best in fidelity and versatility.

OPPO Digital - HA-1 Headphone Amplifier

- Rich
RichB posts on March 26, 2014 20:47
Philth, post: 1025515
If that is truly a real time spectrum analyzer on that HA1, I'm going to find it hard to swallow that it will be competitive with the Stealth DC-1 on a price point. Sale or no.

Yeah, looking over the write ups, that thing is going to cost a lot more than their bluray players.

I have seen some hinted pricing but nothing to indicate that it will cost more than the Oppo BDP-105.
Time will tell.

- Rich
Philth posts on March 26, 2014 20:21
If that is truly a real time spectrum analyzer on that HA1, I'm going to find it hard to swallow that it will be competitive with the Stealth DC-1 on a price point. Sale or no.

Yeah, looking over the write ups, that thing is going to cost a lot more than their bluray players.
PENG posts on December 19, 2013 18:38
sharkman, post: 1005169
On the other hand, I understood the Oppo will have analog input, and handling things right in the analog domain is not cheap.

I don't expect anything from Oppo to be cheap, just good value for the money. I do expect it to be priced below the BDP-105, okay maybe not well below but say a couple hundreds less would be nice. The 105 has full blown universal disc and USB player, 7.1 analog out, top notch video processing, network streaming, the same ESS DAC but it has two of them, one for 7.1 channel outputs.

Yes the HA1 has analog input but that shouldn't add much cost as it should simply bypass the DAC part, nothing more than that. I was actually thinking of biting the bullet and buy a second 105 for one of my two channel system until I found out about the HA1. Not because I think the HA1 would make my system sound any better but it will not make it look stupid to include a full blown 7.1 channel universal player just to be used as a USB player/DAC/preamp.

I know this thread is about the EMO so I am going to stop talking about the HA1 now.
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