Summary: I use the UD-501 to listen to Hi-def music on my Imac (mid-2011) via headphones (Sony MDR-7506). I can only directly compare it to an HRT Microstreamer on this particular system (it's much, much better), but it beats the pants off of any other stereo system I have heard to date, with the exception of a high-end system that had a McIntosh MCD100 SACD/CD player. Yes, there are better DACs on the market, but for the money, IMO you cannot beat this unit.
Pros: Price. Sound. Build quality. DSD-capable.
Cons: None, when compared to similarly-priced DACs.
Summary: I am giving this device a 5 star rating because it not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them. The sound quality it can achieve is amazing. Not only does it support DSD (which sounds out of this world) and the highest resolution PCM files, but it also drastically improves the sound of ripped CDs. For me, this DAC replaced my old, bottom of the line Yamaha Audiogram 6. The Audiogram is fine for recording voice and instruments - but the DAC itself was limited.
Summary: I spent a little time trying to figure out the difference between the UD501B, which I intuitively thought was a newer model, and the UD501. It turns out that the UD501B is the black version of the unit, whereas the UD501S is the silver-faced unit. Pick the one that matches your system. Next comes the question as to whether this is for a computer or a stereo. The answer is yes to both. A DA Converter will take a digital audio signal and convert it to an analog signal.
Amazing intermediate device with some specific applications that work very well
Santeria "Son of Tazz", Amazon
23 February 2014
Summary: The TEAC UD-501 USB D/A converter works brilliantly as an attachment to a computer or ancillary device. The easiest way to get this TEAC working virtually immediately is to download the basic player and use wav or MP3 files played through the headphones option. You need to install the TEAC HR player first and then plug a standard A-B (sometimes called a printer cable, or a scanner cable) between the TEAC and the PC so that the player can see the wav and MP3 files.
Summary: Firstly the Teac DAC is a solidly built piece of equipment. It must weigh 10 pounds, though I haven't put it on the scale! The unit has a nice look to it, which is nice as it doesn't seem out of place with the rest of my equipment. This is my first DAC and I will admit I am new to them. The manual was clear and concise, I was up and running with the Teac in under 15 minutes. Its inputs are USB, coax and optical. On the output side it has RCA and balanced XLR.
Summary: Teac's UD-501-B is simply an astounding DAC. I have it paired with a Teac AI-501DA amplifier (which is just superb) and Bowers & Wilkins CM5 speakers. Running JRiver on Windows 8.1 the Teac sounds incredible however it is fed. Right now I am switching between JRiver upsampling material to DSD 2x output (5.6k) using the FIR2 filter (in the Teac) and having the Teac upsample everything to PCM using the SLOW filter. Both are superb.
Summary: This is my first DAC. I primarily listen to LPs (vinyl), so I was interested in comparing analog reproduction to the best digital technology. The unit feels quite hefty and is beautifully finished - the rack mount handles look sharp. The knobs feel very solid. It comes with a cheap RCA cable and an instruction manual.
Superb DAC from TEAC that is part of an excellent series
Michael Birman, Amazon
4 February 2014
Summary: The TEAC Dual Monaural D/A Converter is one of four components comprising the 501 series. They are designed from the ground up to interconnect, acting synergistically to create even better sound. I am lucky enough to own the TEAC HA-501 Dual Monaural Headphone Amplifier which I connected via balanced XLR connectors to the DAC.
Summary: Nothing much to add beyond what earlier reviewers here and elsewhere have said, but every vote counts when you're buying without hearing, right? [I've updated this review after 4 months of ownership after noticing that the reviews people seem to find most helpful don't get into the technology..