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  1. #1
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    DAC's $5k - $11k

    What are DAC's worth considering in this price range? Are 1 or 2 clearly better than the others?
    Some recommended ones I have run across:

    Mytek Manhattan II
    PSAudio DS
    Chord DAVE
    Lampizator Atlantic/Golden Atlantic
    MSB Discrete
    Ayre QX-5 Twenty

    Please feel free to add to this list, I know it must be incomplete. At this point, I am more interested in sound through the USB input.
    Rob
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    Tascam BR-20; Technics 1506 with tape path upgrades, FM head, DeHavilland 222 tape head pre; Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS; Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS; MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out); Pass Labs XP-12, XA60.8 (pair); Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s, VMPS Larger Sub; Daedalus/Wywires, Acoustic Zen, Sablon Audio, Wireworld, Shunyata Research cables; Core Power Equi=Power;
    Adona rack, ​​​​​Stillpoints, IsoPods, ASC, GIK Acoustics accessories

  2. #2
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    MSB Discrete hands down.

    To my ears, the others mostly sound similar. The MSB is the end game for the person seeking analog sound from their DAC.

    If you want detail and a top down presentation, there are other options.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  3. #3
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    I'm not really looking for "analog" or "digital" sound. To me, most analog sounds a little fuzzy; OTOH, much digital sounds a little "ringy" and often hyperdetailed (probably recording technique more than the medium). I like the "air" around voices and instruments than analog can usually do better; I also like the background "blackness" more often found with good digital, and (what I consider) realistic detail. So while I would characterize my tastes as probably leaning a little toward "analog", it's only a little.

    All the higher end MSB DACs I have heard have most of the sound qualities I am looking for (more than dcs, for example); if the Discrete carries that over into this price range it's probably what I will want. OTOH, the one time I heard the Lampizator Golden Gate (a few years ago) I was also very impressed/happy with the sound.
    Rob
    __________________________
    Tascam BR-20; Technics 1506 with tape path upgrades, FM head, DeHavilland 222 tape head pre; Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS; Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS; MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out); Pass Labs XP-12, XA60.8 (pair); Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s, VMPS Larger Sub; Daedalus/Wywires, Acoustic Zen, Sablon Audio, Wireworld, Shunyata Research cables; Core Power Equi=Power;
    Adona rack, ​​​​​Stillpoints, IsoPods, ASC, GIK Acoustics accessories

  4. #4
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    I'm not really looking for "analog" or "digital" sound. To me, most analog sounds a little fuzzy; OTOH, much digital sounds a little "ringy" and often hyperdetailed (probably recording technique more than the medium). I like the "air" around voices and instruments than analog can usually do better; I also like the background "blackness" more often found with good digital, and (what I consider) realistic detail. So while I would characterize my tastes as probably leaning a little to "analog", it's only a little.

    All the higher end MSB DACs I have heard have most of the sound qualities I am looking for (more than dcs, for example); if the Discrete carries that over into this price range it's probably what I will want. OTOH, the one time I heard the Lampizator Golden Gate (a few years ago) I was also very impressed/happy with the sound.
    The Discrete absolutely does. The Discrete is the best “value” in the line because it gives you a good dose of the stuff it’s Big Brothers have. Basically saying, they’re cut from a very similar cloth.


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    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  5. #5
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Also look at the two Aqua DAC's in that price range the La Voce S3 and the La Scala Mk II.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Auralic Aries, Aqua La Voce S3, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Jays CDT2 Mk 3, Auralic Aries G1, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworld IC's, Inakustik USB and I2s, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  6. #6
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Also look at the two Aqua DAC's in that price range the La Voce S3 and the La Scala Mk II.
    Great suggestion. The La Scala has tubes and is very organic sounding. The La Voce has more detail, but still organic and musical.

    We sell Aqua for under $10k and MSB for over $10k. Both are very organic.

    For the guy looking for lots of hyper detail, we have other options. DAC's k - k


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    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

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  7. #7
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    In my Main system the La Voce is just right. I moved the Directstream to an auxiliary system.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Auralic Aries, Aqua La Voce S3, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Jays CDT2 Mk 3, Auralic Aries G1, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworld IC's, Inakustik USB and I2s, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  8. #8
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    On your list the Lampi and MSB might be better, but other than those two I would take the T+A above any of the rest...
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

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  9. #9

    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    MSB Discrete hands down. Naturally people tend to look past Discrete because it’s the entry level and there’re 3 big brothers above the ladder. How good it could get, right? IMO MSB’s ability to pack this much performance in their entry level Discrete at this particular $10k price point is as big of an achievement as Select II itself.

    Also, since I don’t have a turntable or tube gear, I do not have much reference when it comes to “analog sound”. But I will say this, the Lumin A1 that many people regard as analog sounding did not float my boat at all. I hated music through it, YMMV of course. However, another supposedly analog sounding Discrete on the other hand is a home run for me. I just love music through it.

  10. #10
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Many good/great suggestions floating around. As one of the dacs from your initial list, for me hands down choice is Lampi GA+ TRP which I heard in many systems including mine and it always delivered beyond belief for the price tag.
    But the only way is to narrow the list and hear selected ones in your system if feasible...
    LS: Vienna Acoustics Klimt "The Music"
    PowerAmp: ARC REF 75 (KT150); Acoustic Invader D class
    PreAmp: Tobian Soundsystems SC12s
    Source: Lampizator Pacific SE
    Server: LDMS Music Server
    CDT: Denafrips Avatar
    Power: IsoTek Sigmas EVO3
    Cabling: FTA (Final Touch Audio) - Ganymede RCA & XLR, Callisto USB, LS; Shunyata (various)
    Rack: Finite Elemente Spider

  11. #11
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    My streamer/DAC Bricasti M3 plus Network Player Card and MDx Processor board sound awesome with Roon. Both streaming and DSD are great.

  12. #12
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    i can also vouch for the t+a dac8 dsd -- below your price range but this DAC punches well above it's weight.

    below $11k its hard to imagine there are DACs that are materially better ...at least not $7k+ better. there are, however, DACs that will certainly sound different.
    ___________________________

    fwiw and ymmv, in terms of analog vs digital sound in DACs... i think of this in terms of tone rather than detail and i don't think one necessarily precludes the other.

    the DACs that folks describe as analog all seem to have R-2R converters rather than chips.
    viking acoustics berlin r mk2 | air tight atc-5 + atm-300r | clearaudio concept + virtuoso v2 MM | t+a dac8 dsd + kanjiroba diy transport + roon rock
    alp-tone audio analog cables | core audio designs plyKraft 3L | hifi racks ltd podium t5-iii

  13. #13
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    I would try Lampizator Golden Atlantic TRP and Aqua DACs before any other in this price range.
    Adam

    Speakers: Magico M3
    Amp: Dagostino Momentum Stereo
    Digital: Lampi Pacific + Lampi DSD Komputer
    Cables: AQ WEL Signature IC / Synergistic Research Foundation / AQ Hurricane PCs

  14. #14

    DAC's $5k - $11k

    Weiss DAC501 or DAC502, $9850 or less in the US.

    DAC501 / DAC502 | Products | Weiss Engineering Ltd.

    Underrated and under the radar. Some may be prejudiced due to its pro audio/studio heritage. As was I.

    Despite this, it has managed to confound and pleasantly surprise me with its balanced, detailed sound yet sounds natural and musical.

    When I was planning to buy the Chord DAVE last year (before reviews were out for the Weiss), I compared the Weiss with the Chord DAVE twice (in a group and alone) in different systems. I got the Weiss.

    Recently, I also compared the Weiss with the Aqua Formula, with a view to getting the Formula. The Weiss stayed.

    There has been a recent flurry of reviews but those from Stereophile and Hi-Fi Knights are consistent with my experience.

    Weiss Engineering DAC502 D/A processor | Stereophile.com

    Weiss DAC501 – HiFi Knights

    Ultimately though, despite the great reviews for any DAC, nothing beats listening to one in your system or doing A-B comparisons.

  15. #15
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    I'm not looking for DAC now since my luxman d-08u has a wonderful built-in DAC. It replaced my old Oppo 205 & 105. If I want to get a new DAC, I would consider dcs bartok or MSB Discrete.
    Jim

  16. #16
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    I have extensive experience with the "original" MSB Analog DAC back in the 2012-2014 time-frame, and it was very good, though at the time, it seemed that MSB's products were in a constant state of "beta" with respect to functionality. The good buddy of mine that had one had to send it back to Watsonville a number of times to implement firmware upgrades that should have done correctly the first time. Hopefully their Operations have improved since then.

    I've also heard consistently good things about the the Lampizator Golden Gate and also the TotalDAC, so I am in full agreement with Adam (Elberoth) you should evaluate the Lampizator.

  17. #17
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    MSB Discrete. For sure.

  18. #18
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    A lot of talk about the Rockna Wavelight and WaveDream plus I would support the noted Aqua Voce dacs to the choices noted above. Something about being able to keep your dac and upgrade it, that's a big plus..
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Bryston CD, BHA-1, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  19. #19
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    I just received my Weiss 502. This is the best sounding DAC I've ever heard.
    Toolshed Amplifiers 300b DHT amp, Supratek Cabernet DHT preamp, Weiss 502 DAC, Spatial Audio X3 open baffle speakers, Pro-ject RS2T transport, Silversmith speaker cables, Grover Huffman ICs.

  20. #20
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by jethropugh View Post
    I just received my Weiss 502. This is the best sounding DAC I've ever heard.
    Congrats, looks like you've assembled a great system! It would be helpful to know what other DACs you've had in your system for a point of reference. TIA

  21. #21

    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by jethropugh View Post
    I just received my Weiss 502. This is the best sounding DAC I've ever heard.
    Congratulations! Which other DACs did you compare with?

  22. #22
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Sorry for the late reply everyone. Crazy week. So I borrowed whatever I could from friends and dealers locally and wasn't into auditioning every piece of kit known to man. Here's what I auditioned: Chord Dave, Denafrips Venus, Rockna Wavelight, Audio Mirror Tubador, and one of the higher end Ayre units. I think sometimes you hear something and a bell goes off in your head (either that or it's a flashback from a Dead show in the 70's). When that happened I stopped looking. I don't have the patience to audition everything as my goal is to listen to music and forget the hardware. Next up is a Toolshed 300b amp.
    Toolshed Amplifiers 300b DHT amp, Supratek Cabernet DHT preamp, Weiss 502 DAC, Spatial Audio X3 open baffle speakers, Pro-ject RS2T transport, Silversmith speaker cables, Grover Huffman ICs.

  23. #23
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Hi Mike. Love your Youtube channel. Are you still confident in your recommendation of the MSB Discrete for under 11k? I have the Aurender N20 with the Luxman DA-06. Have dacs progressed that much since the Luxman? I really like the velvety liquid signature of my dac. Also, without spending 30K on the upcoming Aurender clock, do you believe a clock in my system would show minimal or large improvements? Thank you kindly.
    Gene
    Gene

    Spectral DMC-30SS preamp
    Spectral DMA-300SV amp
    Aurender N20 Streamer
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    MIT speaker and interconnect
    Furutech Flux 50 NCF; NCF powercords; JPS Labs in-wall 10 gauge
    Speakers - still searching

  24. #24
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene15352 View Post
    Hi Mike. Love your Youtube channel. Are you still confident in your recommendation of the MSB Discrete for under 11k? I have the Aurender N20 with the Luxman DA-06. Have dacs progressed that much since the Luxman? I really like the velvety liquid signature of my dac. Also, without spending 30K on the upcoming Aurender clock, do you believe a clock in my system would show minimal or large improvements? Thank you kindly.
    Gene
    Thank you and thank you for watching. Well, I was until the price went up! An MSB Discrete is now $12,500. So if you can splurge a bit more, than yes, MSB Discrete with your N20 is FANTASTIC. You would most definitely want the second PSU ($1450) and the ProUSB/ProISL Module ($2K).

    As for the clock, since I’m recommending the ProUSB, than the word clock cannot be used with Pro USB because the Pro USB/ProISL itself is reclocked.

    So, focus on the MSB Discrete with second PSU (giving you one PSU for the DAC’s analog section and one PSU for the DAC’s digital section) and the ProUSB/ProISL.


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    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Enleum (Bakoon), Esoteric, Finite Elemente, FirstWatt, Focal Loudspeakers and Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, HiFi Rose, Innuos, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
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  25. #25

    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Despite the price increase, the Discrete does look like an amazing choice in the price range. Been looking at this myself for the Aurender N200 >> ??? >> Luxman 595.
    Kevin

    VPI Aries 3/Grado Reference3, and Aurender N200 > PS Audio DS DAC. Luxman L-595A integrated amp. Sonus Faber Elipsa SE speakers. PS Audio P5 and P10. Transparent Audio, Cardas and Audioquest cables.

  26. #26
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    I got the latest Aqua La Scala from Mike some months ago..

    I recently bought some crazy expensive NOS tubes for it, and now would compare it to any dac out there for sheer musical engagement...
    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Omega & Sigma USBs; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Aqua La Scala II Optologic DAC; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  27. #27

    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    If the goal is pure "musicality" - start the comparisons with Lampizator
    Devialet Expert 440 Pro | Dynaudio Confidence 50 | 2x SVS SB16-Ultra
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  28. #28
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Delija View Post
    If the goal is pure "musicality" - start the comparisons with Lampizator
    DONE!!!
    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Omega & Sigma USBs; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Aqua La Scala II Optologic DAC; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  29. #29

    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    I got the latest Aqua La Scala from Mike some months ago..

    I recently bought some crazy expensive NOS tubes for it, and now would compare it to any dac out there for sheer musical engagement...
    Hey Jim
    Mind sharing what those magic tubes are?
    Thanks
    Parker
    EMM/Ayre/Aqua/Aurender/MBL/Luxman/W4S/Absolare/AGD/NAD/Classe/Bayz/Fleetwood/Revel/B&W/Audience/Echole/Puritan Audio Labs/Shunyata/AQ/Sablon/FTA/Sony ES/Pioneer Elite/Parasound/Gallo/JL Audio/ASC/Stillpoints/GIK/Vicoustic/Symposium/Acoustic Revive/A/V Room Service [and, sadly, only one pair of ears...]

  30. #30
    Senior Member
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Telefunken NOS ECC 801s, matched pair. Replaced stock ECC-81s.
    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Omega & Sigma USBs; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Aqua La Scala II Optologic DAC; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  31. #31
    Senior Member
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Although it is a bit counter-intuitive (given the price range), MSB owners seem to move up to higher-priced MSB DACs, and you (or Mike) may be able to find a used Discrete (with the necessary options) in your preferred price range.
    Rob
    __________________________
    Tascam BR-20; Technics 1506 with tape path upgrades, FM head, DeHavilland 222 tape head pre; Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS; Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS; MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out); Pass Labs XP-12, XA60.8 (pair); Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s, VMPS Larger Sub; Daedalus/Wywires, Acoustic Zen, Sablon Audio, Wireworld, Shunyata Research cables; Core Power Equi=Power;
    Adona rack, ​​​​​Stillpoints, IsoPods, ASC, GIK Acoustics accessories

  32. #32
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Similar to nicoludio and jethropugh I discovered the Weiss DAC 502. Best DAC I have heard, maximum musical engagement. At ÂŁ9k itÂ’s a bit of a bargain. Has the option to use as a pre and has a built in balanced headphone amp that is no slouch.
    Compared with
    DCS Bartok
    Chord Dave
    Esoteric master discrete in N-05XD
    Topping D90
    Gryphon Diablo 300 (DAC board)
    If you are in UK give Mike at Criterion a buzz very friendly and super accommodating.
    (No affiliation in case youÂ’re wondering)

  33. #33
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    PS Audio Directstream is a very old model, which is about to be replaced by DS Mk2. You could pick up a very cheap DS Mk1 when the market floods with used ones when owners upgrade to Mk2. Alternatively, a new Ayon DAC would be an excellent choice. For the money hard to beat.
    Speakers: Magico M3,ACC, S-SUB | Electronics: Esoteric Grandioso stack | Amplification: Halcro |
    Analog cables: Crystal Cable | Digital cables: Shunyata Sigma | Rack: YG Acoustics Rack 1.4
    and Rack 1.1 amp stands (pair) | Source: Kaleidescape Premiere

    On order: Shunyata Research Everest.
    On sale: Everything!

  34. #34
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Thank you and thank you for watching. Well, I was until the price went up! An MSB Discrete is now $12,500. So if you can splurge a bit more, than yes, MSB Discrete with your N20 is FANTASTIC. You would most definitely want the second PSU ($1450) and the ProUSB/ProISL Module ($2K).

    As for the clock, since I’m recommending the ProUSB, than the word clock cannot be used with Pro USB because the Pro USB/ProISL itself is reclocked.

    So, focus on the MSB Discrete with second PSU (giving you one PSU for the DAC’s analog section and one PSU for the DAC’s digital section) and the ProUSB/ProISL.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Hi Mike. Since you carry Luxman, I assume at one time you've heard the Luxman DA-06 DAC. Can it still hold its own against current DAC's in the 6-8 thousand dollar range as the level of diminishing returns kicks in or are current dacs that much superior? I like the Luxman's liquid, smooth characteristics. Also, If I didn't want to go all out on the fully loaded MSB Discrete, how would a WEISS 501 match with the Aurender N20? Thanks.
    Gene

    Spectral DMC-30SS preamp
    Spectral DMA-300SV amp
    Aurender N20 Streamer
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    MIT speaker and interconnect
    Furutech Flux 50 NCF; NCF powercords; JPS Labs in-wall 10 gauge
    Speakers - still searching

  35. #35
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene15352 View Post
    Hi Mike. Since you carry Luxman, I assume at one time you've heard the Luxman DA-06 DAC. Can it still hold its own against current DAC's in the 6-8 thousand dollar range as the level of diminishing returns kicks in or are current dacs that much superior? I like the Luxman's liquid, smooth characteristics. Also, If I didn't want to go all out on the fully loaded MSB Discrete, how would a WEISS 501 match with the Aurender N20? Thanks.
    If not Discrete, than Aqua La Scala all day long. D-06 is good, but La Scala is better. Put some NOS tubes into it and it’s beyond better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  36. #36
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    Re: DAC's $5k - $11k

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    If not Discrete, than Aqua La Scala all day long. D-06 is good, but La Scala is better. Put some NOS tubes into it and it’s beyond better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Aqua La Scala is fantastic. Pairing with a LinQ (thanks Mike!) takes it to another level. Also agree on the NOS tubes. I added some Telefunkens to great effect.
    Morgan

    NEW SYSTEM UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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