$1000 should be spent for a NOS DAC or a turntable?


Hi,
I have a budget of $1000. I am looking for an organic, honest and neutral source.  Should I spend money on a NOS DAC or a turntable?

The music I listen to is vocal, jazz, classical.

Thank you!


Ag insider logo xs@2xquanghuy147
How is your room acoustics? If not thought of, spend it there first.

The thing about a DAC is streaming. The online catalogs are pretty amazing.
Do you have a record collection? Cheers,
Spencer 
Thank you all for your replies.

@erik_squires 
I am living in a rented room. I have no intention to treat it for now.

@ sbank
I don't have any record collection now.

@coach59
I read some articles, they said NOS DAC will provide "the most organic sound" . I am not sure how true it is but want to try :)
What's the rest of your system? 
What have you listened to(analog and digital) that moved you and made you want to listen more? Cheers,
Spencer
Then headphones and a tube headphone amp/dac. :)
Looking for a source, what is rest of your system? 

A DAC alone is not a source, must be fed a signal. 

Not having a record collection already, I would think digital.

Look into MHDT DACs.  
Or save the grand, until you are living in a bigger place.

I travel a lot for business and have spent months at a time in hotel rooms or long stay rented rooms.

Now, I use a good set of headphones and occasionally an outboard speaker.  Alternate between a MacBook Pro or a Chrome Book.  20 years back it was a CD boombox that saw many miles.  Foreign TV if I am desperate for background noise.  

Does the trick, then again I am working most of the day.  I am tired at night.  Will see live music whenever I can.     

Rich 
1) Some DACs that upsample take care of intersample overs and reduce jitter. A case could be made for NOS vs a poor upsampling implementation, but I fail to see any case for NOS vs oversampling. I don’t think NOS DACs adjust the noise floor when doing digital volume control either (I could be wrong), so you lose resolution unless you keep it’s output maxed out.

2) DACs have very fast diminishing returns, a $100 DAC vs a $100,000 DAC sounds magnitudes more similar (if you listen to them double-blind, level-matched, and quick switching) compared to a pair of speakers that are $500 vs $5000.

3) If you don’t have a vinyl setup, I wouldn’t start one now. Maybe down the road once you have your system fledged out.

4) For $1100 the RME ADI-2 DAC is probably unmatched, and very versatile with the EQ. However, the $250 SMSL SU-8 is excellent for the price. If you have the funds, buy both and return the one you think isn’t worth it.

@mesch 
 
He’s stated that he’s looking at NOS because they are more “organic”, I highly doubt he wants the coloration tube DACs add.
+1 mzkmxcv! The proliferation of DAC's (especially the expensive ones) is a marketing ploy to extract more money from the gullible and neurotic! I still prefer and use one-box CD players!
A turntable requires a cartridge, and a phono preamp too. All eat away at your budget. Also record prices are at an all time high and great records really hard to find cheap, used. Where, on the other hand, used CDs are dirt cheap and tons of great stuff is easy to find.SO... For those reasons alone. (and nothing to do with sound quality) I say find a nice used DAC so you can find and play plenty of music. 
If you buy the turntable, you will have near zero to play on it. and it will cost a lot for each record you buy.        
Good luck.
Thank you all for your valuable input. I was not aware turntable route demands money and time.

I will go for a DAC then, when my budget allows more I will go for a decent turntable with matching accessories.

My current system is Quad 909/99, Devore Nines. As for DAC, there are some candidates I found so far:
-Schiit Yggy (easy to find a used one in market)
-Audial Model S (more rare, not popular)
-Metrum Acoustics Menuet (not as rare as the Audial but still difficult to find one)

The used ones cost about $1500. I can stretch a little bit to avoid future update (hopefully).

Best,
Huy.


I would suggest the Yggy..           
Good luck!
It sounds like you have it sorted, but at that budget I'd say a DAC, no question. You can get the non-SE, coax-only Border Patrol for just under your budget and have a very, very musical DAC. Might not be the best measuring, but whatever.

I just recently got back into CDs (not a streaming guy) from a turntable and while I still use both, you cannot argue the sound quality of a good transport, good dac, and very, very cheap media. If you can or want to stream music, then that's even more reason. 
OP, don’t invest in an LP playback system if you don’t have a record collection.