Absolute top tier DAC for standard res Redbook CD

Hi All.

Putting together a reference level system.
My Source is predominantly standard 16/44 played from a MacMini using iTunes and Amarra. Some of my music is purchased from iTunes and the rest is ripped from standard CD's.
For my tastes in music, my high def catalogues are still limited; so Redbook 16/44 will be my primary source for quite some time.

I'm not spending DCS or MSB money. But $15-20k retail is not out of the question.

Upsampling vs non-upsampling?
USB input vs SPDIF?

All opinions welcome.

And I know I need to hear them, but getting these ultra $$$ DAC's into your house for an audition ain't easy.

Looking for musical, emotional, engaging, accurate , with great dimension. Not looking for analytical and sterile.
Hi Matt, can you tell us more detail about your preference of K-01 S-dly2/4X over DSD/off for classical music?

Saluti, Guido
Its all in the detail.
I found that the y2/4x setting (more 4x then y2) was more transparent and accurate then the DSD. You clearly give up accuracy for musicality going from 4x to DSD. There is a sense of tube warmth to the DSD/off setting that the Y2/4x doesn't offer me. Almost a tube vs solid state experience.

The y2/4x setting provides more accuracy, more high end extension (much more) and much better delineation of performers and instruments within space. Sound stage is about the same with both.

Jon2020 said that the S-dly settings are warm, slow, boomy and laid back. I find the DSD to be warm and more laid back. The S-dly settings are more cool and fast (as he described the FIR settings). Jon, can you describe the rest of your system? Im dying to see why we get so different results with the same settings. Are your settings well broken in? I didn't listen to the FIR settings, so I have no true opinion as they are not burned in….

Hope that helps…

Guido, the K-01 would freakin SING with your Aeris DAC!!!!! wink wink….

I ordered an Amp Audio for my iPhone,so I no longer need an expensive hifi system.


We are actually in full agreement.

When I put up this list :-
"1. Cool, dry, lean, thin, fast -> FIR1/2
2. Warm, slow, boomy, laid-back -> SDLY 1/2
3. Balanced - DSD",
I meant that the settings to be used depends on the overall sound of a system or recording. So, if cool, dry, etc -> use FIR. If warm, slow, etc -> use SDLY. And in a well balanced system, the DSD setting is best.
Hope this clarifies.

As to your finding that the ODSE is better as a straight DAC, I predicted that in several posts back. :) What might improve your current SQ is the addition of a usb-spdif converter from the mac mini to the ODSE.

Cheers! J.