Any suggestion on DAC below $1,500


Hello,

I am looking for suggestion with DAC around $1,000 but if the price around $1,500 and the sound will be MUCH BETTER than $1,000 then I can go with $1,500.  At first I was going to buy Schiit Gungnir as suggested by someone here but I put it on hold due to my vacation.  

Thank you,
eddy1
I believe the Bryston BDA-1 to be an excellent choice in the <$1000 price range used. Many inputs, balanced/unbalanced outs. For USB use a USB/SPDIF converter. Many BDA-1s and converters  for sale on AG.
Emotiva DC-1
If you can do without DSD and want a R2R multibit dac I highly recommend the Audio-GD Master 19 for $800
Alan
Thank you.

Check out the $870 delivered Gustard X20.....two people have said they like it better than Schiit Yggy and Vega.  I will have mods for it soon. 

Post removed 
I guess you cannot put a link in anymore.  Some info on the Gustard DAC is on the Whats best forum.....scroll down to Blizzards Corner.
Take a look at the BMC PureDAC. It’s a little above your price range but it delivers outsize performance, build quality, features and reliability. I have heard it on a number of occasions in a number of different systems and it always delivers. Plenty of reviews out there too.
Thank you.
Other question.  Would the system with external DAC sound would be MUCH better that without external DAC?  Can normal people that not into hi end audio can notice a difference?  
What system?

Hi mesch, Cary SLI-80, Sony CD player, Sonus Faber Venere 2.5.  If not a big difference in Sound quality then I would use that money to invest into TT first.
Hi Eddy,
Yes, the difference w/one of the discussed dacs will be big. If you have no LPs and lots of digital music, get the dac first. 
As the one who originally suggested the Schiit Gungnir Multibit ($1249 direct from them) I can tell you that I've heard the new Gustard playing DSD (which is one thing the Schiit doesn't do -- not an issue for most since DSD music selection and viability is much to be debated!). It's pretty great for $849, but IMHO any money spent on that brand would lose 50% value immediately. They aren't a well established player and although two or dudes write about them frequently on What's Best Forum, the is a far cry from reputation of Schitt Audio and how there are more ads online for "Wanted" than "For Sale". Since we last talked, I bought the Gungnir and am glad I did. 
I heard it in the same system as the Schiit, but on different day so I can't trust memory alone, but I think the Schiit is still best in it's price class and the Yggy is still the best value in digital overall. To potentially beat it, I'd be looking at a Bricasti at ~ triple the price, and that could be a close competition. Cheers,
Spencer
Hello Spencer,
Good to hear from you again.  Thank you so much for your help.  
Regards,
Eddy
I'm enjoying the sound of my Rega DAC-R a great deal from a variety of sources, even an early-gen Apple Airport Express at times. It's made digital compelling enough that I'm taking a very long time choosing a TT.

I didn't listen to as many DACs as I should've before I bought it, so I can't comment much on differences with competitors. It's very well reviewed and within the budget mentioned.
Eddy, is the DAC for your CD Player?  Or are you looking at hooking up a laptop/PC?


There's a Bel Canto DAC3.5VB MkII with Virtual Battery Supply for sale here a little over your price.  I had a DAC3VB in my system on demo and it was silly good.  The VBS brings the DAC to an altogether higher level that makes it truly special (I had the standard DAC3 in my system at the time for direct comparison).  Read reviews of the 3.5VB in Stereophile and Ultra Audio.  Holds its own against some of the best DACs available.  Best of luck. 

Thank you everyone for suggestion.

mustangjeff,  for both CD player and soon will be streaming musics too.
Another great choice to consider would be Chord Electronics' Qute EX, or the newer 2Qute.  You can get the EX on the pre-owned market (when they show up, grab it quick!) for about $900.  I've heard many, and this one's got something special going on.  Eastern Electric's DSD DAC Supreme w/ a Sparko Labs Op-Amp upgrade ($1590 complete @ list prices) is also quite good.  Good luck! 
I own a Rotel RDD-1580 and absolutely LOVE it. One of the best easily up to $1500 that retails for $800. If you can get it second hand it's worth every penny. 
I second the Gustard x20. It approaches the palpablity of good vynl. Look for threads on head fi and Amazon review, in addition to What's best forum.
No doubt the Gustard X20 is the hot ticket at this price level at this time.
Wyred4Sound.  And they're upgradeable!  I've received excellent support and the sound is excellent.
I have found this to be a very interesting DAC.  Well under $1500.  Haven't noticed any warts or problems.  Very clean, detailed, spacious soundstage and stable imaging.  It preforms like a really good DAC should.  I really like that particular chipset and DAC processor.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251473429943?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

If you can, pick up a factory refurbished NAD M51, usually ring at between $1,100-1,500.

Factory refurbished for the discounted price and same excellent quality, while maintaining a warranty when purchased through an authorized retailer.
I'll take the other side of this coin.   Eddy, I would tell you that the idea that you will hear a "big" difference between these dacs, even from $500 to $1500, is highly debatable.  You are welcome to go with what everyone is saying, but you should be prepared for the possibility that you don't hear much of a difference, or the difference is so small you'll wish you'd spent the money on something else.    Maybe there are huge differences between dacs that cost $300 and $10,000, I don't know because I've never heard a $10K dac.  But $1000 vs $1500?   Good luck with that.   I like Coli's suggestion of the Emotiva DC-1, or you could go with a Peachtree Dac-itx for $300 (I have one), the Schiit Bifrost is a nice unit and you can get the multi-bit version for under $600.   Tons of great choices well under $1000, even under $600.   
USB A-B cable from computer to DAC.
Is regular Belkin 15 ft cable would be ok? Or need to be a better cable.

Thank you,
Here is the cable.   

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-BELKIN-F3U133-06-GLD-USB2-HI-SPEED-CABLE-GOLD-SERIES-6FT/111878549654?_t...