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I've owned the VDA-2 with VAC-1 and the Peachtree iDAC at the same time. I found the VDA-2 more focused and defined. Bass also seemed to have greater impact. The Peachtree was less focused and its overall signature was laid back and delicate yet detailed. I liked both for different reasons. You could choose one or the other based on your musical tastes. Personally, I think the VDA-2 edges the Peachtree overall. I think it is more transparent and accurate, but it doesn't sound sterile. It's really an excellent DAC and I can understand why Dusty hasn't updated it. It still fully competes and in some cases beats newer DACs. Circuitry design , not just the chip used, is key.
I agree. I demoed both the VDA-2 with the VAC-1 and the DACit and felt the VDA-2 combo was better. I felt there was more air between the instruments and the bass was definitely a bit stronger (only when combined with the Vac-1.) It worked better with my system.I felt the DACit was very "clinical" and sterile which didn't match well with my class D amp.