Audio Note DAC 5

Just curious, are there (many) audiophiles who want to have the Audio Note DAC 5 and are willing to pay the high price for the device? New price: $50,000, used price $30,000. Another question: is it worth the price? Does the sound quality justify the price? Does it better the top Wadia or the Esoteric, which retail for less?

Think about it. How many people do you know who can drop 30 large (or more!!) on a DAC? 1, maybe 2? I live in a fairly well-to-do area and I don't know *anybody* who would spend that kind of money for an entire system, much less a DAC.

Is it worth the price? If you think it is, it is. However, most folks would tend to look at a price tag like that in shock and disbelief. In my mind, it's VERY hard to justify that kind of money for such a simple device. You can buy a very nice, NEW Lexus or BMW for that kind of money and they are comprised of a great deal many more parts and require more assembly time.

The law of diminishing returns has well and truly kicked in long before you get to $30k+...

I couldn't agree more...$50 or $30K for anything other than maybe a speaker is utterly foolish if you ask me. If had tons of money to burn I still would not spend this much on a DAC. Primarily because you don't need to;there are so many good DACS out there for less money. Case closed.
IMO, you can achieve better overall performance at far less cost. This review helped me to see the light.
I do not agree here. Have any of you guy's actually heard the DAC 5. If you had a superb set-up and the front end was the only thing left to tweak, you would no doubt look to a DAC 5, if money was no really a problem.

To illustrate my point:
I do a lot of maintenance on luxury yachts in Spain. The owners range from very rich and no time to use the boat, to pretty well of and more time, to pretty much no cash and lots of time. They all share the passion for the sport and love enjoying their boats. If you add up the time you spend 'enjoying' the music, and set that as your high points or quality time, how can you put a price on that?

Time is priceless, and unless you believe in reincarnation, this is as good as it gets. If you love music, and want the best, then don't get so negative about folk who are willing to spend this kind of money. I have a humble DAC 1.1, but that blew away everything alse I have heard at demo's up to 4 times the price. I have also heard the DAC 5 at shows, and it was the best unit every time.

Key is listen, then make your mind up....
This is going to seem impossible, but I know three people with DAC 5 signatures. It is a fantastic DAC. All three were hooked up to the 47 labs transport -- crazy, noisy, unreliable, but, I suppose, pretty good sounding -- but apparently pretty good sounding because the combination is magical -- very relaxed, organic sounding without sounding muffled of flacid or dynamically constricted.

This is the best digital I've heard, and I have heard a few of the contenders (full DCS stack, Reimyo, EML, etc.), and I own, and like, a pretty good CDP (Naim CD 555). Is the DAC 5 worth the money? I suppose, if you got that kind of discetionary cash.
I have never heard DAC 5,but i own DAC 2 Signature.It retails for about 4000$.I also did some tube rolling and got much better performance.I sincerely can't see how much more improvement can one make in DAC compared to this one.I have no doubt that DAC 5 is much better,but i can't see in which areas they made the progress that much.I don't think it's worth the extra money (46k).And also,if you spend 50k on DAC5,what will you do when DAC 6 comes out?You gotta sell 5 and buy 6.And so on.It becomes more like a PC market this way,and less a true value.
But i agree it all comes down to time.This is what we get,and you have one shot to make the most of it.If someone gets that kind of enjoyment,than 50k should not be too much.Of course if you have that kind of cash.
It's better to buy DAC 5 than spend 50k on hooker costing 10k/a night.At least in my book.
The 30-50K question that comes to my mind, is it better sounding than an APL NWO 2.5T player for less $$.
"It's better to buy DAC 5 than spend 50k on hooker costing 10k/a night.At least in my book."

Audiobb, You have a sensible book, however, I suspect that many people who buy "best of class" or maybe I should say "most expensive of class" luxury items, aren't making that choice. Demonstrating their success through the acqusition of these trinkets seems to be a sport to some of the wealthy elite. The value of money is not static, it's active.
The gent in your illustration is probably boasting about his 50k toy to his 10k hooker.
Phaelon,I guess you're right.It's also probably o proof of buying power.If i have it,it means i can easily afford it.
I have a DAC 4.1x Balanced Signature, the model right below the 5. It was easily worth the money, at least to me. The sound is superb, and it's not ever going to be a candidate for an upgrade.

As with any gear at this level, if you have the disposable income and the sound is to your taste then it's worth the money. If the answer to either of those criteria is "No", then it's not.

I have never heard a digital component that gives me the satisfaction of the heavy-hitting AN DACs, but in a recent thread on "Reference Quality DACs" it became abundantly clear that others have different sonic and musical priorities that would knock AN out of the running for them.
You should listen to Wavelength Audio gear...Particurlarly the Crimson. Pure magic. : )
If money is no object, its probably worth it.
But for $10,000 i would rather spend it on the accuphase dp78 sacd /cd. Heard this at dealer showroom. I was blown away.
Having owned the Audionote DAC 4.1X balanced for 18 months, IMHO Audionote gear is grossly overpiced here in the U.S. IMHO most of Audionote gear is euphonically colored. Here are some other issues I have with Audionote:

1. Dealer/distribution network is very poor and seems to be constantly changing. I think they have had 3-4 U.S. distributors in the last 5-6 years.

2. Audionote does not have many U.S. dealers. The dealers that they do have do not have much of the Audionote line to demo and nothing in stock to purchase.

3. If you do wish to purchase an Audionote piece, you more than likely going to have to wait to 6-12 months to get it.

4. Build quality of Audionote gear is medicore. The fit and finish of my Audionote CDT2 transport (made in Korea) looked like it was put together by a 10 year old.

Audionote is a subculture within a cottage industry that certainly has it's loyal following. I agree with Oxia, you can achieve better overall performance at far less cost. By the way, I have heard the DAC 5 on at least a half dozen occasions and I wouldn't drop $50K on it.