Bel Canto DAC 3 vs. 3.5

Hey there,

I've got an opportunity to buy the DAC 3 for 1200$,
I've heared the c5i with my Focal Micro Utopia Be's and it sounded great, But I'm looking for something more 'suitable' for my Utopia's.
For 1200$, will I find better DAC than the DAC3 ?
I've spoke with the local dealer and he said even the new DAC1.5 is better than the DAC3 (I seriously doubt it).

What do you guys think?

Thanks, and sorry for my english.
I think, here we are. DACs were almost dead a few years ago and now they're amongst the hottest pieces in all of audio. I had the DAC 3 in my system and then heard it as a DAC 3VB. No comparison. I wouldn't buy a DAC 3 on its own, but what I heard from a DAC 3VB -- magic. I'm sure the 3.5VB is even better, but where do you stop? And I'd bet a good chunk of change a DAC 3VB sounds significantly better than a DAC 1.5 non VB, but I could be wrong. If you can get a DAC 3VB on the cheap you should probably jump on it and live with it happily for a while as the digital landscape continues to shake out. Paying big bucks for a DAC these days seems like a big risk, so buying a great DAC on the cheap seems like a pretty good strategy. Best of luck.
Depends on the sound you are looking for. I had the Dac3 and 2.5. They are very similar but I slightly preferred the 3, which I found to be a little warmer. They are very clean and detailed sounding Dacs while not bright or edgy but maybe lacking soul and body for some. At the price you should consider the Metrum Octave or at least look into it. Really organic NOS sound but very detailed and transparent and precise as well. No fuzziness here. Design is minimalist and cannot do 192khz however. That is one thing Bel Canto does very well - feature rich.

I've owned the c5i as well and found the dac section very mediocre. I thought the pre and power amp sections outclassed it, which compelled my sale. If you want warm and lush consider the MHDT Havana. It sounds great with just a good tube but there are a few simple mods that really boost it.
On a different note, $1200 is not exactly a killer deal for a DAC3. I bought mine for $800 and have seen them in that range before. I would not pay more than a $1000.
You might get away with $800 but I think it's pretty rare, though maybe not so much these days with so much newer competition in the price range. I think closer to $1k sounds about right.

It is an excellent DAC, though. I enjoyed mine very much and spent a whole lot more to replace it with a Berkeley Alpha DAC (Series 1, then Series 2)... but now I've "stepped back" to the Metrum Octave and it comes very close to the BADA Series 2, even besting it in some key areas of musicality.

There are many good options to consider at that price -- a used Calyx 24/192, Audio-Gd, Eastern Electic, etc, etc. -- and unfortunately no easy answers as to which you will prefer.