Mytek stereo 120 dsd dac. The version that has a preamp input $1695
Is there anything up to $2500 that's substantially better? The wyred4sound SE?
Also you mention the m2Tech Young DSD. One review I read said the upper octaves were extremely enhanced and detailed, another said the sound was on the warm side sacrificing a bit of detail and control but very musical.
Has anyone heard the m2Tech?
Still haven't gotten anything. My system is still in flux, so I'm waiting to get the rest of the system in place before I top it off with the right DAC. I'm leaning towards the Hugo but maybe I'll end up with a warmer tube staged DAC depending on the rest of the system.
I recently heard the SOTM DAC and Pre all in one. With a warmer sounding amp it sounded pretty darned good used as a preamp and DAC which justified the $3K, but just as a DAC there are no doubt better $3K units out there.
I have a NAD M51 and it is a great sounding DAC with to me what seems like a purely transparent volume control. You can not tell the difference between variable and fixed outputs at normal settings. It is the best digital volume I have experienced and I've owned a few preamps and another DAC with digital volume.
I don't use it as a preamp but my preamp doesn't have remote so I use the M51's volume often. As a source component it is pretty close to perfect for my needs, I have my TV, music server, and BluRay connected to it. The HDMI input is great, I play a lot of music/concert BluRays in 2.1 and the HDMI input will accept the 24/96 content from discs and the 24/192 content from the hard drive I have connected to my BluRay.
It sounds incredible with anything you send to it , even free Pandora at 128k sounds pretty good.
The only con and in my opinion a serious omission, is the lack of front panel volume control.
Other than that I love this DAC
Have you looked at the McIntosh D100 Dac/Pre?
Had the chance to audition one and it was very impressive.
I'm not sure if it's worth the $2.5K list, but it was very nice.
I recently went the other way, and picked up a ZDac on closeout for $300.00. Running balanced through an Ayre it's quiet and puts out a nice soundstage with good bass. They do run warm, and some have complained that they are prone to outputting a hum when running unbalanced.
The D100 is definitely better, but at slightly more than 8.3 times the cost. If I had the budget, the D100 along with the PS Audio MWII would definitely be on my shortlist.
Here is an alternative that I'm considering.
As I've read various forum threads over the years, I've learned to appreciate the comments made by a few who seem to know their stuff. And I've also noticed that there are a few topics that these folks all agree on. One of them is room acoustics; getting control of the room environment can have a HUGE benefit on the sound quality of our listening experience.
That said, a decent pre-pro which includes a room EQ might actually sound better than an expensive DAC/pre with no room treatments.
Now, I'll put up my shield and hope none of the arrows from the "true" audiophiles get through.
Bigkidz. How much under $2k? Also how much over $2k does it sound? And does it blow one's mind in a good way?
It is a DHT design think Allnic at $12K so I would imagine that it would compare to that preamp that is getting all out rave reviews. I have been building DHT components for years and now wind my own output transformers because I could not find ones that were good enough. IN the NYC area I can get you one.
I replaced a Chord 64 and DEQX DAC with the new Graham Slee Majestic DAC/Preamp. It is the most analogue sounding digital converter I have heard and I really cannot find fault, very smooth in the same way as the highly rated Slee phono and headphone amps. It is available in the UK, Europe, USA and I believe Australia on a free home loan basis