Best DAC with Volume Control?

I am looking for a few very good DACs that have a volume control to run direct into an amp. What do you suggest or have heard? The Birdland Audio Odeon-Ag with Reclocker is one. Are there any others I should consider? What did you hear and how did yours compare to the top CDPs AA Cap, Mephisto, EMC-1, etc.

Thanks and Happy Listening.
I've owned 2, the Birdland Odeon Lite and the Monarchy Model 33. Of those 2, I think I actaully preferred the Monarchy, but I did not have them at exactly the same time, so there was not a direct comparison.

If I were looking for a DAC w/volume control, I would look for a deal on the previously mentioned Birdland Odeon AG-reclocker or the Benchmark DAC-1. They have both gotten very good reviews.


The Benchmark I have been told offers XLR out volume control?
Audio Aero has a component called the Prima DAC. Actually it should be named the "Capitole DAC" becuase it uses exact D/A section and tubed output w/volume control as the Capitole Mk2 cd player. Retail price is 4995. Expect nearly the same sound from this piece, less the transport section of course.

There is one more added bonus. They are now shipping with 3 analog inputs on the rear so this unit is now a full function preamplifer.
If only playing CD's then check out Ric Schultz at who sells his EVS Ultimate Attenuators for $350 per pair, list price. The attenuators attach directly onto the amplifier RCA input jacks so that there is no separate preamp, and one less set of interconnects needed. You can use any DAC or fixed output CD player. These attenuators act as stepped volume controls with any amp whose sound you love. There is a model for either tube or transistor amp. This allows you to simply look for the best sounding CDP or DAC without caring if volume control provided. The main drawback is that adjusting volume is not by remote control, and the main benefit that the ultimate quality of sound is simply that of the DAC and the amp.
Nagra DAP
Theta Gen VIII
Goldmund 21+. Best DAC I've owned to date.
The Camelot Uther Mark 3 (20 bit) and 4(24bit) are also worth mentioning. They come stock with a 100 step voluime control and output of 6 volts, and can be upgraded to a higher output voltage from the guys at Camelot.

good call. I have two friends that own the Camelot Uther v2 mk4 and it is excellent. Very good 100 step volume control.

BTW, I just ordered a Musical Fidelity CD/pre-24 which is a transport, DAC and pre-amp all in one box. It has gotten great reviews, but is now discontinued.


Agreeing with the Uther recommendation and also adding that the guys at Camelot have a gain modification that will add more pre-output for greater control for about $200. I sent mine back and am waiting to hear what it does. I also love the fact that you can see the display from a normal (12') listening distance.
Benchmark DAC1
may be goldmund 20M .( 40.000 USD retail)
The Odeon AG is far underrated and overlooked, probably because of it's size and price. But it's terrific for the money. Many of the higher priced DACs have a lot of air inside those boxes. The Odeon isn't selling extra real estate. It only uses the space it needs.

I did a serious downsize, after I realized I had way too much invested in audio equipment. I went from the latest DCS Elgar Plus and Purcell with 1394, to the Odeon. The DCS was better, yes. But the price would suggest a much bigger difference. If you looking for the best, go with the DCS. If money matters, check out the Odeon AG w/reclocker.
I use the audio areo prima Dac MKII which is the same dac of the capitol, if you like the AA sound you surely would love the Prima Dac.


PS:It has build-in volume control.
Emm labs DCC2