Audio Note NOS Dac, no analogue filtering, tube output stage.
DAC 3.1X Balanced...
DAC 3 Signature...
If you buy s Lumin d1 player it uses Dual Wolfson best dacs
Mojo make a a Great 12 volt external power supply for around $2700 you have s setup thst will best dacs 3z-4 x thst ,no B.S..
Mojo audio even gives you 40 days to prove just how good his Linear 12v Linear dupply is, or money back.
I tried several lesser power supplies.
Exogal DAC chip is PCM4104, which is delta-sigma.
But regardless of it they have proprietary DSP prior to it, and it is a very, very good DAC, expecially at used prices.
I briefly had it - and it was better then OPPO-105, but lost greatly to AYON CD-5 (with 4 1704 chips in differential mode and spectacular 6H30 balanced analog stage with tube rectification). I got AYON used at the price lower then your limit. But it does not support DSD and USB input is crap (not like I care but some people do).
can you not get into the ladder DAC's at that price range they seem to be the best for organic sound. some one may be able to chime in here.
no chip is the best chip. ;-)
check out AudioStream ( Digital web site related to Stereophile) so much info on DAC's(digital in general) and many many reviews.
+1 for the AudioNote DAC's they are fantastic..
I am a month into enjoying a Holo Spring level 3 DAC. In my system (Audio Research, Aurender and ProAc) this DAC has great 3D soundstage and detail without sounding overly bright and analytical. It has NOS and 3 oversampling features. Price-wise, it is well within your budget.
QB9 uses Burr-Brown, no? Codex uses Sabre.
Like said above, how about Hugo TT or the new Qutest?
Otherwise Metrum Onyx/Jade or Audial Model S USB https://www.audialonline.com/model-s-usb/
Another great DAC you might find used is the Resolution Audio Cantata.
Look into the Border Patrol DAC SE . I think its organic and open/transparent character would appeal to you based on past and current systems/components you’ve had. A used Audio Note DAC 3.1 or used Concert Fidelity DAC (may be more expensive than 3500.00). I believe you would like these as well.
i think the original Mytek Manhattan is a spectacular dac competitive with dacs up to 10k. Great build quality and excellent feature set. It was at least as musical in a trial with a much more expensive dac that is very popular and well regarded. In addition it can be updated if one feels the need to attain MkII status. FWIW
If you want just a dac and not willing to do any mod, the current best value/quality you like (dynamic w/ wide sound stage) below $3500 is gustard x22.
However, i found the best purchase i made in past a few years is oppo 205. It is perfect as a network player, disk player, cd/Dvd player and best dac under $$4000(after simple power supply mod) using balanced output. Every time i listning
Four seasons in dsd128, i can not help waving with the rythem.
This oppo 205 designe is what a highend digital frontend suppose to be done, it makes use of lm Ic in i/van and buffer stage,which is better than those discret solid state design.
I can advise you how to mod 205 with minimum effort.
I sold a Weiss DAC202 and an Auralic Vega for it.
My buddy sold his Weiss Medus for it.
It is the LessLoss Echos End ladder dac. The most natural and musical sounding digital reproduction I have ever heard ( or my buddy. And he's heard it all and has the means to buy anything. He's sticking with the LessLoss ).
While new it is a tad over your budget, used its within reach.
Cheers, Crazy Bill
If you can find a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC for under 3K it is certainly good enough to present an amazing hologram with the right system and set up. I love mine....the PS Audio Perfect DAC II was also very musically pleasing (under 1500 used)....The Ayre Codex is also in the league but offers minimalist connections as does the QB 9 DSD...both Ayres can be found used under 1500. Benchmarks latest has been highly regarded as well.
Audio Research DAC8(released 2010) is a great sounding DAC. It’s good for 24/192. They don’t come up for sale often though. I own one and just ordered a second I lucked into from TMR Audio. The USB does not work well unless you have a 2012 Mac Mini(or older) with the correct driver AND OS X 10.9. And forget using it with Windows! I now use Bluesound Node 2s via coax and the sound is amazing. Expect to pay 1800-2400 if you can find one.
That Audio Note 3 is definitely on my radar but was curious on those Dacs based upon excellent reviews and lots of buz...
What other Dacs have you compared to your AN3? Just found this from a quick search on Audiogon:
I have spent a bunch of time with the PS Audio DirectStream Junior (DSJ) and have a review coming out soon. The only other DAC in this discussion that I’ve heard is the Chord Dave. With the latest software update (Redcloud), I believe the DSJ comes pretty close to the Dave. It is not as quiet and clean but at least via its Bridge II network interface, it is extremely natural, direct-sounding (free of digital haze) and musically satisfying. My previous reference DAC was the PCM1704-based Monarchy NM24 with tube output and upgraded caps and I/V resistor. The DSJ exceeds it in most every parameter except lower midrange richness, which is close but it’s hard to beat tubes. You can find some comments on the sound after the software update on my blog, http://taww.co.
Curious on which of the three Dacs listed below are better since Benchmark utilizing something no other Dac use, inter-sampling
Supposedly the Yggdrasil also uses something no other DAC uses:
Yggdrasil is the *world’s only closed-form multibit DAC*, delivering 21 bits of resolution with no guessing anywhere in the digital or analog path. We’ve thrown out delta-sigma D/As and traditional digital filters to preserve the original samples all the way through from input to output