Budget DAC ‘18


Hi all. I’ve seen older discussions on this topic, but with the pace of change, I thought a fresh look might be in order.

Looking for a DAC from:
* Roon Hifiberry Digi+ Via Coax
* Apple TV via toslink streaming Tidal (for wife).

Going into a Fisher tube, currently running ADS L710’s, but will likely be looking for more detailed speakers.

No headphone use

No USB input

Source material is mainly ripped cd’s through Roon, with some higher res coming down the pike in the future.

Looking to spend no more than $300 - $500.

Off the bat, I’m considering Schiit Modi2 Multibit.

Open to buying used.

Thank you all in advance!!


jonnyz
They all have a build quality commensurate with their price-point, with an audio performance in lock-step.

At your stated $300-$500 price-point strata, there is a negligible-to-nil audio performance differentiation between all of the contenders and pretenders.

TAKEAWAY:  Until you generally start going well north in $$$ at multiples of your stated price-point,  it's generally just a "pick one-of-'em" exercise for you.
For Redbook sources I don't think you can beat the Modi Multibit for $250. I've found its USB input not as good as its coax. I also have a Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus and its pretty close to the Modi if you add an external PS and has much better USB input. Both are well within your budget. Benchmark DAC1 is also a very good DAC if you can find one used.
Given that you don't need USB and are willing to buy used I would search for an older DAC(+2010) having a robust power supply and quality analog output stage. Benchmark DAC1, PS Audio Digital Link III. Schitt Bifrost multibit, to name three, and there are others within your price range. 

New and at $250 I agree the Modi is a good product at that price, has wallwhort power supply I believe.
There are several of these on Ebay

https://www.stereophile.com/content/peachtree-dac149it-da-converter-page-2


Thanks everyone.  I'm now thinking that the used, better quality DACs, like the Benchmark DAC1, might be the way to go.  As discussed, I am not using the USB input.  

Would there be anything I might be missing on the chip side of things if I go this route?   

Are there any other oldies but goodies that you might add to the list, which can be had for under $500 used?

With gratitude!

Jonathan