Buy a $40,000 used DAC for $4,000 or a new one for the same amount?


The advancements in DAC technology make them one of this hobby's most perishable products. But ... what if you can buy a 10 year old DAC for $4,000 that initially cost $40,000? Is it a bargain or waste of money compared to a new DAC that is $4,000? I understand it depends on the specific model etc. But in general, has the technology gotten that much better? And how quickly will the new DAC become outdated? Is it like computers? Past their prime about 3-4 years so you plan to replace them regularly? Thanks for all comments
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I have the Audio Note DAC 5 which has the newest 6463 tube gain boards. I have tried close to a dozen new dacs and none of them except the Berkeley are in the same league as this magical unit based on VERY old school tech. It is so dynamic, textural, holographic, extended with a slightly cool balance. Sure it "only" does 96khz due to the input reciever chip which is upgrade-able but redbook and anything up to 96k is just so far ahead of the latest units I have heard it makes me wonder where the hell have things gone wrong with the advancement of technology.  This does NOT mean that any old school DAC will be a wonder child but at the same time it calls into question the difference between high tech specs vs implementation. 
The below listing  fit this thread pretty well.

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9f852-balabo-bd-1-dac-24-192-new-da-converters



** FANTASTIC FINAL ESTATE SALE **

With the passing of chief designer Fumio Ohashi, we are handling the disposition of all remaining BAlabo inventory. A review of the warehouse has uncovered both new-in-the-box and demo units - available in 115 V and 230 V operation. This listing is for one, new unit, with a 90-day warranty. PowerCon power cord is included.

Worldwide service will be handled by PureAudio, LLC in the USA.

BAlabo’s BD-1 has been at the center many Best Sound awards at both CES and Newport shows including;

CES 2012 from Jonathan Valin at Absolute Sound and CES 2013 and from Greg Weaver at positive Feedback.

"...without question the best sounding system I had the pleasure of listening to at this year’s combined CES/T.H.E. Show was found in the Perfect 8/BAlabo room, in 29-222.


Interesting thread.  On the surface, DACs are nothing more than glorified computers, and yes indeed, why would one spend more than the price of a tricked out desktop for one?  Having dabbled in quite a few different DAC topologies, including NOS chips, DSD-upsampling affairs  and R2R tubed affairs, nothing really stood out.  None of it has the dynamic ease and elasticity of master tape or vinyl.  It is just not there, but that is not to say it won't suddenly get there next year with technology being what it is.  That aside, I would be inclined to score the vintage monster that was well executed rather than some more current sardine can filled with cheap circuit boards.  While I am not an engineer, my suspicion is that the devil is in the details with digital, and thinks like mechanical and electrical grounding and power filtration could be key.  The BAlabo does make an attempt at that while very few of the modern sardine cans seems to.  A friend of mine heard that dac at Mike Powell's and said it was extremely good.  Who knows.  Just my two cents.