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jaymark i think you are going to be quite pleased with your decision to adapt a music server/dac as your digital source. i could not be happier and listen much more know then when i used spinning silver discs. i chose the berkeley and do not want for more. i find the sound difficult to describe but i had no idea my system could sound this could. i also use the volume control in the alpha dac so it is a very simple path, no preamp. i have read good things about all three dacs you are considering so i would imagine you are going to be happy with any. from my experience and anyone else who has listened in my home, i can highly recommend the berkeley.
enjoy your new direction.
I have found the Zodiac Plus to be an outstanding DAC with the Music Vault Diamond, Retail is $2495, a number of my customers find it out performs the Berkley Alpha DAC.
The Plus has what I call smile factor, whenever I play it I find myself smiling while I listen to the music.
Neal Van Berg,
720 308 4000