DAC in Japan

I convinced one of my friends to do some shopping for me in Japan. I am in the market - looking for a DAC. Can you please suggest some brand names that will be cheaper in Japan (i am in US). My budget allows me to go up to $650.

He will be buying online and one of the dacs that I put my eyes on is the CEC DA53.

My system is not a high end (actually I am using it for headphones only): philips dvp642 > darkvoice 336i > hd650.

I would like to add some more detail and sound stage. So, if you can suggest some dac's which will be relatively (or dramatically, lol) cheaper in Japan, I would greatly appreciate the help.

I am not sure how to edit my first post so I am writing again.

Several more questions:

1) Do you know the difference between CEC TL51X and TL51XR? Also, I know that 51XR has mono-dual DAC chips built inside (2x1796 chips for fully balanced output) however I am not sure about the 51X - any insights there?

2) What would be more logical to invest - buying the CD3300R cd player + DA53 dac for $855 OR TL51X cd player for $650?

Buying DACs online in Japan is not noticeably cheaper than buying DACs online elsewhere, except possibly for products like the CEC line (and I say possibly because I do not know what street price for these components is outside of Japan).

FWIW, to my knowledge, there are not that many Japanese stand-alone DACs in that price range. There are a seemingly well-made DACs made by hobbyists which are for sale on the Yahoo Auctions but I have never tried any of them and can only comment on apparent build quality based on pictures.
I hear very good things about this...


I had never heard of the brand. Interesting that they have a tube USB DAC. I will dig around to see if I can find any more about the company.