The V-DAC did considerably better in a test in HIFICRITIC. Also beat out the Benchmark. I bought one on the basis of it, not broken yet as I just got it yesterday.
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HiFi Critic sound quality test results (from the cheapest to the most expensive DAC; all prices in British Pounds/GBP):
Pro-Ject USB BOX @ 100 GBP - 22 points
Firestone Audio Fubar II USB @ 124 GBP - 25 points
MF V-DAC @ 150 GBP - 42 points
CA DacMagic @ 230 GBP - 32 points
Acustic Energy DAC @ 800 GBP - 26 points
Benchmark DAC1 Pre USB @ 1633 GBP - 24 points
V-DAC was had also the best jitter measurments they had ever tested.
I am using it as a decoder in a conventional 2 channel with Meridian transport. I spent 4 hours ABing it with my Audio Synthesis DAX tonight. By pure chance I eventually discovered that transferring the Oyade GPX power cord to the Meridian transport from the DAX made considerably more difference than switching between DACs. I am more than happy with the Meridian- GPX -V DAC but think there is still room for improvement so my wife is getting me a Little Pinkie V power supply for Christmas. The V Dac was also good for computer use, beating the rest at this also.
I had a V-DAC and then bought a DAC Magic and I preferred the DAC Magic and so did everyone else and the I returned the V-DAC. The sound was fuller, it had a better soundstage, and I thought the detail was much clearer.
That said, I know there's someone reading this right now who thinks the exact opposite :)
I've owned the Benchmark DAC 1, the PS Audio DL III, as well as a Musical Fidelity V-DAC, haven't heard the DAC Magic.
To me, the Benchmark was too bright/harsh. The PS Audio was very nice, smooth yet detailed. But I ended up keeping the V-DAC. For about a third of the price of the PS Audio, it was very, very close. I'm still not sure if I heard a difference or if I thought the PS Audio was better because it looked nicer and cost more. I liked the V-DAC so much that I just ordered a second one for my headphone system.