I don't know the amp but I actually found the M803 SII speakers to sound quite good when I owned a pair, particularly at their price point. Something like the Metrum Hex or Auralic Vega might be a good deal for you if purchased used, and might fit your price range better. I own the Hex, have auditioned the LaScala II and plan to hear the Metrum Pavane and compare. I will have the LaScala II here again next week for a second look/listen since my first audition was cut short. It is a great sounding DAC but certainly has a tube flavor that seemed focused on richly textured, dense, somewhat rounded, bold sounds with plenty of drive (from the moderately high output voltage). IMO, no significant nits to pick although it certainly has its own sound that some will enjoy greatly and others may find slightly colored in the direction discussed above.
To many, I suspect the La Scala II will sound exceptionally musical and will make them mostly forget comparisons between analog and digital. However, the Hex is very musical and mostly without fault at its price point, although others feel the same way about the Vega...some like chocolate others like vanilla.
The La Scala II will cost you about twice what the other DACs I mentioned will cost used. Only you can decide.
The other question, almost as important, is what you plan to use as a source. John Darko's thoughts on the Antipodes servers mirror my experiences and I highly recommend their servers compared to even very high quality dedicated computer set-ups (e.g., a tricked out Mac mini).
You could do much, much worse than an Antipodes server into the Hex or Vega.
Digital is evolving fast and prices drop too. I wouldn't spend too much on your DAC yet.
I have B&W 804S with tube pre and amp, and use a dedicated computer as music server and only source, connected to a Metrum Octave mk.I and an Audiophilleo with PurePower. Sounds very good.
About 8 months ago I purchased an exaSound e22 that was getting rave reviews, plays native DSD, etc. long story short, it didn't sound better than my Audiophilleo plus Metrum and the price was $3.5k for the e22 vs. $2k for the combined price I paid new two years ago...wasn't worth it and the e22 has been sold. You can probably buy that pair for $1k today.
What's your source/s?
Unless you have paid for a tweaked out Mac, chances are your computer server is a snore for digital playback excitement. Move your music to a Synology NAS and get an Auralic Aries streamer... you are just not providing the source needed to hear what your DAC can do. And oh yeah... the Aries can feed coax to your DAC or you can use the Audiophilleo you have if you prefer it.
Yeah, heard the Schiit Yggdrasil last week at a friend's house and it was really great. It bettered a number of higher priced DACs in his SOTA system.
I've had a mindset that DSD would be a requirement in any future DAC purchases for me, but the "Yggy" has me rethinking that concept. If I had the coin right now, I'd be buying Schiit Yggdrasil. More impressed w/that company each time I hear their gear.
Their sense of humor doesn't hurt either.
My conversation with their rep: I do not think the warm up on this unit is reasonable, to much on time.
With the Yggdrasil thermal equilibrium can take upwards of 48 hours depending on ambient conditions, in a well air conditioned room it can take beyond 48 hours.
On Dec 10, 2015, at 7:28 AM,
Yes, I am very aware of this fact but usually an hour or so will suffice ?
From: Nick T [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:20 AM
Subject: Re: Yggdrasil DAC
Electronics perform better when they reach thermal stability, this can take long enough in the Yggdrasil that turning it on and off is impractical to reach steady state temperatures.
On Dec 10, 2015, at 5:41 AM,
I am not sure why, but all over the internet it states you must leave the Yggdrasil powered on all the time. Why ?
"Thermal equilibrium after 48 hrs", if the ambient stays the same. And this doesn’t mean it will sound better, it could sound better after 1hr
This means night and day, winter summer will sound different unless you keep your house temp constant.
All this is to much voodoo, you’ll send yourself nutz, just listen to it and say to yourself good enough after 1/2hr of being swtiched on.