DAC/Streamers Under 10k - Mytek, PS Audio...


Let's imagine you only listen to streaming music (Tidal, Qubuz, Apple Music, Youtube, etc). Roon is a pretty good way to stream higher quality to a Roon core (though the interface is horrendous) and for everything else you want to use AirPlay (which is lossless). What's the best option for a DAC-Streamer out there? I have a Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, which sounds excellent, but I don't love that I need to attach a USB cable to a computer to get the music to play (using a MacBook Pro currently).

There is the 
- Mytek Manhattan II w/ Network Card - $7k
- PS Audio DirectStream - $6k
- Lumin X1 - $14k (well over budget)
- Ayre QX-5 Twenty - $9k (might not support AirPlay)
- something from NAIM?
- ???

I've seen very few comparisons in the space so I just don't even know what's out there.
(For reference, the system is currently MBP > Mytek Brooklyn > Mc C47 > Mc MC452 > B&W 802 D3 with all Audioquest cabling)
mayoradamwest
I would go a Mytek Manhattan II w/ Network Card but also consider Bluesound in the mix. I am not knowledgeable of tube based equipment, but someone might chime in with their experience.
I am surprised you don’t like Roon. Best interface out there.
Manhattan 2.... a truly great dac and underpriced in this crazy mkt. Solidly replaced a Bricasti M1 which was a surprise to me. It’s pure high end. 
@4425 

did you have the opportunity to compare the Manhattan 2 with other DACs arquitectures, such as PS Directsteam no chip,  some  R2R model  as the Metrum Pavane, or multibit Shiit Dac's?. I ask because many people say  ESS sabre chips based DACs sound no natural. 



just the bricasti. it’s the least expensive unit in my setup and i never think of another dac
Thanks all. I was leaning Manhattan, as I do quite like the sound of the Brooklyn, but wasn’t sure if I was missing some obvious options. The Lumin X1 looks pretty amazing but it’s 2x the cost of the Manhattan.

As for the Roon interface, I’m guessing you’re kidding? It’s practically unusable. The only thing it’s even moderately functional for is searching. My setup now is to use Tidal and Apple Music to browse and discover then search for the specific track or playlist on Roon.
@amg56 if you’re referring to bluesound as just a streamer, then it’s not too interesting as it still doesn’t support AirPlay. As a DAC it’s not even close to the same league as the Mytek (either of them). 
Every well-known international audio producer has a DAC/Streamer, most under $10k
@1graber2 there are quite a few that are integrated amps or pre-amps that have a DAC as an afterthought. My question was around the best one that specifically does streaming and DAC. Anyway, I ordered a Manhattan, as I couldn't find a single comparison where it didn't come out looking great.
Auralic Vega G2
http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/auralic-vega-g2-streaming-dacpreamp/
No Roon,  very nice.

Audio iFi   Pro iDSD
https://hometheaterhifi.com/press-releases/ifi-audio-launches-highly-anticipated-pro-idsd-dacstreame...
Hybrid : solid state and tube
l have one and itl is fine.
Roon ready

DSD files can only be played trought USB


I am new to this, so maybe I misunderstand the question, but I'm surprised to not see the Aurender A10. That gets you the streamer with a built in DAC. Three of the auditions I've had used it and it impressed me greatly.

The PS Audio Directstream with network bridge card does not have a built in DAC.
@ kcpellethead

The PS Audio Directstream with or without network bridge IS a DAC ! I know, I have one with Bridge II and it is an exceptional DAC worth every penny. I use my PS Audio Transport and PS Audio NuWave Phono Pre using the I2S connections as well as the network bridge via JRiver 24 to feed my listening needs.

If the OP hadn’t ordered a Manhattan, I would have highly suggested the PS Audio Directstream w/ Bridge.
@instlouis
A day late and a dollar short, that's me. Also, I was referring to the PSA Directstream Memory Player.
+1 on the directstream.  Believe it.
I too, would have recommended the PS Audio DAC, especially as it can be had for considerably less than it's list price, either through the PS Audio trade-in program (where they credit you for the original MSRP of your used equipment) or from a certain well-known online dealer.  I love mine.  I used it for some time without a preamp, which was fine, but it's even better with a high-quality preamp.  (I've been in heaven since I added the PS Audio BHK preamp to the chain.)  But if you're OK with spending $7K on a DAC, the Manhattan may well be superior.  I haven't heard it.
IMO, the ps audio DS with bridge ii is hard to beat. If you aren’t using some kind of bridge, you are using old technology and sacrificing SQ. Ditch the troublesome usb connection. Also, FPGA dacs are the future and the ps audio DS uses that technology today. If you aren’t using a FPGA dac, you will either be unable to upgrade when new technology comes out or you will have to pay a good sum of $$$$ the upgrade the dac. A case in point, to add MQA support to my ps audio DS dac, I had to update both the DS software and the bridge software, at no cost. My buddy had to pay $1500 to get a new card for his out of date msb analog dac, which still makes his outdated dac outdated.
MOON 280d with Mind2 by simaudio. 
I would personally suggest taking a look at something from Lumin... very happy with mine. If not Lumin, possibly Aurender.
all, I appreciate the suggestions for PS Audio. As you can tell, it was second on my list. I did order the Manhattan II, but if anyone is in the SF Bay Area and would like to set up a side by side comparison, I'd be interested. My only other option is to buy both and sell the one I don't like. There really aren't any comparisons of the two. It might be nice to get a head to head comparison write up. I'm sure both are excellent DACs.
@chachi112 It was tough finding reviews of the S1 and it seems a little out of date with the X1 arriving. That said, I would love to hear them side by side. The nice thing about the Manhattan is that I have the Brooklyn already, so I know I generally like the Mytek sound signature. That said, I may like the Lumin, PS Audio, Chord, or Aurender sound even better.

I've heard the Chord Dave and Huge TT, but not with the same setup as anything else, so tough to compare. I do have a Violectic V800 DAC, and I can't seem to find good info on which chip type it uses, but the Brooklyn does sound better overall (while the V800 does perhaps have sweeter mids).
OP
gotcha. I think you’ve made a good choice with the Manhattan. Don’t want you to second guess your choice, but I would agree with Lumin, Aurender, Naim but also SimAudio MIND-based sources. MIND was one of the first components/modules to showcase 24/192 streaming. 

Also, if you are a member of the SFAS in the Bay Area, you could suggest to Alón (Prez) to have a streamer showdown with other streamers for comparison. 
Best
Mayorwest we sell almost all the brands you are looking at Lumin, Aurender, Mytek, plus a ton of others T plus A, Naim.

Please give us a call to discuss

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
@audiotroy I appreciate that, but I'm more interested in comparing in-home with someone who has a PS Audio or Lumin at this point. 

@1graber2 good suggestion. I'd never heard of that group until now. Will look into it! I've got 3 DACs now, so a showdown seems necessary! Would love to compare an R2R.
Personaly  Mayor i wouldnt make a move until the new Naim Ndx  2 hits.

The design of this $7500 streaming Dac is off the charts and will most likely be unbeatable at the price point.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
@audiotroy   What, in your opinion, are some of the top / reference level network players on the market today (that don't offer an integrated DAC)? Thanks.
happy to try the Naim when it becomes available. Until it's out there and has reviews, I need a DAC, and found a good price on the Manhattan. Even if I resell it, I doubt I'll lose money.
35 dollar google chrome going into any of Chord's DAC will sound as good as any other streamer going a Chord's FPGA DAC. Save on a streamer, get Auralic Aries feed it over USB and a Google Chrome Audio to feed it over TOSLINK and spend the money on Chord Dave. 
Mayor we are a Myter dealer let us know your price we might be able to assst youi


For clarification, I found a good price used on audiogon and usaudiomart. They do pop up from time to time and I jumped on one. There is a great price on the PS Audio as well. I mean, that’s why we’re all here, on the forums of a used marketplace, right?
David Ten, their are only a few reference level  streaming devices on the market you will either have a computer/streaming kind of device:

Baestis, Antipodes, Innous, SGM, Aurender, Naim Core

and 

the dedicated network streamer without storage:

Lumin, Auralic, 

One of the leading questions is do you want to use Roon and or Jriver?

We find that upconversion to higher upsampled PCM or DSD usually sounds way better than 16/44

The Innous new statement is probably the finest digital source currently available the design and feature set of this piece is off the charts:

1: custom motherboard
2: custom usb board
3: custom software
4: femto clocks 
5: massive regulated outboard power supply
6: shock mounted drives
7:incomming ethernet noise filter
8: usb isolation

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
You'll be happy with the Manhattan II.....especially if you are used to the Mytek sound with you Brooklyn.  I think you would have been disappointed with the PS DAC...a softer, more euphonic sound than Mytek.
@tdimler thanks! I watched several of the PS Audio videos on YouTube. I thought it was interesting that the founder specifically mentioned not really liking B&W, which makes me think the DirectStream and 802 might not be the best combo anyway. I’m looking for an accurate, uncolored sound with authority. In particular, for orchestral music. 
I can't speak to Streamers, but, the Audio Alchemy DAC/Pre (and stereo amp) is//are amazing at any sensible price and they have a Streamer
Erratum

Auralic Vega G2 is roon ready.
It is rather MQA files that are not in his options
I own  an Exogal Comet Plus DAC and  am patiently waiting for it's companion streamer  the Vortex X1 to be released in the next couple of weeks. I really like the Exogal sound, and it's quite affordable gear.
Hi all... Just took delivery of a Manhattan II with network card (no phono preamp as yet... likely upgrade soon). Note that I am coming from a PS Audio DS and before that, an Auralic Vega. My setup, real quick, is running the Manhattan as preamp to BMC M2 mono amps which power a pair of Focal Utopia Scala (v1). Most of my music is stored in a Sony HAP-Z1ES server connected via usb to the Manhattan.

All in all, I am blown away. I cannot speak to Lumin or Aurender, but I cannot imagine resolution, tight bass and overall dynamism to get better than this. $7K is a lot of money but you get what you pay for. As someone said, the PSA DS was a bit softer... great if you have a bright system. For me though, the Manhattan hit the sweet spot. The Vega was good too but somewhat less sophisticated and mature compared to the Manhattan’s sound signature. Michal at Mytek has hit a home run. My only suggestion to Michal moving forward would be a better quality network card. Mine quits working every now and then.
sourojit, its been 2mos + since your last post on the Manhattan dac and was curious as to the overall experience since the last update? I have the PSA DS DAC II and Luxman 900u and 700c combo with ML 15's and am looking for an upgrade believe it or not..?  Another mirage perhaps..  I had the Brooklyn and loved it but fell into the PSA camp and have really enjoyed a broad range of their products, all excellent! Leaning hard towards the Manhattan now..what you say!?
Did they fix the network card in the Manhattan II? I'm in the same boat looking for a DAC/network streamer and my own assessment is to keep the network streamer and dac separate opening up more options in the future.
I’ve had the Manhattan for a while now and the network card has worked flawlessly. That said, I’m pretty annoyed they advertised AirPlay support and then seemed to not deliver it. It’s a small company, but it’s a pretty egregious example of false advertising. 
As much as I liked my Brooklyn and was looking at the Manhattan as an upgrade, I dumped it and won’t buy another Mytek product.  Support, when you can get it, is poor.  It’s not a well run company on the business side of things.

Bricasti, on the other hand, is light years better in communicating and providing service.

Good luck on getting answers from Mytek.  I don’t like seeing people unhappy with their stuff.