Dac Suggestions for Rega System


Hi - I have a Rega Elex-R, Apollo-R, and Kef LS50's in my listening room.  I was able to audition a Rega Dac-R and I really like what it did to the source overall, very musical while tightening up low-end smear and providing a clearer front-to-back depth.  Just curious if there are other Dac's I should be looking at before buying the Rega Dac-R.  Looking for a musical Dac, something not overly clinical since the Rega system isn't terribly forgiving with sub-par material.  Thanks!
mikecorwin
The absence of forgiveness in crap recordings by the REGA DAC-R is common to virtually all quality build DACs.

This unit will have that ethereal REGA synergy with the rest of your gear.

if you want to navelgaze another quality kit, I would suggest looking for a used ARCAM FMJ DAC 33...it's a gem.

http://www.arcam.co.uk/products,dacs,DACs,d33.htm


I went with a Schiit Bifrost multibit. I comes at a great price and I am impressed with the sound reproduction. I have a Rega Apollo, too, but haven't connected it to the bifrost, yet.
Thank you both for the recommendations!
I highly recommend the Marantz HD-DAC 1. It doesn't really do the "hifi" thing but it is very musical, warm and forgiving. Beautiful tone. It really focuses on the music.
I agree on the Marantz HD DAC 1. Very nice unit for the money, built very well and it's a very nice headphone amp on top of it. As a headphone amp alone it's worth the money, but I do agree it is a better DAC. Very nice piece and great recommendation from khoihd. 

If you're amenable to selling the Apollo-R and doing an upgrade, the DAC in the Rega Saturn-R is tough to beat. The Saturn-R was designed to also function as a standalone DAC and handle numerous source inputs. Combined with the Elex-R and the LS50s, the Saturn-R would be a natural.

I auditioned the Saturn-R against an Auralic Vega using the store's Rega Osiris. I preferred the greater detail from the Vega and didn't need the CDP functionality. Had I needed the CDP, I would have gone with the Saturn-R without hesitation.

Hope that helps.
I've been using Rega DAC-R for a while before I switched to W4S DAC2 then Hegel HD25. The Rega DAC-R is very musical just like the other Rega products. Since the digital world evolves so fast, the DAC's have become much affordable nowadays. I'd suggest you look into Ayre Codex and Nuprime DAC-10 (or10h).  Both can be bought below $1,500 new and offer a great deal of sound for the buck. I compared my friend's Codex side by side with my HD25 and I was impressed by its performance.
If you like the Rega's sound I suggest you buy it unless you are willing to spend more money. I've tried at least 5 different dacs under $2k since owning the original Rega dac and I couldn't find one that made a significant difference that appealed to me. I even tried the PS Audio Directstream Dac that lists for $6k but decided on the Hegel HD25 ($2.5k list price) because it sounded more musical and fuller on my system. 

As a side note, what really improved the sound performance was upgrading the fuses in my Dac, tube amp and music server. There is thread here on audiogon where many members were pleased with the fuse upgrades. I tried both Synergistic black fuses and Audio Horizons platinum fuses but I preferred the AH fuses and couldn't be more happy with my system. 

Best wishes with purchase!
Has anyone auditioned an Apollo-R with Rega Dac against a Rega Saturn-R?