end companies the're not looking for a few suckers to buy over priced equipment.
The Emotiva DC-1 is almost exactly like the Emotiva XDA-2 dac, except the DC-1 is a fully differential/balanced circuit from DAC chip to output. It also uses LM4562 as output buffers instead of OPA2134 (as is used in XDA-2). The sound is going to be almost the same. Both have same power supply and both use active I/V circuits for an AD1955 DAC chip.
If I was looking in similar price range, I would consider the Teac UD-501. Isolated power supply sections for each channel and does not use active I/V (which does require some power supply current). Teac is also fully differential/balanced circuits and does support DSD (if you're interested).
thx auxinput. I did a cursory review of the Teac you mentioned. Seems it has been discontinued in favor of the UD503. The MSRP on that is basically twice that of the Emotiva. Not the best review on that either from what hi fi, but admittedly I'm not a big what hif fan.
Interesting review. The 503 is newer and uses a smaller audio board - also uses more SMD devices. The 501 uses different voltage regulation. The 501 can be more easily modified (upgrade op amps, caps, regulators). There is a very long thread of discussion on the 501 here:
The Emotiva stuff is very nice for the money you spend on it. The sound is not harsh, very smooth. However, in my opinion, it can sound closed-in or dull. I’m sure the Teac 501 is going to sound different, possible with better resolution. Not sure how they compare. The 501 can be obtained used for about $600. It’s going to be hard to get better than either of these unless you hit the $1200-1500 area (maybe Bryston BDA-2 or Wyred4Sound).