Not sure of the dac but I have experienced the best digital bypassing my preamplifier as well. Both my esoteric x03SE and Berkeley DAC sound amazing directly into my amps.
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There is no doubt the overdrive is an excellent DAC, as are the Berkeley, Weiss, PerfectWave MKII to name but a few that have been cited as "the best digital I ever heard" by many of its owners. Without a double blind shootout between the entire lineup all we can realy say is just that; "they are all very good DACs". Profesional reviewers are not very helpful either because they have a tendency to declare every single DAC over 5K "the best digital they ever heard" as well.
"do you really need off-ramp with overdrive?
i think overdrive already has an off-ramp quality(if not better) usb converter built in."
You do not need an Off-Ramp with the Overdrive.
In the past, in order to get the best possible sound quality, this was necessary because the best clock, the Ultraclock, would not fit inside the Overdrive.
Now, the Superclock and Ultraclock have been replaced with our own dual Turboclock, which fits inside the Overdrive.
"Profesional reviewers are not very helpful either because they have a tendency to declare every single DAC over 5K "the best digital they ever heard" as well."
You can certainly do your own shootout with whatever DAC you can get. I have a demo available for this. There have been some direct shootouts by Pro reviewers however, such as the Dagogo review, which compares it to Berkeley, Weiss 202 and dCS Debussey.
Edorr, I would be interested in your comparison of the PWD to the Overdrive. I have only owned one other DAC, the Northstar M192, before I bought the PWD (now upgraded to the MK2 version). Sound quality is definitely much better than it was with the Northstar, as it should be, considering the price differential.
Steve, that is very generous to offer a demo unit to compare side by side with other DACs on the market. Not too many established manufacturers will lend out gear for comparisons.
I don't own an overdrive. I owned a Perfectwave MKII and was planning to compare it to an overdrive. I upped the budget and got an EMM Labs. The PWD MKII has been sold. I may get the new MSB analog DAC for a shootout against the EMM Labs shortly, but I am no longer considering auditioning the Overdrive. I still own the Offramp 5 with Monolith PS though.