However, the one final question I had regarding how could I possibly find the funds to acquire the Rossini (List of $28k without remote) went unanswered.
Any local 'brick and mortar' banks and gun shops near this audio establishment? ;^)
Exactly, you are correct...they were the new Sabrina..he also had the Alexia there, but not hooked up...the smallest Wilson just amazed me with the large sound stage and PRAT, full range sound, seemed better than their diminutive size would have suggested...perhaps they were the least expensive component in this rig, being driven by awesome gear probably also helped, as well as a well tuned and designed room. Made me re think what Wilson has done lately to their new drivers..much improved.
DCS is top notch and possible SOTA for D/A conversion. Prices reflect that.
I bet streaming through a DCS DAC would sound just as good and mimimize cost to just the DCS technology that differentiates them.
I heard DCS Puccini ( on 6 figure system) a few years back and was not disappointed with the sound. The player had various mechanical issues though just opeing and closing the drawer, so not so SOTA there.
With DCS as a reference from a few years back, I have heard various affordable DACs in recent years that are also very good performers that I can live with. So I no longer covet the DCS sound and technology as much. Digital continues to improve and become more affordable and will only continue to get better over time, closing the gap even further perhaps.
What other digital gear have you heard that you feel approaches the level I heard thru newest dCS playback dac chipset and software? I know the Berkeley master II, Bricosti, Luxman, MBS stack have been highly touted at lower price points. I agree that optimizing digital is not an easy task, as the technology continues to evolve, and sometimes even comes down in price. Then add the newest hype flavor of the month, "MQA", which needs to be tuned and added to the specific dac chipset...which not all vendors will adapt.
I am still amazed at the beautiful sonic presentation I heard thru the dCS Rossini, as I never had the opportunity of hearing that brand...but it comes at a steep entry price point.
I have heard a system that was similar. It was the D'Agostino mono blocks and preamp with a Bricasti M1 DAC (about 1/3 the cost of the DSC) and the Sabrina's. I was very impressed to say the least. I've never heard the DCS stuff so can't comment. But I have also have heard the Sabrina's with the ARC GSi75 tube integrated and was very impressed as well. I forget if it was the Bricasti or the DAC that was built into the ARC integrated, but the sound was very musical and I can't seem to get it out of my mind.
The two dacs I have use and am very happy with is an mhdt Constantine in my main system. And the dac in a bel canto c5i in my second system.
Not saying they sound like or as good as dcs necessarily but with dcs Puccini as one of my references prior I find both to cover all the bases.
Recently I've connected analog out from my newer iPhone 6s and iPad to some good setups and was pleasantly surprised with results that exceeded my expectations.
I also have used built in dac in Logitech Squeezebox Touch which is a bit older and not bad but just average at best I would say.
All used with streamers as source not Cd. Mainly Logitech Squeezebox Touch and Plex app running on Amazon Fire TV multimedia streamer which is a very nice piece of technology for hifi audio.
I really agree with this. I think B&M stores have a valuable place in audio buying.
I have a dealer now that really takes care of the customer. I had two pieces of audio with issues. He took care of it rather quickly.
On the other hand, I had an awful experience with a direct small manufacturer of speciality audio. Terrible audio parts, terrible service and lost mucho money. The owner does not like to talk about his bad business deals or poor parts.