Great tube DAC's with volume control?

I may be looking to add a tubed DAC with an analog volume control sometime in the future. Don't really want to spend more than a few k.

The list:
Audio Aero Prima
Manley Reference

Anything else???
The Birdland 24/192 unit has volume control.
Wavelength the Birdland is not a tube unit.
Oops, Sorry Peter I missed the Tubed part!
You have to be careful as to how they implement the volume control. The Birdlands just put a resistor divider in series with the output. This is bad if you have any cable capacitance. I usually bypass this pot.
So are there no others? :(
I'd like to suggest opening this discussion up to include S.S. DACs with volume controls as well. I like the idea of bypassing the need for a separate preamp.

Monarchy has, or at least had a half price sale on theirs. How well would one of the late model Monarchy DACs stand up against a Birdland or Camelot Uther?

BTW, do all DACs with volume control come with a remote?
No, I'd rather not open the discussion to include SS DACs. Maybe you could sart another thread for the SS side of things? I think having both on the same thread would create a bit of confusion.


I have the Manley Ref DAC and just love it. The unit is beautifully assembld. So many DACs went through my system until I knew the Manley would be there for quite a long time. It is a very difficult piece to find but in the $3000-3500 range on the used market, I could find nothing else close in performance.

For the price, the solid state Elctrocompaniet ECD1 is next to impossible to beat, but the incredible harmonic richness, presence, 3-dimensionality of the Manley is something special. The VTL Ref DAC is right behind, and in my system had a little more bass extension, but I found the Manley to be more balanced overall. Line the ECD1, the VTL however does not have a volume control.

Concerning the Manley's volume control, I have not yet tried this straight into my Wolcott amps vs driving the BAT 31SE line stage. One of these days I need to try this but tearing the system apart is quite a hassle. The volume control does not have a very fine adjustment so this might not be acceptable for many users anyway.

FYI: The Manley Ref DAC has a 23-position level control.
I'm really liking the the Audio Aero Prima DAC that hails in my system now. I'm only running it with a Denon 2200 DVD as a transport, but it sounds very nice. I will eventually upgrade to a top notch transport, when I find one.

Some people think the AA's highs are rolled off. To me, that certainly isn't the case. Very nice balance throughout the sonic range, and bass is surprisingly tight, natural, and impactful. Nice airy soundstage as well.

It also has two analog inputs, so I'm seriously considering not running a preamp. It's that good!

Check it out!
Atta guy, Omains, put your foot down!