The Birdland 24/192 unit has volume control.
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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?
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.
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!