Higher End DACs

I am looking for a DAC (potentially streamer&DAC) to be paired in a mcintosh system (c1100/611). Its my first foray into digital streaming and I have no need for a CD player.

I see a lot of love for Esoteric, however, most seems to be around their transports? Are they not as renowned for pure digital streaming and/or standalone DACs? I see DCS (for instance) often referenced for standalone DACs - how does Esoteric compare?

If you do want to spin discs, you can go with either MSB transports. The ProISL interface is really fantastic. MSB themselves always display at the shows with the Transports, and the show reports are usually something like "you don't need hi-res for amazing digital". 
The beauty of the MSB transports is that they can also be hooked up to a network, and work as a streamer, again via the galvanically isolated ProISL interface. Kill two birds with one stone and all that.
As the current Transports will work with all the MSB DACs, you can pick whichever one, and you'll be able to use it (and the matching ProISL module) across the entire line of DACs. So, upgrade the DAC, but keep the transport.
And I'm sorry, but even though I've heard and know well the Esoteric sound, I'd rather not comment it here.


T+A uses a ladder DAC which tend to not measure very well, some do not sure about this one. A lot of people like them as they lean more to the polite/ warm/ relaxed side where Delta Sigma DAC's are usually more analytical and neutral though they can be implemented more to the warm side depending on the filters. Personally I prefer the DS neutral DAC's if I want to add " warmth or coloration " I would rather do that with tubes in the pre or amp section. 
Op the T+A transport has been designed to work via its own high speed interface for use with the SDV 3100.

Robert Harley was suitably impressed by the combination stating that was the best sound he has ever gotten from an optical disc.

  The SDV 3100 HV and PDT 3100 HV exemplify the astonishing transformation of the CD player into a highly sophisticated multi-format platform. In my view, there is no better way to exploit today’s vast array of options for accessing and enjoying digital music than via this T+A duo.

Howver, we would still recomend not spinning CD's at all and using a state of the art music server from Innous the Statement which or perhaps a Wolf as being an ideal pathway to experience state of the art streaming and having the ability to read and store all your CD's which is far nicer than having to go over to a wall of CD's and load a particular disc.

We are currently using the Innous Statement feeding the SDV 3100 and the sound is glorious for both streaming and for our stored CD library.

Also if you really wanted to go with a CD playback menchanisiim the T+A SDT transport is a completely built in house built and designed from scratch CD mechanism that can not be easily bettered at any price.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor T+A and Innous dealers

For the Innuos Zenith mk3 server paired with either the Aqua Acoustic La Scala DAC or Formula xHD2.1 DAC is the combo to beat. If in NY come by for a listen.
Or the Innuos Statement serverpaired with the La Scala is well just crazy good.
Innuos Statement or Zenith mk3 with {Phoenix re-clocker mated to a Aqua Acoustic DAC. Either the La Scala or Formula xHD2.1.
Future proof user upgradeable DACs. The Innuos servers are also upgradeable. Rollo Audio Consulting [email protected]