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?
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]
i’m not up to date with the type of systems under discussion here as i like things more simple. i think the aurender acs10 with a good dac might give you everything you want bundled in a refined package. you can stream and rip cds at a very high level. i am a fan of aurender. it’s worth taking a look at.
4425 The Aurender that would be up to this level of system would be the W20 or the Se version.

Pipedreams the Aqua is indeed excellent we sell it, however, the Aqua with the Innous Statement vs the T+A SDV 3100 with the Statement is not comparing apples to apples. 

The T+A SDV is a totally unique product that has a built in streamer, Fm tuner, headphone amp, Blue Tooth receiver, it is a true multi source product that alows access to any kind of digital source, along with a state of the art dac that can handle the highest sampling rates in the world .

The dac use  a propreitary DSD engine and separate PCM engine. The Dac can also come with a world class preamplifier stage as well. In addition there are four tuneable filters and two modes of reading the data from the DSD enginer which allows a degree of customization, add to that OTA firmware upgrades. 

Quite frankly there is nothing on the market quite like what the SDV 3100 offers. It is a truly all singing all dancing master of all things digital. 

The Aqua dac is a very well designed and implimented ladder dac that does sound extremely good for its price point. We agree with you that the Aqua is a fantastic dac and does offer a very cool modular approach. 

The difference is in subtitlties there is a great sense of palpability and a greater sense of realisim with the T+A that justifys its higher price point.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ T+A, Aqua, Innous