Metrum octave vs new Rega DAC vs Eastern electric

I currently have an EE minimax (non-plus version), but have become increasingly interested in the Metrum and Rega DACs recently as a potential replacement. What are people's opinions on this? Would either of these DACs truly be an upgrade? I listen to all redbook, so oversampling isn't an issue, and I listen to mostly Rock (which I guess means I prefer a meaty/rich sound character).
Have you tried discrete opamps in your minimax? Since you like a meaty/rich sound I would suggest trying Burson opamps. It will cost you about $200 but IMO greatly improves on the stock sound.

Of the two other DACS you mentioned, the Metrum NOS Dac has received a lot of accolades from board members and the price is particularly favorable now given the $/Euro conversion rate.
I have not heard the EE but have had both the others. The Rega is quite good but the Metrum is better. A friend who mostly uses vinyl was over today and said he liked my digital front end even better than my vinyl; something he has never said before.
Metrum is in a completely different league than Rega. HiFi Critic awarded metrum with 170 points, and Rega with ... just 50. That should give you an idea about the diferences we are discussing here.

One word of advice though - the Metrim is very sensitive to signal jitter. Buy only if you can afford to buy an Audiophileo 2 USB->SPDIF converter ($579) to go with it. Cheaper converters, like MF V-Link, Stello U3, HiFace 2/Evo, Halide etc will not do it (yes, I have tested them all with Metrum and then some).

Coupled with Audiophileo, Metrum is absolutely stunning piece of gear. You can pay 10x more and get lesser sound.
Get the Metrum. You are getting a dac that competes with much more expensive dacs. I find it sounds great with a Halide Bridge, or from my Squeezebox Touch with the enhanced digital out. Haven't tried the Audiophilio, but I probably will.
The Metrum is pretty much without a sonic signature, but very musical. That is what I want from a dac.
i just read that Paul Hynes is now offering a shunt regulator mod which supposedly ramps up the Metrum performance significantly. He literally just posted about it yesterday so he's probably the only to have heard it at this point but his designs are well tested and have been received by the market favorably so I'd bet it does as he says. The metrum is very sensitive to power and jitter...clean them both up and you can't beat it.

Where did you read that? That sounds very interesting, and as an owner of a Metrum and AP2, I have to say that I'm very happy with the sound, but I'd love to take it up a notch!

Mjm6 - you may try replacing the RCA digital input connector with a true 75 Ohm BNC one. Then you may try fitting WBT NextGen RCAs for the analog out.
I find it sounds great with a Halide Bridge, or from my Squeezebox Touch with the enhanced digital out. Haven't tried the Audiophilio, but I probably will.

By all means try it. You will be stunned. I have both the Halide and AP1, and the difference is not subtle.

Thanks for that... I'll look into the changes, although I admit that I am not terribly experienced with soldering, so I should probably leave that to other people!

I found the conversation online where the discussion by Paul is made. I'm gong to have to think about all those things soon.

Elberoth2: Is the Audiophileo2 really that much better than the hiface2? I just purchased a Hiface2 and it's the only device of it's kind that I tried in the system. Although, ever since I started using it I've been getting these annoying clicks and pops in the sound. I guess you haven't run into anything like that with the Audiophileo2 right?
I have the Metrum dac since 4 months now and I am very satisfied with the result. It took two months for break in. The sound is fine like the analog 33 rpm, Not tested the rega dac and EE. I paid $ 1200 Canadian and I'm very happy with the result.