On a truly fine recording (like Sarah Jarosz/Build Me Up From Bones) my Rega DAC does everything I want.
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"The comparison seems fair. You can find a used Bryston in the $1000-$1250 range, and the combo costs $1250. If Moore's law applies to DACs, the combo should have bested the Bryston, shouldn't it?
So I'm wondering, have modestly priced DACs really improved that much? (I'm not talking about your Lampizators and your Bricastis here.) Or are the differences people describe really microdifferences?"
These are not generic products that you're talking about. Different dac's in the same price range wont all sound the same. Also, don't overlook the analog portion of a dac. That can make a huge difference as well.