used Tadac is good. I found one here for $550. a few months ago.
I mainly use my Adcom 700 DAC via (tubed) VAC preamp just 'cuz it's the main plan.
The Tadac sounds good, has it's own volume control, and a headphone output. a 'tubyness' knob taht I think is cool. The TDAC is less complicated and a better performer, but new and costs more.
What's your budget? There are a couple of great post recently regarding DAC's I would search those for some ideas as well.
My budget would be around $1,000 new or used. Could possibly stretch a bit more if it sounded like the right move.
You have a very nice start with the Totem and Plinius. I have been using a PS Audio Digital Link III and am a big fan. It has a smooth and realistic presentation with good full range extension and tames the digital glare. The mods are even better they say. I also bought a Cambridge DAC Magic for a secondary system and it is really good, but not like the PS Audio. Used for $500, I think the DLIII is a great deal. If you can spend more, there are clearly better units, of course. The next step up may be the Wyred 4 Sound for $999, but I haven't heard it. Many out there as you approach $1K. We are all lucky to have so many great DACs at all price points.
Dude, dude, dude!! With your budget and current excellent gear, I think the PS Audio (as suggested) or the Benchmark would be great matches. I have had both, and they are both great, I think the Benchmark is more detailed.
I am unclear if the PS audio is a tube Dac. Would love to hear more suggestions, thanks
The PS Audio is not a tubed unit. I would look for a used Kora Hermes which is tubed. They are excellent sounding.
How about the Eastern Electric DAC. Uses same Sabre chips as used in the Wyred DAC, but instead of a discrete output stage, you have a switch that allows you to choose between tube and op-amp output stages. At $750 a great buy.
Looks like alot of solid recommendations here and it appears all could be had new for under a $1000.00 I would also like to throw in the Eastern Electric dac which has been garnering some good reviews as well. If you can stretch your budget a little the Tranquility dac is supposed to sound great with a few people saying it sounds better than the Berkely. It is a NOS non tubed dac but is supposed to have a very organic and analog sound quality to it. One caveat is that it only has a USB connection
My fault for not reading your post correctly. The PSA is not tubed, but it does sound like tubed DACs I have heard.
Thanks for the great input, anyone know where those reviews of the Eastern Electric Dac may be found?, thanks
For some user reviews and comments from the local distributor as well, go over to audiocircle.com and just do a query. There may be a professional review out there as well, (Six Moons?)but I'm not quite sure. If you live in the N.J NYC area I'd be more than happy to loan you my Tdac, I know how difficult it can be to demo different components
Metman, thanks for your offer (I actually live 2 hrs. north of NYC). Interested to get your experience with your TDAC, thanks
The offer holds if you're willing to pick it up and drop it off, I really don't want to get involved with shipping. I have only had the opportunity to hear one other dac - The Maverick, which happens to be a great value for approx $200.00 but I think it's appeal is more for it's versaitility than solely as a dac. the Tdac is in an altogether other league as far as dacs are concerned. I'm extermely satisfied with mine, the stock tubes sounded good but I replaced them with some Siemens silver plates and it made a big difference.
There is a fairly long thread at the AVS forum regarding the Tadac from a year or so ago which you may want to check out but from what I understand the TDAC is better.
So many dacs so little time!