Review: Bel Canto Design DAC-1 DA converter

Category: Digital

I've owned both the DAC-1 and the MSB Link III. I found the Bel Canto to err on the side of politeness. The DAC is not harsh or offensive, but doesn't provide the detail or excitement that the far cheaper MSB provided. I like a digital sound that is both detailed but also analog sounding, which is what I have with my YBA CD1a. I guess the DAC-1 may work well for folks who are averse to digital or who have a very resolving system they feel they need to tone down, but for me the DAC is too soft and gentle. Just my 2cents.

Associated gear
Click to view my Virtual System

Similar products
MSB Link Dac III, YBA CD1a.
I compared the same two DACs in a dedicated headphone setup with both tube and SS headphone amps and Grado RS-2s and Sennheiser HD600s with Cardas replacement cable. The Bel Canto won easily IMO - smooth and sophisticated with wonderful detail.