Review: Parasound DAC-1600hd DA converter
This is my first and only DAC, so I'm sorry I have no comparisons for you. All I can say is I like how it sounds. I suspect there is a lot of competition in its price range when new, but it is a used bargain at $400-500.
My only complaints are that it does not switch automatically between inputs and that there is only one each of coax and Toslink inputs. A remote would be nice to facilitate comparison between normal and reverse polarity. I'm using the XLR analog outputs, which offers a slight improvement over the unbalanced.
Price no object, I'm sure I would upgrade, but for what I paid I'm quite happy.
I listen to about 70% classical, 30% other stuff. I test a system with the Bernstein/LA Phil DG recording of West Side Story, Pinnock's DG Water Music, selected Steely Dan/Donald Fagan tracks, and the Bonnie Raitt track from Stay Awake (Disney songs). I treat all my CDs with AudioPrism StopLight and demagnetize them with a Furutech RD-1.
Pioneer Elite PD-65, Stealth coax, DH Labs Toslink, DH Labs BL-1 interconnects, Audient Technologies Tactic, cones