Totaldac dac as a dac + preamp

I was thinking of purchasing this after I buy my power amplifier. Would it be a good match with a mcintosh 462 amp? What model would be the best to get? He has many different versions. It seems to make the most sense to get the balanced version though. It is 13500 euro I believe! But if the preamp portion of it is any good the value does seem to be there, no?

It any owners could chime in with their thoughts, and how they use their total dacs, and what model they have that would be much appreciated!
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Totaldac dac as a dac + preamp

I was thinking of purchasing this after I buy my power amplifier. Would it be a good match with a mcintosh 462 amp? What model would be the best to get?

Great match with any poweramp.
If you read this review of the Wilson Alexia MkII’s they had the Yamaha CD-S2100 used as transport, Totaldac d1-core DAC as the source, I was there for an afternoon listening to this setup and to me the best configuration we tried with the the Yamaha/Total Dac as the source all times.
1:Was the Total Dac direct into the Gryphon amp,
2:Second was the Lightspeed Attenuator into the Gryphon
3:Third was the Supratek pre into the Gryphon.

Cheers George


why does it bother you so much that there is equipment out there that sounds great to certain listeners? There is NO ONE more thorough, skeptical and straight up than @georgehifi and if he says he heard it, then he heard it. Have you listened to Totaldac products or is the extent of your exposure the measurements from the linked article?
I had a chance to read through that entire thread. I have to say that it was a bit of a shock that it measured so bad. I do not think I could purchase that dac and feel good about owning it.

13500 is about 15kUSD which can get you a lot of state of the art dacs with much better casework at the very least, also measure better. I still don't know if measurements have anything to do with the end sound, but I have a feeling no, however, I would rather own something that is competently designed. Going by the audiosciencereview of the totaldac, it is not competently designed and seems to be assembled at random.
15K could get me a reference level dac from MSB, Bricasti, or Berkely, and those companies have a lot of measurements to backup their gear.

Let your ears be the judge, not a measurement of test tones. The results and the zeal over at that forum cause me to pause. Was it to spec? Maybe, maybe not. Hey his measurements may be absolutely accurate, I have no way of knowing, but I have heard a Totaldac and if it truly measures as described, please, give me more!

In this price strata especially, only your experience listening to gear in a system that you know reasonably well should guide your purchase decision. Whether its a Totaldac, DCS, Lampizator, Border Patrol, MSB, Schiit or Chord .... they each bring something different to the table at their respective pricepoints. I once had a Benchmark DAC in my system years ago, which measured very well but it was unlistenable in my system to my ears. If a Benchmark happens to be someone's reference DAC, no offense intended.

Those who have heard a Totaldac or a Lampizator or a DCS or a MSB....set up properly in a resolving system ... make no mistake, it makes a lasting impression on you.  Now, you may prefer one over the other but these DACS each make serious music. Forums serve their purpose but I am of the opinion that a test of a bootleg sample followed up with a mob-like burning at the stake seems to remind me a bit of what it must have been like around Salem during the witch trials. If you haven't heard this DAC, you must do so. If, after hearing one, you believe it sounds broken then you have a new data point and everyone who has written a check can't hear. I've heard one and it changes what you believe is possible in digital reproduction. If you disagree with me, thats cool but there are alot of people who have dropped a Totaldac into their system and they instantly stopped looking. Who's right...maybe everyone.

Full disclosure: I am NOT a dealer, I have no relationship with any manufacturer and I happen to like tubes in my system even though solid state typically measures better.