Transport and DAC pairings
So I recently switched from using a CDP with balanced output to a DAC and transport. I have the Northstar Design 192 MK II units connected with a higher end I2S cable. I wanted to have the flexibility of separate components so I can swap things out as technology improves, etc. Also, with a recent system change, the small footprint of these components was very useful to me ergonomically.
Of course, if you read the reviews on the Northstar stuff, it is best when the DAC and transport are connected via the jitter-eliminating I2S connection. My experimentation with other digital cables has proven this to be true.
So my question is -- how much do I lose if I want to try a different DAC, but at this point will be stuck using a regular digital connection (AES/EBU or SPDIF) between the transport and the DAC?
For example, there are some good deals on Bryston DACs right now (which also have a nice small footprint), and this DAC is said to virtually eliminate all jitter. So does this mean that even without the I2S connection, I can compare the Bryston DAC via AES/EBU and the Northstar DAC via I2S?
I surely know that one answer is try it and see, but I guess I'm questioning whether -- by buying a DAC and transport combo that sounds better via its proprietary connection, that I actually have precluded being able to readily compare either the transport or DAC on a one-off basis to competing products via a standard connection.
thanks for your insights.