Which DAC? Bel Canto? Assemblage? EVS?

Sorry to be a nuisance, but now that many kind forum members have given me their feedback:


I have decided to upgrade my system by starting with the DAC.

Question is, which one?

I have read many great things about the Bel Canto DAC 1 and am hopeful the 1.1 will be a nice step up. But I have also read favorable reviews of the Assemblage 3.1 DAC and the EVS Millenium DAC and soon to be released DAC II.

Any ideas on this one?

And what about which digital cable to use and how the length of the cable affects jitter?

Thanks for any feedback!
The EVS, Perp. Tech, and BelCanto are in a similar price range. I think the Assemblage may be priced higher. I haven't heard any of them yet, but I am on the waiting list for the EVS DAC II (and have been since last July). The EVS should be the best buy for the money based on it's cost to resale ratio, but it keeps getting delayed. I'm sure it's worth checking out, but you really have to be a patient person. The EVS website (tweakaudio.com) claims that the DACs are finished and shipping, but EVS's website has been innacurate several times in the past. I know Ric has run into some issues, and he is trying his best...I'm hoping that they really are shipping this time. I can't wait.
go with the Assebblage.they are havinng moving sale Sat 17th.Call then.
I was told in January that my EVS DAC2 would ship in February. It's March 17...no word. I have read that there has been disappointment and subsequent redesign. So I'm not sure what's up any more.
I am listening to a new one by 47Labs called the Shigaraki. very nice, and it's not even broken in yet. Reasonably priced at $1250 retail I think, and offers about 90+% the performance of the higher-priced Progression DAC. will post a real review later on once it's broken in.

-Ed Sawyer
I just got an Assemblage 3.1. I bought the upgrade opamps ($100) from TPC and installed them in about fifteen minutes. What an incredible sound! I haven't heard the other DAC's, but this one is astounding--so smooth yet detailed, so much air yet solid images, huge soundstage with real depth, perfect tonality with no edge or glare. I expect to own this for as long as I listen to CD's, and it decodes all sampling rates for future formats.
I also have owned the Assemblage 3.1 and it is an exceptional DAC for the money. However, you may want to consider the Muse Model 9 Signature CD/DVD/DAD player. They can be had for right around $2600-2800 on the net. This player snuck in an quitely booted out my Muse model 5/D2D-1/3.1 combo (all connected with the IS2 interfaces). You might save money overall and definately have a less complicated system. Oh, by the way, the Model 9 is also a stunning DVD player.