I recently upgraded my Rega DAC(pre DAC-R) to the Chord Cutest and am very pleased. I did try the Liberty and Benchmark before I landed on the Chord. You want to try it as well.
- 48 posts total
- 48 posts total
Musichead, there is no "better" in my opinion, since it is very subjective. I had Benchmark DAC1 before and it was extremely clean, but a still little "lean" sounding (in spite of my opamp modification). My new Benchmark DAC3 HGC, in comparison, is still very clean (and fast), but also full sounding, including lower midrange. Benchmark DAC3, according to reviews, was about the same sound quality as Auralic Vega for much less. I chose HGC version, since remote control was included in price ($100 extra otherwise). I don't use analog inputs now, but who knows what will happen in the future - DAC3 is to stay with me for a very long time (if not forever).
what exactly is your budget? It would help to define that before any specific recommendations.
Also I have never heard your Rega DAC, but I did used to own the Rega Apollo CD player. Can you tell me if the sound of the DAC-R is similar to the Apollo? The Apollo was a reasonably detailed but rather laid back type of presentation. The Mytek and Benchmarks mentioned here will sound very different, much more analytical. Is that what you are missing with the Rega?
I have to agree with theo. The Chord Qutest is an amazing sounding DAC. If you can get past the strange form factor, it will surprise you. It does not do MQA which is not a big deal for my application. I use mine mostly with CD rips (FLAC files) on my computer. I tried a Schiit multibit and was thoroughly unimpressed.
I am willing to pay up to $2,500 but question whether that amount really is required. Nothing wrong with the Rega DAC, if I had the $ I would just buy the Rega Isis CDP. To put it into perspective my TT setup is a TW Acoustic TT / DV Xv1s / Tron 7 phono. My TT setup is better of course but musically the Rega DAC frames the music the same but lacks slightly in every parameter: dynamics, transparency, etc. How the Rega excells is it makes almost every CD enjoyable.
Had an Apollo R in my system for a while, tried it as a transport and compared them. The Rega DAC R is much better, the Apollo was good but the DAC is much better. With the Apollo about 10% of my CDs went from enjoyable to not engaging. The true test for me is whether it can draw me into the music when I'm not actively listening or does it just become a wall of sound.