Which DAC? Levinson, Theta, Sonic Frontiers
I'm considering upgrading from my Theta IIIa Dac, and wonder what the sonic characteristics are of 3 highly respected Dac's: The SFD-2 Mk. II, ML No. 36, and the Theta Gen. Va.
My system is: SFT-1 & ML 37 transports, SFL-2 preamp, DNA-225, & Vandersteen 2Ce Sigs.
I've looked at many reviews of these pieces, & although all reviewers liked them all, there were criticisms:
SFD-2: Bass a bit bloomy, not as tight & defined, but warmed up the sound. Upper mids prominent, with female voices displaying sibilance. Some treble grain, not as open as ML. A forward sound.
ML 36: Bass tight & defined, but not up to Theta's. More detailed & open & airy highs. Slightly laid back perspective. Vocals not as exciting. Big soundstage with great delineation of individual instruments, but not palpable like the SFD-2.
Theta Gen. Va: Best bass of all. Soundstage & imaging quite good, but ML 36 still better. Not quite as airy & open at the top, less well defined space around and between instruments.
What is your experience?????