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Wavelength Proton vs. JK Ciunas - who wins this shootout?

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Hi all,


I'm wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare these two DACs head to head, and could share their opinions.


They seem to share a key design characteristic - they are using an integrated battery to power the critical conversion components, which can be "trickle charged" via a USB power supply connection so you're not constantly having to recharge it, turn it on/off etc.


Budget wise they are fairly similar - the Proton coming in a bit cheaper at $600 US vs the Ciunas at $750.


Build quality and polish is clearly better on the Proton, and of course there is the proprietary Async USB code that Wavelength has, that is a big part of their claim to fame in the USB DAC category.


Plus in the Ciunas column is that it supports sampling rates up to 192k, vs. the Proton's 96k. Realistically, I think this doesn't mean much as there isn't a lot of high res music out there, but I am betting this changes in the not too distant future so Ciunas might get the nod for being a bit more "future proof."


But the real question is, how do they compare in terms of sound quality? Anyone tried them out on the same setup, to do a side by side comparison? I think most everyone could live with the more homebrew casing of the Ciunas if it sounded a whole lot better...


Would love to hear the collective wisdom of this particular crowd - I have learned a lot reading this forum, I'm hoping someone out there can share some insight.


(And if anyone has ideas about a better USB DAC than these two in the $500-800 range, please chime in!)

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