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PRO DAC with specific needs


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I am in the process of changing many elements in my sound system and I really need some advice.

 

I have four priorities in my new set-up:

 

1) it is the end of a traditional CD player for me. Thanks Micromega for 10 marvelous years, but now I am moving on, with a music server. This is done already.

 

2) i want to do Digital Room Correction, software-based. I've read a lot about the pros and cons, but considering my budget and other elements, I decided to give it a try. For the moment, Audiolense is the package that interests me the most.

 

3) i want to prepare things for a bi-amplification set-up. Electronic XO could be done with Audiolense.

 

4) I want a great, great sounding DAC.

 

And all this for about 1200$.

 

So, if I want to buy a device that's gonna help me in all those goals, I need:

 

- a great sounding DAC and, if possible, with a good ADC (I'd like to try needledrops);

- with at least 4 analog outputs, ready for bi-amplification (if possible, balanced)

- and at least 1 analog input, for my TT;

- and a mic input, full duplex, with phantom power, for the DRC set-up.

 

With all these needs and this budget, I think only a "pro" solution will work out. I've looked at RME, Lynx, Apogee, M-Audio, Saffire, Motu, Benchmark, Halo (but I'm PC). But I cannot try them all.

 

I'd like a head-start. What do you think? Which brand carry the best sounding DAC solutions? And although I try to built a 21st century system, I remain, at heart, first and foremost, a music lover who listens to all kind of styles of music, production and mastering.

 

Your advice will be very appreciated.

 

The rest of my system: Dual CD 5000 TT (with Cambridge 640P phono pre-amp). Atma-Sphere S30 Mk II OTL amp. Montreal's Nirvana speakers, two-ways, high efficiency.

 

 

 

 

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