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Best DAC ever heard


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May I ask everything to contribute their experience in terms of DAC; the best, absolutely the best you have heard or own.

Mine is the AudioNote DAC 4.1 and definitely it is the best, the best I have ever heard.

Past DAC includes Meridian, Audio Research and Esoteric.

They are all good,yet, not the best.

Oversampling does alter the music and certainly not the way to go.

All the best, listening

Ross

 

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My current dac is the best I've heard.

 

Wavelength Cosecant V3...but then, I haven't heard jtwrace's.

 

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

 

 

Mac Mini 2011, 60 gb SSD, 8gb ram; PureMusic & BitPerfect; Wavelength Audio Cosecant V3 DAC; Wireworld Silver Starlight usb interconnect; McIntosh C2200 preamp; pair of McIntosh MC252 SS amps run as monoblocks; vintage MC240 Tube amp and 50th Anniversary MC275 tube amps; Krell LAT-2\'s on Sound Anchors; JL Audio F112 subwoofer; Nirvana SX ltd interconnects and speaker cables and power cords; PS Audio P5

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Because the really high end DACs I have listened to were all in different systems. The contribution of the DAC is so hard to single out when all the other components change too.

 

The really exotic monsters probably sounded the best (a Vekian and a Heebs Heritage DAC) but honestly, the two I really love are the Benchmark DAC1, which costs not much at all, and Wavelength's CoSecant. (Which would be perfect except for the silly looking tube sticking up out of the top. :) :) :) :)

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Scarlatti stack. WOW. W O W . Really.

 

I know It's über expensive but... WOW.

 

Sounds like music. Period.

 

WOW!!!

 

The AlphaDac is pretty darn good too. Quite musical.

 

Arcam rDAC / Oppo BDP-83 / NAD 315BEE / Totem Arro

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...as a kind of the DAC version of the classic old theatrical ghost light...you know, the lamp with no shade and a single bulb burning that sits center stage in all the old broadway theaters.

 

It either prevents ghosts... or if you're so inclined...welcomes them into your system.

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

 

 

Mac Mini 2011, 60 gb SSD, 8gb ram; PureMusic & BitPerfect; Wavelength Audio Cosecant V3 DAC; Wireworld Silver Starlight usb interconnect; McIntosh C2200 preamp; pair of McIntosh MC252 SS amps run as monoblocks; vintage MC240 Tube amp and 50th Anniversary MC275 tube amps; Krell LAT-2\'s on Sound Anchors; JL Audio F112 subwoofer; Nirvana SX ltd interconnects and speaker cables and power cords; PS Audio P5

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Buy a Porsche and a really good DAC. More WOW.WOW in that combo.

 

my two cents

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

 

 

Mac Mini 2011, 60 gb SSD, 8gb ram; PureMusic & BitPerfect; Wavelength Audio Cosecant V3 DAC; Wireworld Silver Starlight usb interconnect; McIntosh C2200 preamp; pair of McIntosh MC252 SS amps run as monoblocks; vintage MC240 Tube amp and 50th Anniversary MC275 tube amps; Krell LAT-2\'s on Sound Anchors; JL Audio F112 subwoofer; Nirvana SX ltd interconnects and speaker cables and power cords; PS Audio P5

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Buy a Porsche and a really good DAC. More WOW.WOW in that combo.

 

my two cents

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

 

 

Mac Mini 2011, 60 gb SSD, 8gb ram; PureMusic & BitPerfect; Wavelength Audio Cosecant V3 DAC; Wireworld Silver Starlight usb interconnect; McIntosh C2200 preamp; pair of McIntosh MC252 SS amps run as monoblocks; vintage MC240 Tube amp and 50th Anniversary MC275 tube amps; Krell LAT-2\'s on Sound Anchors; JL Audio F112 subwoofer; Nirvana SX ltd interconnects and speaker cables and power cords; PS Audio P5

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... I said It is, so far, THE best DAC I've ever heard. I don't care about the price as I would never be able to afford something that expensive.

 

That said, I'd rather walk and have the Scarlatti than buying a penis enlargement... err, ooops, a Porsche.

 

Now, that's my 2 cents!

 

 

 

 

Arcam rDAC / Oppo BDP-83 / NAD 315BEE / Totem Arro

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It used to be the Pacific Microsonics Model Two. But now it's the Phasure NOS1...

 

... and by a country mile.

 

For me, the NOS1 has redefined not just digital audio, but home audio in general.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horns + 2x Rotel RB-1590 amps -> 4 subs

Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers

Vinyl: Technics SP10 / London (Decca) Reference -> Trafomatic Luna -> RME ADI-2 Pro

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but the one which absolutely floored me was the Chord DAC64. I heard it for about twenty minutes and I've never forgotten it. I was just completely enveloped in the sound; fluid, deep and totally musical. I was transfixed. It doesn't hurt that it's one of the best looking pieces of audio jewellery of all time.

 

RS

 

P.S. of course, my favourite is the new one I got delivered this week, my new Bel Canto DAC 2.5. Love it!

 

Standard Mac mini 2010/iTunes (ALAC)/Pure Music & Pro-Ject RPM9.1/Ortofon Rondo Blue/Project PhonoBox SE -> Bel Canto DAC2.5 -> Acurus A200 -> Aphion Argon2 Anniversary/Impact500 & Sennheiser HD650 -> Comfy couch.

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We're not telling fish stories are we? I assume that since the Phasure NOS1 is available for a 30-day return evaluation period all those folks with the Pacific Microsonics Model Two ought to compare these DACs before their champion asset declines in price.

 

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So far I would have to say my favourite would be the Theta Gen Va (24/96) which I currently use. I haven't heard anything better yet.... but I may be having a look soon. The Theta Gen VIII Series 2 is tempting, the MSB dacs look interesting and I also would like to try Wadia DACs.

 

Stereo Source: Auralic Aries + Mytek Brooklyn DAC+

Surround Source: Windows PC

Pre-amp: Mark Levinson ML380s, Anthem D2v

Speakers: ATC SCM50A (L/R/C), C4 (Sub), SCM20-2A (LR,RR)

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I think when talking about the very best, it boils down to whether you mean "musical" or "accurate".

 

I've not heard the uber expensive over-the-top ones, but have tried quite a handful.

 

For accuracy and neutrality - Weiss DAC 202 is still best to me.

 

For musicality - Audio Note DAC 4.1 and Lampizator DAC.

 

 

Mac Mini ? Weiss DAC202 ? ML 326s ? ML 532h ? Wilson Sophia3

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I'm testing a Level 2, Gen2.5 (which has 4 levels) - equivalent in specs to a Level 3 Gen3. FYI the creator just finalized Level 4, and Level 5 is still in the making. I have not heard neither of those.

 

The LZ DAC has four output SRPP tubes in balanced mode with an additional tube rectifier dual diode power supply. It is overall as musical/involving as the Audio Note DAC but with a more extended frequency response. AN DACs use output transformers I/V stage to filter out out-of-band digital artifacts without any analog filters, i feel it rolls-off a bit at the extreme highs.

 

The only caveat I would make is that the LZ is function over form, and fit and finish is not up there with the competition. Some other quirks like no soft mute when changing sampling rates, etc. So it is not as functionally refined as what we normally used to.

 

Mac Mini ? Weiss DAC202 ? ML 326s ? ML 532h ? Wilson Sophia3

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The DCS Stack was the best sounding DAC set I have heard. I listened to the Ayre QB-9 and the Audio Research DAC8 on that same ARC REF + Vandersteen 7 system, and while they are both fantastic (I own the DAC8) the DCS was just a notch above them. Its price however, is not the best sounding thing I have heard.

 

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

Aldous Huxley

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I have to go with my present DAC. Ayre QB-9.

 

HP laptop;Windows 7; JRiver Media Center 18, WASAPI Event-Style; Transparent USB cable, one meter; Ayre QB-9 asynchronous USB DAC; Sony 6400ES AV Reciever, analog direct; generic copper speaker wires; Bowers & Wilkins 683\'s; all stock power cables; Android Gizmo remote

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Although I have not heard too many of them QB 9 sonded by far the best, that is whay I bought it. Considerd: Wiess, Berkley, Bryston and some other lesser models. dCS was too much $$$ and Wavelenght is tubes and I didn't want to go that way.

 

DS411+II <-> Mac Mini -> El cheapo 1 ft USB Cable -> QB9 -> Tyr XLR -> YBA Passion Integre 300 -> Auditorium 23 -> Vaughn Cabernets

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Ditto!

 

HP laptop;Windows 7; JRiver Media Center 18, WASAPI Event-Style; Transparent USB cable, one meter; Ayre QB-9 asynchronous USB DAC; Sony 6400ES AV Reciever, analog direct; generic copper speaker wires; Bowers & Wilkins 683\'s; all stock power cables; Android Gizmo remote

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