DAC suggestions

I’ve retired my SimAudio Moon streamer in favour of a HiFiBerry setup that is compatible with Roon. I think a new DAC is probably justified because reasons. I regard digital as strictly a secondary source so budget is a maximum of £2K and preferably much less. Must haves are, roon readiness, hi-res capabilities (24/192 etc) and balanced outs. A bonus would be MQA as I use TIDAL a lot, but this is not a deal breaker. Don’t give a toss about DSD etc as all my files are either 16 bit or 24 bit FLAC.

Obvious candidates are the Auralic Vega and the Mytek Brooklyn. I’d love something like a CanEver Zero Uno but won’t pay the price. What else should I think about? (This isn’t the Arse of Sound so Beresford need not apply :grin:).

The Vega is very good, I’ve got one at the moment.

(this is not mine)

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That is already in my watch list :grin:

$380 :grin:

Avoid the ESS Sabre chipset. Everything I have heard with this sounds completely shite. Sadly modern DACs seem to be focused on Hi-rez and streaming and have forgotten sound quality.


Fair enough :+1:. What is out there that avoids the ESS Sabre chipset and meets my wantlist? I’m using a Moon D100 so there is a lot to improve upon…unless all dacs sound the … :zipper_mouth_face:

Heard quite a few variants of the ESS, @Ijrussell has had a few through his system. I kind of prefer dacs to be ultra neutral so I’ve always liked what I’ve heard. Although my buffalo dac is in bits :smiley:

If you don’t want ultra modern super clean delta sigma stuff there are R2R dacs :slight_smile:


Best current option is probably the Kondo DAC

Aqua La Voce or AN 2.1 X Sig are the best I’ve heard at sensiblish prices. La Voce way better than Vega to my ears, and I really liked the Vega.

Not sure they fit all of your requirements though!

Someone will suggest a DDDDAC but they are wrong.

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DAC 2.1 X sig is 24/96 only and single ended out only so I had ruled it out. I have a lot of 24/192 stuff…

The Aqua looks interesting though. Thanks.

24/192 fail IIRC.

Older DACs sound better. What do you want, good sound or gadgets?

Surely the 24/192 fail is the self delusion that you think that you can hear the difference. I suppose you’re also a golden eared mains cable believer too :smile:

I want both, obviously.

No. I have loads of 24 bit recordings, some of which I did, some of which I was given or bought. I could dither down to 16 bit, but why the fuck could I be bothered if I can buy something that will do the job I need :slightly_smiling_face:

I believe in using mains cables, don’t you?

Rare as anything and even then I’ve never seen one for less than £2k

Bryston BDA-2 or Chord Qutest.

Try the chord as above… or even the Hugo TT if you want a damn good headphone amp and volume.
Balanced out but no mqa

Not suggesting you waste time converting to 16 bit. Lots of very nice 24/96 DACs will upscale or something similar and play your 192 files. All I’m saying is I wouldn’t make a 24/192 native dac a limitation on your buying spec.