A DAC that crushes price vs. performance ratio

I felt strongly that I wanted to inform the Gon members about a new DAC that ranks with the very best on the market regarding performance, but costs around $2,000.00.  The Lab12 DAC1 SE was compared to three reference level DACS that retail for over $12.000.00 in my review for hometheaterreview.com and was at least on the same level sonicly, if not better.  This DAC from Greece is not just "good for the money" but competes with virtually anything on the market regardless of price!

For all the details about the Lab12 DAC1 SE performance and what other DACS it was compared to take a look at the review.  If you are shopping/looking for a new digital front end to drive your system, you owe it to yourself to check this DAC out, unless you like to spend tons of more $ without getting better performance.

Same as Lemay Audio at Montreal Audio Fest using a $1300 portable as reference DAC the iFi Diablo to replace $20,000 DAC. 

this is madness. 😂 


Yes, it's a lot more comfortable listening to this Lab12 Dac1 Reference compared to my previous Musician Pegasus. 

I've compared it to Weiss DAC 502 and MSB Discrete and I don't feel the Dac1 loses out to them. It does not do DSD and does not have pre-amp, but who cares. 

@oddiofyl @auroravengeance I had a chance to demo the Lab12 dac ref.

The colorful tonality and midrange was gorgeous, but it was too bright in my system.

I wonder if changing the tubes would help?

I still have the original tubes in it.    Being bright is not my experience.   This is why home demo are so important.   I'm curious to learn what you do go with

@macdude I have rolled tubes in my Lab12 ref dac and it has made a difference.  In my case it wasn’t because it was too bright. The stock EH tubes just didn’t show what the dac was capable of.  I ended up with french made Dario Miniwatt (Philips) E188CC as my favorite but the Amperex Bugle Boy 6DJ8’ s also sound excellent and are easier/less expensive to buy.  Siemens E88CC were good but not as warm and heading towards being on the bright side.  I will be trying some Russian 6H23n V rockets for fun since Lab12 designs their equipment around russian tubes.  Mine is playing through a Raven Blackhawk now which is a pretty warm amp….i do love the sound of this dac…good luck with it all.