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.

Good suggestions on the Mazda tubes.  I had some for my preamp from Brent Jessee and they were great

i have found that old stock tungsram tubes from the hungary plant are very very close to mazda/adzams sonically, and while not cheap, are not nosebleed pricey like remaining mazda’s these days... they are very good, but not better than siemens/philips of the day... they are super expensive more due to their rarity


I did not change the tubes in my DAC. 

But last time I used a Furutech ADL USB cable to connect my desktop to the USB input of the DAC and did find it a tad too bright. I then connected my desktop to a Singxer SU1 DDC and used it to connect to the coaxial input of the DAC, the sound was decidedly more pleasing and less bright. 

I bought an Oyaide Neo Class S USB cable, tested it both direct USB and with the Singxer. The Oyaide sounded really good with direct USB, smooth, just a touch brighter than with DDC/Coaxial but with better soundstage and imaging. Ditched the Singxer and used only USB cable now. So, the quality of the USB cable did matter in my case. 

@auroravengeance good to hear you found your solution.  The Oyaide USB sounds like a good cable.  I use an Audioquest Coffee I picked up used and am happy as well. Enjoy your DAC!

funny -- this thread was started by @teajay in 2018

are we reasonable to assume the subject dac is now flattened and dried out roadkill for the new boys on the block? 😂🤣😁