Thanks to all that responded in my recent post regarding my digital front end!

Many of you suggested Aurender for a streamer. I have found a demo unit that will eat up the majority of my $5,000 budget not leaving me much money for a new DAC.

I thought it was the DAC that was the most important item in the digital chain.

Any thoughts on this? Thank you!


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Hearing and perception is so subjective. I think TMR has an open DAC 1 Reference .   They are great to deal with , sometimes they will list something that’s on clearance , or demo units on eBay and it’s less money than through the website

I bought a new integrated amp through them on eBay.  I couldn’t do the firmware update and they were super responsive, offered another model as a solution.  Turned out to be a simple thing but they were all over it.   

You should make them an offer on a DAC , but make sure same terms apply and that’s that you can demo it and return if you don’t like it 

I bought mine with the intention of upgrading in a year , trading up to something 2 X as much but after a short time I said “why ?”   It sounds great and more importantly it’s tone and overall sound was great synergy in my system so I ended up using that money on a Turntable and phono pre

@oddiofyl - well, that’s awesome, thanks for letting me know!

Did you change any tubes on you DAC as per Terry London?

No. It’s 15 months old.   Has the original EH in there.   I’m thinking of getting a pair of JJ 6922.  They sounded great in my CJ preamp and don’t break the bank.  

I will probably get them from tube depot as a matched pair / matched triodes it’s worth the extra bucks and when I test them I’ll be confident they are as advertised 


Most NOS (non-over sampling) DAC are pretty darn good. And LAB 12 DAC 1 uses one of my most revered tubes. If you can score a NOS pair of Telefunken ECC88, you would be in musical heaven with DAC1/N200 pairing.