Back to the DAC

Just a bit of an update. When I inquired about a DAC upgrade in a recent post, it was suggested that I look at upgrading my cables first. Since then, I have done so (see my virtual system for that). Not over the top stuff, but a definite improvement over the mostly stock, generic cables I originally had.

System is sounding pretty darn good, but like most of us, you always wonder what a more expensive DAC will offer in the way of sound quality improvements.

Many of the recommended, higher priced DACs seem to include streamers and/or offer pre-amp capabilities. I have a good streamer and pre-amp and really don’t want all those components in one box.

Have any of you experienced a DAC which offers the sound qualities of highly praised units like the Mola Mola Tambaqui, DCS Lina, T&A 200, Weiss DAC501, etc. which their only function is a DAC?


@worldwidewholesales great insight, but I think for the general audio enthusiast and most general homeowners, it’s difficult to test hundreds of DAC, let alone 5, before purchasing.

It also seems that most DACs now come with a pre-amp function and optional network hook-ups.

Room treatments are super important as well, but many of us don’t have dedicated listening spaces so there has to be a balance between good acoustics and room functionality. I put up a bunch of panels in my room and I don’t think it sounds much better and they look like crap, so I think I’m going to take them all down now. Not looking forward to fixing/painting all those darns holes in my brand-new dry wall either!

And DAC prevalence over a pre-amp, that’s quite a revelation, thanks Bob.

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In relation to a dac, if you are using usb, then you will never get the best sound quality from the dac. The best interfaces to a dac are Ethernet and i2s and some of the best dacs don’t even include usb. I have a highly rated dac that I used Ethernet for the past few years, which was much better than using the usb interface. I just bought a new streamer to allow me to use i2s and still keep my Roon server running in a different room. I2s was a nice bump of sq over using Ethernet.

@rbstehno My Aurender N200 is optimize for USB out, so I need select a DAC with solid USB implementation. My Wyred 4 Sound 2v2 SE DAC was the same. You have to match the equipment's compatibility.

What DAC is it you use?