Bel Canto 3.5 mk II

How does the older Bel Canto 3.5 mk II DAC w/ VBS compare to the current DACs available?  Keep the discussion to DACs around $1200 new or used.  I can get the BC for $1100 inc VBS power supply.




I had the DAC3 VB on demo for a while and it was sublime. I got to compare it to a non VB DAC3, and the VBS makes a huge difference. I don’t think there’s anything today significantly better around $1100 so I’d strongly consider going for it. The great thing is if it doesn’t work for you or you happen to find something better you can likely sell the 3.5VB for little/no loss so not much risk, but I think you’ll be very pleased with what you hear. Hope this helps, and best of luck.

Thx soix … I do not currently have a need for USB and this seems the only input lacking on the BC.  One would think digital from 2011 or so may be out of date hence my question.  Most of my listening is still CD based 

I still have the Bel Canto 3.0 that is kept even after moving up the "food chain", because it still sounds good and is so versatile.   I use optical cable input for 24/192 streaming from my tv to balanced (Ayre) amps. Use balanced with this unit if you can, as there is a difference.  Bel Canto build quality, power supplies and the pre-amp also included in your unit are great.

Also,  If you decide it's needed,  BelCanto USB converters  can be found for around $200.  In a previous second system, I used USB digital from desktop to BC Dac 3.0 as pre-amp with a Jeff Rowland power amp, to good effect.  



Thank you sandstone… I do really like BC gear and their philosophy.  Seems digital should have made more progress in 10+ years but sometimes “old is new again”.