Birthday DAC

Hi all,

I have been asked by a family member to help choose a new DAC as a birthday gift. ( wish my wife was as generous ).  My sister in law is looking for an R2R Dac; preferably tube based.  The only kicker is she wants a smaller size.  Her price range 3-5 thousand dollars. I haven't been down this rabbit hole for a while and wonder if there are any suggestions I could share with her.

Thanks !


@malibu457 Ditto…this Pontus amazes me daily…and not fully broken in. Best $1800 audiobux I’ve ever spent.

No experience with them but definitely on my list to try out: Audio Note kits. How "tubey" do you want your R2R DAC? They have tube rectification and output. You can also get a prebuilt unit.



+1 Denafrips Pontus 2.  Huge upgrade from previous Cambridge Audio DacMagic 200M

+1 for Black Ice Audio Glass FX Tube.

2 weeks new to my system. Customer service is outstanding. It’s a big upgrade from the NODE’s DAC. The supplied tubes after 200 hrs is a tiny bit harsh on the high end, but I’ve got some 50’s era Mullard’s coming from Brent Jesse, and that’s the point; if you don’t care to roll tubes, buy solid-state. On sale for $900 right now with an in-home no risk trial.


+1 for the Audio Mirror Tubadour SE DAC.   Version III and IV are both outstanding.   Tube NOS R2R DAC.   I love mine.