Comparing streamer/DACs between $5-10k

I’m looking for a DAC/Streamer single unit, willing to spend up to $7-8k & not opposed to something like a recent model/demo/open box unit.  The only streamer/DAC experience I’ve had so far with my gear connected is with an Aurender A200 on demo from a dealer. Said dealer says it’s the “benchmark” at this general price point.  IDK,  It sounds great, but what would I likely hear differently with the following units?

-Meitner MA3

-HiFi Rose 150b

-Lumin T3 or P1



FWIW, I just bought a used Aurender N10 and am using the OXCO clocked SPDIF output. It is amazing. I am using a Schiit Gumby for a DAC, probably looking at an upgrade there as well. 



Congradulations! Great sounding streamer.

You are quite right about the additional opportunity for improvement by replacing the Gumby. I recently compared the Yggdrasil with the Linn  ~$5K DAC and it was like night and day. There are so much better DACs.  I was using an Aurrender N100 for comparison. So, you have a big opportunity for improvement. Depending on the rest of your equipment.


@ghdprentice Thanks! As for the DAC, I am going to let things soak for awhile, having upgraded preamp, speakers and streamer in the last six months. It is tempting to just go with an Yggdrasil or Pontus, but I will exercise some restraint, unless the right deal pops up! I am wary of ending up with a system that is too analytical, or maybe that is what I want? Need to listen for now.

I test drove a lot of contenders and pretenders listed in this OP and elsewhere .

you may want to consider MOON by SIMAUDIO for three reasons:

- top shelf premium build (made and serviced in Canada in Montreal ….not somewhere Far East …), …..and it has a premium audio performance that takes a back seat to nobody listed herein.

- if registered within the 1st month, the warranty is upgraded for free to ten (10) years

- best of breed upgrades program:

(a) 100% of original price as full trade in value within 1st year of ownership from new

(B) 75% of original price as full trade in value within 2nd year of ownership from new




Personally I'd recommend using a separate DAC and streamer, technology in both is changing rapidly and easier and cheaper to trade up a single unit rather than a combo. A used Aurender N10 can be had for about $5,000, a used Aurender N200 for about $4,000. That would leave $3,000-$4,000 for a really nice DAC.