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



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.

Buy a pre-owned Ayre Acoustics QX-5 Twenty streaming DAC!!!  I compared mine to much higher priced DACs and came home with the Ayre.  Brilliant piece!!! 

I’ve looked into most of your suggestions and have the following incoming:

HiFi Rose 250A(preowned) for streaming connected via Cardas high speed clear USB to a Denafrips venus2 12th(new).

Fingers crossed.  I tried to pick units that were highly reviewed professionally and also had largely positive forum discussions.  Denafrips def met this standard.  This combo will set me back around $5k, which is also appealing. 

Just found a video of a reviewer talking about his Rose vs. Antipodes K22 FWIW

(Yes, not fair as the K22 is quite a bit more, I know) 

He rambles on quite a bit, so skip to about 14min in if you just want the Rose comparison