I am down to the last piece of the puzzle. I am very happy with the sound of my system at this point, so I’m not sure if the DAC needs to be improved on. What I am looking for is to hear those background subtleties in the music a little more pronounced. The strum of a guitar, the stroke of the piano keys, the clicks, ticks & tingles that accompany the music. I do here that now, I just wondered if there is a way to elaborate on those background sounds (details) a bit more.

Is it the DAC that will make this happen? If it is, they say my Gustard R26 is as good as a $5K DAC, how far over that $5K do you think I have to go?

Thank you for your help and suggestions and the best to you all over the holiday season and beyond!

PS: I listen mostly to Jazz


@deep_333 how about a Niagra 3000?? I only have 3 components to plug in and I see one just came up for sale on USAM for under $2K. It’s 3 years old.

@navyachts , the 3000 should work just fine too...think of it as a sonic upgrade for all and any of your front end components and amps, including the Gustard (hence, a much better return on investment ).

Make sure that you plug any power amps on the outlet dedicated for poweramps (with the current reserves), it should sound better than the wall when you play any demanding tracks.

@yyzsantabarbara so you liked the Schitt Audio Less is More than the Lumin X1 DAC? I have the Aurender N200 and Gustard R26 DAC and was thinking of stepping up to a (used) X1 for a couple of reasons, but you think I should give the LIM DAC a try first? Wouldn't the "More is Better" be better? lol

@navyachts If one of the reasons is to eliminate a preamp and also stream then go for the Lumin X1. The Lumin X1 is one of the very best streamers (use fibre). It is also an almost perfect volume control which also works with the streamers output. I used that with my PeachTree GAN1 (amp/DAC) since it has no volume control and only a SPDIF input. The Lumin X1 is amazing for these reasons alone.

In terms of sound quality, I could tell a very small improvement in clarity with the LIM using my RAAL SR1a earphones. Now most things are not as resolving as those phones so you may not even notice.

The Schitt Yggi+ MIL DAC is also getting some love with some new thing they did. I have not heard it. In my situation I have a better volume control than the X1, with the Benchmark LA4 preamp, my streaming is also comparable with the Sonore OpticalRendu.

If I did not use a preamp, I would likely have stuck with the X1 in my office system. I normally hate a DAC doing volume.

One cool thing about the LIM is that it has 3 live outputs and in my office system I use all 3 of them with the following 3 systems.

  • RAAL VM-1a tube headphone amp (bought this amp again)
  • Schitt Mjonlir preamp | Schitt Aegir amp | RAAL TI-1b interface | RAAL phones
  • Benchmark LA4 preamp | Sanders Magtech amp | Magnepan LRS+

Super happy with these 3 systems in my office. The Schitt works perfectly with all 3.


@yyzsantabarbara well, they do have the 15 day trial period, I think I'll give it a shot. And I think I'll nix the Lumin as I don't really need the pre-amp for now ad if the LIM's DAC is just as good, why spend all the extra cash. Thanks!