dac advice

HI my system is Rogue Tempest, appletv for my music it is in lossless,AIFF if I remember,and a pair of Mark&Daniel's Mini's, looking for a dac used or new $500 to $800 approx,considering psaudio dac iii, also easten electric dac,peachtree dac-it,has anyone heard these and what else would you suggest,I am looking for musicallity,smooth analog sound is most important to me, thanks for any imput, Nick
The W4S DAC 2 (and DAC1) didn't blow away everything mentioned above in my home/system. It's a very good DAC, but certainly not the be all, end all many taut it as.

With everything been said, do you see a trend? Seems like everyone's recommending what they bought. I recommended the Rega DAC, because it seems to fit what you're looking for (or at least I think it does), and I've compared it directly to many mentioned here and thought highly enough of it to buy it.

There's some very good sounding DACs mentioned here. My advice is to audition as many as you can and let your ears decide. More people will show up with more recommendations. Does that make choosing one any easier?
I recently got a listen to a Rega DAC (have been on the DAC fence myself) and also the D4S DAC2 and Dacmagic with a aftermarket power supply. I liked the W4S 2 the least and the Rega was the winner. System was Manley Snappers with a shrimp, Macmini and Oppo 83se with Vandy 3a's.
The W4S had a bit more detail, but also sounded cool and lean to us. The Rega really did sound like a TT, especially after my buddy fired up his old Thorens. The Dacmagic is quite a bargain.
I think the previous poster is right; most people like what they bought and few have heard multiple DAC's in their own system. My friend ended up buying Perfectwave that cost much more than the others and even with that he says the differences are pretty subtle. For myself I've made a 90% decision to go with the Rega, though I'm still looking at the DACmini.

Hi Happynick

My advice to you is the same as Kbarkamian's, audition as many as you can. When you rely on one opinion over another without knowing that listener's preferences and system you are taking a leap of faith, let your ears decide. At your price range, you might want to buy used on Agon. You will probably lose less if things don't pan out.

Another good point is made by Okoffend, the power supply. Unfortunately at this price point most power supplies are going to be somewhat compromised. This can manifest itself in many different ways, a smaller, less dynamic and less detailed presentation. I have on hand a new Minimax Plus, NOS MHDT Havana and OPPO 95 and have listened extensively to the W4S. I'm going to say that I have my preferences but it really isn't important giving you this information as much as impressing on you to listen and decide for yourself, they are all quite good, some a bit above your price range but the point is nothing in this price range is going to "BLOW AWAY" the entire field. Forget about those terms, it just doesn't apply here. Initial impressions are usually replaced by long term reality. You may stay in love but when you can acquire these DACs at such a relatively inexpensive price there is often the temptation to continue to look for something "better". After all, we are audiophiles, right?

A few others I would consider including the Rega which I haven't heard but can be acquired used with little risk. One in particular that I am interested in at this price point, a bit above your budget is the Metrum Octave, about 1K and you'll have to wait, it also has a separate power supply.
I agree to audition however noone in the Detroit area sell dac's that are mentioned,one dealer sells dacmagic,Audio research,and that's about it, so I am really looking for advice here,I am wondering about a used Monarchy m24 would like some imput on that item,and waiting for wadia's new 121 dac to come out this fall, sounds to me it would be one of the following ps daciii,Rega,Monarcy, or the new Wadia,any opinions or direct comparisions?
Happynick, I am in Kalamazoo. If I am heading over to the Detroit area in the next few weeks, I'll get in touch with you and could try to bring some stuff over for you to try. I'm not selling anything, but it may at least give you a chance to hear some differences.