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
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.
Don't rule out the Minimax, did you read into it that since I didn't come out and say I like it or "it blows everything away" to mean I don't like it or that it doesn't meet your criteria of "musical". This is the point Happynick, you are being influenced by preferences of what others have said without knowing what they have heard or their priorities. Believe me, you aren't getting SOTA performance at this price point, of this I am certain but the price for really good sound is coming down. Then again there are features. Some offer more than others, how important is that to you and what features are primarily important? There are many recent threads on just this particular subject, check the archives. Cheap good sounding DAC's are a dime a dozen. I will say this at 1K the Minimax Plus performance is quite good even extraordinary in certain parameters that are very important to me and reminicent of what I hear in analog playback and live music. I can say I hear other things in the W4S that I really appreciate as well, things that the Minimax Plus doesn't do as well and then of course the Havana, not as much detail as either of the other two but a completely nonfatiguing musicality and most compelling with small scale music. You didn't state musical preferences. Some of the NOS DACs might be just what you are looking for, who knows? Did you gain anything from this or are you looking for absolutes? Use your reasoning and your ears, there is no other way my friend.
I should ad that I listen to a lot of Rock , flamenco,acoustic guitar , love good vocals,really anything but classical,and I did have a msb link 3 a long time ago that malfunctioned and got rid of it, also had a AudioMirror Dac 2,not good enough, want smoother more analoge sound,want the music to sound real and engaging . Yes the minimax sounds good from what I hear, so does ps link3,the monarchy m24 sounds like it will do the trick but only at the used price,perhaps at $1600 it is worth it and I should save up that is double what I wanted to spend so cannot say as of now, Nick