DAC diminishing returns

Looking for some experienced input on the diminishing return as you go up the the DAC ladder. I mostly stream music and occasionally listen to CDs.  Currently, I’m using a Schiit Bifrost Multibit DAC.  It’s connected to my Naim Nait 5Si and that drives Zu Omen ii speakers. In my limited experience, I have not heard any substantial differences when changing DACs.  I’m considering a Denafrips Pontus DAC.  Does the significantly higher cost justify what might be a marginal increase in sound quality?  Is buying a more expensive DAC for better sound just splitting hairs, and making you feel better about your system?  Are different DACs just different coloration of the sound?

I don’t want to be duped into buying something I don’t really need. Thanks.


I got spoiled with a remote DAC, especially with the features it had.  Remote volume, source, EQ, digital filter, balance , and on and on 

The DAC that replaced it has no features other than power and input .   Preamp has remote volume so it’s really not a big deal.  Sound is really good.    If I have to decide between sound quality and features it SQ every time…. I believe it when they say many hours of listening went into this DAC.   It sounds like it.  Very natural sounding.    Fatigue free, engaging.



Congratulations. That is the way it starts. My rule of thumb is never invest less than 2x… then you get a profound wow and significant jump in performance. I have gotten them periodically for fifty years as my systems continually exceeded my expectations.

I had a full Benchmark stack, DAC3B, LA4, AHB2 and could never get really engaged with the sound quality vs other components, Pass Labs, ARC, HoloAudio. I ended up selling the DAC3B but still have the LA4 and AHB2. The LA4 is a very nice sounding preamp and my favorite component out of that stack. The AHB2 sounds decent, on the warm side in my setup but when compared to a Pass X350.8, the Pass is a noticeable improvement top to bottom. Build quality is very nice on the Benchmark stuff and I think they are very good values but I'm not convinced of all the hype.


Are you feeding your Dave with the M-Scaler, or is your huge improvement TT2+M-Scaler compared to standalone Dave?

@rockrider I am also using the M-Scaler with the Dave (as I was with the TT2), I haven’t tried the Dave solo yet, so can’t say how that would compare to the TT2+M-Scaler combo.