DAC suggestions

I know I shouldn't have. I have an inexpensive PS Audio dac I upgraded after seeing it on the web. It sounds good but I'm looking for better. I would like to get away from some of the brashness, shimmer, sizzle whatever. In the past I have owned several different dacs including Antelope, AMR and an integral dac in Mac 2500 pre. Can you make a suggestion? My budget is around 2 grand used.

I'm curious about lampizator. Aqua voce, T+A. I know there are a million. My system consists of Bat 75se amp and currently but soon to change a Cary 98 slp pre and Von Schweikert VR4 jr speakers.  thanks




I am currently using a T+A DAC 8 with a Wolf Server, Circle Labs A200 and Audiovector R3 Arette. I not not find it all “bloomy” (whatever that is supposed to mean) on my system. One has to keep in mind that every element of your system is going to influence the output, including your room. Of course I would like to transition to their new model but it just doesn’t fit my ascetics requirements, looks too much like many of the 60/70’s mobile recording decks I once used, plus it is very pricey. However, $2k for a well loved unit is a good place to start. Hope you find what fills your listening needs.


thanks nott. I was wondering myself what bloomy really meant. The dac 8 and it's successor the 200 come highly recommended from others I speak with. thanks

I've recently upgraded my Musician Pegasus to Lab12 Dac1 Reference. In the process I auditioned quite a lot of DACs. Here are what I think about their sound quality compared to each other:

Tier S: Lab12 Dac1 Reference, Weiss DAC502 MKII, MSB Discrete, Aqua La Scala MKII

Tier A: Rockna Wavedream, Esoteric N-05XD, Teac UD-701N

Tier B: Musician Aquarius, Rockna Wavelight, Morpheus Sonnet, Audiobyte Hydravox

By no means my tier B is not excellent, but the four I put into tier S were the ones that grabbed my attention immediately and addictive to listen to. 

I'd highly recommend the BorderPatrol SEi DAC !  I have one and it's terrific.  Very analog like and realistic sound.  It's an R2R ladder-type DAC so those types have that characteristic also its not over-sampled or digital filtered.  Well within your budget new !  

I wouldn’t characterize T+A DAC 8 as bloomy either. There is a nice liquidity perhaps, that makes it a very natural, engaging and soulful DAC in delivery but detail and separation are still leading characteristics.

And yes, the T+A DAC 200 is definitely a step above. There was a great review about it shared on another thread in this forum.