DAC to pair with MA6600

Ok, guys... I'm in a state of confusion after reading countless threads and articles written by people much smarter than I.

I recently picked up an MA6600 and need a DAC to pair with it as 100% of my short term music will be digital. I may step into the vinyl game down the line, but it's digital for now. I'm planning on streaming from my imac into the DAC and can figure that out a bit later.

I love the aesthetics of the McIntosh products and I naturally gravitated towards the D100. Although it's entry level priced for their products, I'm having a difficult time justifying 2k for the aesthetic aspect of a DAC.

Does anybody have a selling point that should steer me towards or away from the D100? I won't be using the preamp, so this is exclusively a DAC decision, which has a multitude of competition.

Does this decision really come down to an aesthetic difference or is there something I'm missing? I can easily pick up a Peachtree for over a thousand less...

Just wanted to gain some thoughts from individuals that know much more than I. Oh, and please... the MA6600 isn't going anywhere, so no need to tell me to replace it with a 10k amp.

This is a decision you need to make on your own. Listen to the DAC and make a judgement as to whether you like it or not, based on how it sounds. You're the one who has to listen to it. What other people think isn't relative. There's way too much risk in doing it any other way.
As was mentioned, listening for yourself is the best bet for finding what you like. But if we didn't give thoughts on or suggestions for gear to consider then we might as well not thave these forums I suppose.

With the Mac D100 you will be paying for aesthetics as well as the pre amp funtions. I am sure it is an excellent piece of gear and it is getting well reviewed.

If you'd lik to spend less for a dac only and under $1k I would suggest you check out the Rega Dac, Arcam irDac as well as the Peachtree you mentioned.

Congrats on the MA6600, that's one heck of an amp.Good luck with your dac search.
I would suggest you buy a Universal player that uses the ESS SABERDAC chipset. A lot of great products can be found, from the $200 Audioquest Dragonfly (dac only), and the $500 to $1200 OPPO line of universal players ( I would get a OPPO BDP105, it has ESS Saberdacs Plus XLR outs for audio)to the $6000 McIntosh MCD 500. I really don't think the way a product looks should have any bearing. Having said that McIntosh products are some of the finest to look at and use. I have owned many over the years. McIntosh for ME makes AMPLIFIERS, that is their forte. All the rest of there products have to be listened to and purchased with caution when considering some of the better sounding products out there. While some of these brands my not look nearly as attractive they sound a hell of a lot better AND for a lot less money.
Thanks for the input, guys. I'm all for auditioning DACs and doing a blind test in my house... but with a thousand options available, I was looking for advice on what blends well with the 6600. Recent research has me looking at the Arcam irDAC... I would just have to get past the ugly aesthetics and bury it somewhere :).
I have the predecessor to the irDac, the rdac, and I really enjoy it. I think the irDac will blend very well with your 6600. If the irDac behaves like my rdac it will take 75-100 hours to fully settle in so if you try one leave it on and give it a couple weeks to reach its absolute best.

I've had my rdac for about 10 months now and it has performed flawlessly and sounds great.

What speakers are you using? Thanks.


I have Focal Electra 1007be... the beryllium tweeter can be a bit bright, but I'd rather be on the bright side than too flat. I listen to a ton of jazz, classical, female vocals and classic rock (pink floyd, steely dan, etc). I currently have 14' ceilings, hardwood floors and neighbors to each side, above and below... so I'm all about clarity and not about volume.

I guess I'm looking for the formula that everybody is... how little can i spend while getting the most, but not having to replace it within the next year.

Thanks for your feedback on the Arcam.
Nice! I really like the 1007Be. Great sound and a beautiful speaker as well. I think you're building an outstanding system. I hope you find the right dac for you soon.