Higher End DACs

I am looking for a DAC (potentially streamer&DAC) to be paired in a mcintosh system (c1100/611). Its my first foray into digital streaming and I have no need for a CD player.

I see a lot of love for Esoteric, however, most seems to be around their transports? Are they not as renowned for pure digital streaming and/or standalone DACs? I see DCS (for instance) often referenced for standalone DACs - how does Esoteric compare?
Ufguy, MQA will be a software upgrade for the T+A so you shouldn’t preclude it from your search for that reason alone.

The reason that update isn’t imminant is that T+A’s engineers are busy with the launch of their new Headphone amp, dac, so we are sure that once that product is compleated all the streamers will receive the MQA update.

You may also want to consider the T+A SDV 3100 verson which has a world class analog preamp built in.

The possibility that the preamp version may far outperform the Macintosh preamp and allow you to resale that might make that a nice option for you.

You should try to hear one it is a remarkable piece, and also the MSB and DCS products. We are sure that out of one of those three you would find a fanatastic dac. Obviously the Lumin streamers are 100% MQA compatible.

Also you should know that if you use a server to feed even a non MQA dac you will still get the first unfold to 96k for MQA you just wouldn’t get the second.

In our opinion the bettter dac playing non MQA will still outperform one that will. Food for thought.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ T+A, Lumin
bo1972, edited for brilliance:
The word ’synergy’ is an illusion. A source that reveals all aspects of sound will always work better in any system than a source that lacks one or more aspects of sound. 
The same goes for not only the source but every single part of the system. Therefore you need all different parts of your system to be able to reveal all the different aspects of sound. 

Even when you have one part (it even can be one fuse) that can not reveal all aspects of sound, the end result will always be incomplete. And it will create a lower level of emotion.  

Hope you don't mind me tightening it up a bit because that was brilliant. And not just because its exactly the philosophy my system is based on! From my System description:

The System is built around the philosophy that everything matters. Everything either contributes or detracts, and no one single component is any more or less important than any other. Even details as small as where a component goes or how the wire is routed make a difference you can hear. Everything matters. 

The System is also built around the philosophy that the ideal component does nothing. The perfect component does not sound a certain way. It does not impart, it does not detract. It is not there at all.

"Even when you have one part (it even can be one fuse) that can not reveal all aspects of sound, the end result will always be incomplete. And it will create a lower level of emotion." 


I am a music addict and I spend about 10 to 15 hours these days listening to new music every single week. I spend about 200 euros on music I buy to put it on my modified Lumin L1 music server.

Most people think and believe (and again it is all based on an assumption) that music you stream by Tidal or Qobuz is the same quality compared to the music you can buy by companies like Qobuz.

We want to teach new clients the differences between the same music played by streaming Qobuz, a Synology Nas and a modified Lumin L1 music server.

And now comes the truth...............

Our modified Lumin L1 server is over 70% better in sound quality compared to the same music at the same bit rate when you stream it by Qobuz.

People forget that you get a compressed amount of data when you listen to a song you stream by Tidal or Qobuz. At the same time, there are are more people who are listening to the same song. The fact that you stream even in High-Res does not say anything about the amount of data.

When you play the same song by a modified Lumin L1 music server including a modified Sbooster you get access to a much bigger amount of data.

It will blow your mind when you hear the differences between the same music played by the L1 and Qobuz. This is why almost all our clients bought a modified Lumin L1 music sever and an AudioFacts modified SBooster.

Even most reviews in audio the people who write articles by streaming music. This is even laughable. Our clients have all the same kind of experience when they started to use the modified Lumin L1 and the modified AudioFacts Sbooster.

They wanted to play music all night long. They all listened to their system more than before. This is what emotion does to us humans. It is sad to see how little people know about music and sound.

I want people all over the world to experience the beauty and emotion of music. For this, you will need all the aspects of sound. Without this, you only will have a limited level of emotion.

Lumin and T+A dealer,

You've stated you opinion over and over and over.....we got it. Thank you!
Humans are 100% unfit for audio, but they even don’t know yet.
Most of us here are humans, I think. We’re mere mortals, so it may be difficult for us to accept the proclamations made by a superhuman, or god, or whatever it is that you’re trying to convince us you are.