Is there a DAC ranking list?

This is a follow up from my previous thread seeking more definition and presence in my music.  Among other ideas, I was advised to get a new DAC and several brands were tossed out from $100 to $1700+. The world of DAC’s is large, and I’m wondering if there’s a ranking list for them, similar to Crinicles list for earphones.  I especially like the value ratings on that list, such as “Redefines the price bracket.”

Here’s a recap of my scenario:

I listen to jazz at lower volumes on via my Apple iPad pro

My room is big, 20ft by 40ft, no carpeting or drapes, with a corner LP triangle

Apple AirPort Express Wireless Router a1392 300Mbps

B & O BeoLab 8000 powered speakers, 10ft from the LP 

Hsu ULS15 Mk II 15in sealed sub imid-room

Paradigm Monitor Series 7 12in sealed sub mid-room via wireless transmitter

Monoprice cables 10ft and 25ft, 22awg, 3.5mm plugs to RCA connections 

I am sure there are many good and great DAC’s out there.  But are there some that punch above their price category?  I also don’t want to pay a premium for one that exceeds the quality capabilities of the rest of my system.

My music sounds “A++” with my Moondrop Blessing headphones, so listening to on my iPad is giving me the quality of sound that I am seeking for my speakers.

Also, I don’t know if I need a DAC with a preamp or a streamer.  Thx for any ideas you might have that could help me.


Since we manufacturer audio products included a 101D DHT DAC with a separate 25lb power supply, we have heard so many DACs, etc.  There are no giant killers period.  There are good sounding DACs at their price points.  DACs in one persons system may not have the same SQ in your system.  We have 5 systems in our listening room in Northern New Jersey - all are welcome to come in and even bring some of your gear to hear how it may sound with the different speakers  we have in there.


You need to begin to lean what makes a component sound the way it does.  Tube vs SS.  Different tubes, different resistors, capacitors, chokes, etc.  Learn the basics and then you can get a better handle on what may work in your system.  I bet very few if any people hear have even heard a DHT product. Probably nobody has heard a DAC with V-Caps, Dueland Caps, Audio Note Caps, etc., let alone DACs with separate power supplies.  Hearing something at a show and not in your own system is nice but you still have no idea how it will change the sound in your own system.

Any one in NJ come by for a listen, we are always open to entertain.

Happy Listening.


Its a personal taste thing.

The best DAC I have owned is the Doge 7.

Better than  Lumin X1, Auralic G2 or any if them, Berkley Audio Aplha, or Danafrips Terminator which I have all owned and tested with my system.

VAC 70/70 and Wilson Sasha 

Also much cheaper


Dac's I own and sell

Wadax Reference DAC and streamer

CH Precision C1 will be upgraded to 1.2. All previous customers can get their Dacs upgraded.

Brinkmann Nyquist Mark 2

EMM Labs MA3

Hifi Rose 150 and RS250

NAD / Bluesound. 

Dac's should match the level of electronics, speakers etc you have. The Hifi Rose at $2495.00 rs250 is a great buy especially if you have a 2 channel/cinema system combo. The Wadax makes sense for guys who want ultimate systems, The CH Precision Factory certified $29K dac is a bargain with a HD streamer board. 

What's the point with a ranking List?  "punch above their price category? "  Most of the choices, recommendations from just about any corner of the market are subjective.  Some reviewers go cheap and cheerful and don't believe in pricey models and the same goes for reviewers who are only interested in the best sound, screw price.  And of course the great middle ground.  Don't make a choice by what you hear on YOUTUBE!  It's fraught with so many reasons why that's not the best way to go that I think are obvious and self explanatory.  Maybe the biggest reason is that some reviewers are much better at demonstrations than others, kind of like the brightest, most vivid tv set on the floor.  I always find a good starting point with many things is to find someone whose taste sinks up with yours, and build relationships where you can.  Then go and listen, taste, touch, and lock eyes with whatever you can.

Based Upon the Responses…it looks like buying a Bluesound NODE would be the best next step.  That would replace streaming from my iPad Pro and AirPort Express.  Then I could follow up later with a better DAC.  
The responses will help me narrow down the best Value in a DAC.