Let's Talk DAC's

My current DAC, the Chord Chordette Qute HD is getting on with age and I am looking for a new one with superior performance. So far, I have narrowed down my search to five DACs. At the low end is the Denafrips Ares II and the Eversolo DAC Z8. Mid range the RME ADI-2 and at the top end the Chord Qutest and the Denafrips Pontus II.

This is for an all-digital setup in a 12x12 dedicated room. I have a much larger room with a much "bigger" set up, but for this room it is a simple PrimaLuna Prologue Classic integrated, Audiolab 6000 CD transport, ProAc Tablette 10’s, and a REL T/5i Subwoofer. I plan to add a streamer as well, but that is for another discussion.

I am conflicted with the choice between a delta-sigma modulated DAC and an R2R type Dac. I do like the FPGA technology in my current DAC. It has served me well.

I am certainly open to other ideas and welcome comments from those of you that have experience with this equipment.

I forgot to add; I like a wide and deep soundstage and good imaging. I also hate a rolled off high end.






@desperado915, how much do you enjoy your Chord DAC’s sound signature? Because if you do I’d highly recommend you demoing the Qutest. 

SMSL makes some good dacs, I’m using a su-9 and a su-9 pro both sound great using the usb input and xlr output rca also sounds decent the pro can turn off all filters which makes it a true hifi experience 

I agree with mbmi. I’ve had my Audio Mirror Tubadour IV SE for a couple of years now and love it! It has ended my perpetual dac upgrade cycle.

I'm not sure what's been mentioned before, however the Gustard R26 R2R DAC has received rave reviews and at $1695 I believe is a really good DAC.  I personally don't have one however if you can find a friend or acquaintance that has one to audition, it would help you decide. I personally have a Denafrips Terminator Plus and a BorderPatrol DAC both of which sound great.  I prefer R2R DACs as what I hear is more analog sounding than other types of DAC's I've heard.  Of  course, your individual sonic tastes will vary so I'd  say try whatever you can in your price range and decide.    Good Luck in your DAC search !