Looking for a tube (or tube sounding) DAC

I’m selling my Shiit Yggy and want to purchase a tube DAC as a compliment to my Primaluna Dialogue HP integrated amp. My budget is up to $6,000. I have a small assortment of music on a hard drive, do not have analog gear, no headphones, and listen almost exclusively to Qobuz through Roon. My list of DACs to consider so far are:
  • Lampizator Baltic 3 $5,900
  • Holo Audio May Level 3 $5,000 (not tube)
  • Tubadore III with all additions $2,300ish
  • Primaluna EVO 100 $3,000

Others I thought of, but are not tube are:
  • PS Audio Perfect Wave with network card
  • Mytek Manhattan II with network card

I live in a small town in OR and it’s four hours to Portland. I would love to hear suggestions from all of you. I’m looking for a nice step up from the Yggy. If you’re interested in my Yggy, it will be on Agon next weekend.

My gear:
  • Roon Rock via an Intel NUC that I built.
  • Ethernet connection to a separate switch, then fiber optics to an EtherREEN.
  • Bryston BDP-1 music server (might sell this too)
  • MiniDSP SHD for Dirac room correction
  • New DAC
  • Primaluna Dialogue HP integrated
  • Martin Logan Summit X speakers
  • Cables and interconnects are Acoustic Zen and Kimber.

Thanks, everyone!


BTW I wouldn’t use tubes on ML ESL’s, from experience, they dip to 1ohm in the top end and your highs will sound recessed lacking in openness and sparkle.

Cheers George
Couldn’t disagree with George more there are dacs which can have a more liquid sound yes that may be coloration but many Audio systems will sound more engaging with a bit of coloration
The ultimate sound of the dac will hinge upon the type and design of the analog output stage

One if the best sounding dacs you can get is the Aqua hifi la Scala


The Aqua is an r2r dac with a fpga stage which allows the dac to handle all high res files rhe Aqua is also 100 percent upgradable so as digital changes your dac can continue to improve

The lascala has a liquid midrange a huge soudstage and great resolution
It is a stunning achievement in digital the design and build quality is among the best you can find


Dave and troy
Audio intellect Nj

I don't want to twist your arm to spend about 1/5th of your budget, but the MHDT Orchid DAC sounds incredible with my Quicksilver tube gear, my Node streamer, and my Salk Speakers. I've matched it also with Atoll solid state gear. In all cases, it is clear without being edgy and always adds a third dimension to the imaging. There is no smudging of the image. It is available via MHDT on Ebay or via Linear Tube Audio, who are great to work with. That said, if I were to try another, from my research the Audio Mirror Tubador is at the top of my list.
sympathetic colorations and system synergies are the lifeblood of assembling beautiful sounding systems

we listen with our ears, for pleasure and to stir passion

'accuracy' and measurement geeks have always missed the central point of why this pursuit exists