Time To Upgrade My Digital Front End

Been streaming via a LAN connection (through SFP’s) using my Gustard R26 DAC as a renderer and have been pretty happy with the sound quality, but I think I would like to step things up a little.

Many here mention the likes of Aurender, Auralic, Innous, and a few smaller, boutique companies as well. Most of these are a bit over my budget though.

I have been reading about the TEAC UD 701 DAC/Server/PA here on AG and some other sites and it’s getting decent write ups. I’m finding though that most of those threads on AG don’t have some of the more seasoned member’s opinions on the TEAC. Is it possibly not up to par?

The UD 701 is around $4K, under my budget of $5K. I’m not opposed to purchasing used (I see one on presently on AG) but would really like to have the security the warranty provides.

And I know, separates are preferred which the TEAC is not...



Keep it with separates , or  bricasti 3 dac streamer ,you can maybe get a deal on 


dac great buy Denafrips pontus 2-12th anniversary dac  , innuos has a cost effective mini  perrotta consulting is very good to work with and decent pricing.

The new Innuos pulse if you don't need to rip CDs. I have the Innuos ZENith mk3 connected to the Gustard X26 PRO and am very satisfied to say the least. So pulse with r26 should be equally wonderful.

I think you should start this journey by auditioning some other DACs in your setup. As an owner of an R26 I feel you could easily make a side step or even a bit backwards in the move.  The R26 offers tremendous vale from my experience. The DAC is a true darling and the streamer is not far behind at all. Unless you don’t prefer the presentation I would look into trying optical converters, clocks, and switches.  Not that the Gustard can’t be beat but it may take more than 5k, especially new. You could grab a Holo May used and add a Eversolo as streamer. Might be a bit above your budget but I can’t think of any other combos I’m really aching to upgrade to from the R26. In general I think buying China is the only way your going to make significant improvements with your budget. 

I went down the typical stream progression. First blusound Node, then Lumin U1 mini with Pontus II, both streaming Roon. I was interested in better sound quality and purchased a Aurender A15. I thought I would miss Roon but I do not. The Conductor app is very good and the sound quality is much better than what I was experiencing before, so much so that I upgraded to an A30. I couldn’t be happier. 

All great reads & stories, thanks to all! I’ve had a little setback financially with regards to a remodel I’m in the middle of so the urgency is on the back burner for now, but with all info offered above I think I really may consider the Aurender line. I’m just going to keep an eye out for a deal on a demo or used unit (as per @ghdprentice advice). Loosing Roon isn’t a deal breaker for me and with all the praise here for their app I think it sounds pretty good! Then just keep using the R26 for my DAC. Thanks again!