Too many choices for R2R DACS--opinions appreciated

So I've decided to treat myself to a new DAC to celebrate a rather significant birthday coming up, and I'm very intrigued by the new generation of DACs employing R2R technology. Reviews have been unrelentingly positive, but I have way too many choices now, so I'd appreciate some opinions from any of you who may have had a chance to compare some of them. Price range: about $3K (with some slight headroom if the right DAC warrants it). I've looked at reviews for Audio-GD, Denafrips, Sonnet, and the new one from Jay's Audio (which doesn't yet seem to have any reviews that I can find). 

I'll be replacing a DAC that I actually really like, an Abbingdon Music Research DP-777 (not SE) which I've had for a few years now, but from what I read about the R2Rs, they appear to produce a sound I might like even better. 

Listening preferences: mostly classical, some folk, some Broadway, and I never  totally outgrew my taste for the good ol' rock music I grew up with. 

Rest of the system: Modwright KWI-200 integrated, Cambridge Audio CXU disc spinner, Ryan R610 speakers, Rel S2 sub. Cables: Audience & Cardas. (This all might be a bit TMI, but let's cover all the bases).

Your opinions gratefully received. Thanks!



I currently have an original Schiit Bifrost and a Denafrips Pontus ll.  It’s a PITA, but comparing them was interesting.  The Bifrost is great, but the Pontus ll is a totally different animal! Much better bass and better mids and highs. Definitely less analytical.  If I get the funds, I’d like to try other RTR DAC’s.

All the best.


Once again, thanks to all for the opinions and very helpful information. At this point (though it’s not set in stone--yet) I’m flipping back and forth between the Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE and the Sonnet Morpheus II. Reviews seem to favor the Holo DAC (narrowly), but there are downsides, principally the point of origin for shipping (Singapore, I think) and a rather long wait for the DAC to be assembled. There is a domestic source for the Morpheus which is a distinct upside, but it’s located here in California, so there’ll be a pretty steep sales tax tacked on. In the end, it’s probably a wash, price-wise. I did notice a Morpheus for sale at a pretty good price on USAM BTW, but you never seem to see Holo Spring 3 on the used sites. That could be a clue in itself. I’d welcome opinions. BTW, I’ve watched any number of Youtube vids about these DACS, which are pretty helpful but can’t really give a realistic idea of how one or the other would perform in my system (see original post).

There is Spring 3 available on headfi right now. On a similar note, some items sells quite fast typically, leading people to think that they don't come up for sale too often....

Let me narrow your choice! Get the Musician Pegasus R2R. The bonus is there iscacUS dealer on Audiogon. No affiliation! Good luck!😄

grist for the mill -- some points to add given my extensive travels in dac-land in the past couple years

-- audio gd may or may not deserve a bad rap... asr b-s aside -- i picked up a master 7 dac for fun for a grand used, it sounds excellent, built like a tank (easily the equal of the pontus 2 in both respects)

-- at the 1 grand mark i think mhdt’s dacs, with some tube upgrades, are the ones to beat for musicality and coherency of presentation, with the soekris units close behind (i have not heard the musician pegasus, which i believe is a cost engineered facsimile of a lower denafrips dac), superior to border patrol, schiit, rme, musical paradise, topping etc etc to my ear, in my system

-- while i haven’t yet had one in my own system, i understand from trusted sources that the holo may is a major step up from the spring, i would take the sonnet morpheus over the spring at the 2-3k price point if for no other reason than the features set and small form factor, it is best at the usb input though... the may, otoh, fits in well with the 5 grand competitive tier