When Will the DAC Singularity Be Reached?

A humorous title, but wondering if those more in the know have an opinion on either: i) examples today where inexpensive DACs (say under $2500) are comparable or superior to expensive (say over $10K) DACs or ii) can we anticipate that within a relatively few number of years that inexpensive DACs will basically achieve the sound quality of today's expensive DACs? Thanks. 


Given the slurry of related comments, your ears, the room and the winning hard of synergy it’s hard to know for sure about what’s definitive about a lot of gear. Is that hot new 8k DAC paired with an old 2k streamer? Given the certain proclivity of many here to be natural tinkerers or shoppers DAC parity or whatever component is on trail is hard to nail down. Did you wait hundreds of hours (sux months) before deciding? 
Beyound a certain level mining out a whee bit more is an expensive holy grail. 

I believe that DAC singularity point has been reached already.

I believe this not because i had much experience with high end dac or dac in general...

i believe it because i listen classical music and non amplified music and the timbre experience, the holographic 3_d soundfield i experience now with a low cost dac prove to me that Dac technology is mature... i dont partake ASR opinions about Dac... but they are not completely wrong either about dac... Amplifier is another matter...

I agree with @mahgister, including on his standard of comparison.  Within the last 5 years the DAC industry seems to have fully matured so that digital is fully competitive with any other medium.  It has taken over 40 years for this to happen. There are no trade secrets that would keep a great DAC from being made anywhere.   In an analogous😀 way, analog reproduction has continued to progress well after its media production has basically ceased.

There is, though, a caveat that should be applied to this discussion.  It is the the seeming equivalence made between price and quality.  There are great values in some truly great DACs.  IMO that is principally, but not exclusively, in DACs that are made in China.  My own Chinese DAC has been called, by someone in the industry in Europa, a $10M DAC for $3M.  I'm not here to sell any DACs and there are other Chinese DACs about which the same sort of claim can be made when comparing quality of internal parts and quality of manufacture to DACs coming from the US and Europe.  China produces most of the DACs these days.  Most of them are forgettable (except to the ASR crowd).  But some are truly great.

The relatively inexpensive sacs have gotten much better, as has streaming and the associated control software in the past five years. Sadly, dacs which render human voice naturally (and piano, violin etc), have jumped from $10k - 20k and up. That will never change. I’m happy enough using digital to find new music and for casual listening. 

I started with the Denafrips Ares II....great DAC.....then tried Schiit BiFrost II ...more detail but not as musical....Then jumped to Audio Mirror Toubadour SE IV....noticibly better than the previous 2. ( ALL ARE R2R DACS...)....Then got the Aavik $20K class D integrated U-150 with their own proprietary DAC chip....WOW. Spending more $ makes a big difference. DAC's are no different than Amps and pre amps and Speakers.....Better sound comes at a premium.

Thank you. SO Many Wanna be engineers here and most of them couldn't draw a simple transistor amplifier if their lives depended on it. Not to mention telling the folks that they should do things that could end up getting them charged wiht Code violations, or getting their houses burnt to the ground due to amateurish blathering.
It doesn't cost 100 time more to build a good DAC. and just because some engineer or company decides they don't have to gouge their customers for fancy wording in same editorial of product review...