When you can't unhear !

So about two weeks ago I brought a dac home from my favourite dealer to evaluate over the holidays.

I have done this a couple of times but never been really impressed . This was different. 

The DAC is soulnote d-2 and it's not going anywhere soon !

Had it in my system for about 5 days when a friend came over and we had a listen, he thought it sounded really good and asked if I had compared it to my old? I haven't. So I plugged in the other and started the same track . It was not subtle, it was saddening how big the difference was. Switching back to the soulnote and wondering about how to unhear that, but I couldn't so I sold one kidney and one of the children and I'm much happier now 😁

Jokes aside, anybody else had that " can't unhear this " experience and what did you do about it?

My former dac was the Matrix audio X-Sabre Pro MQA. 

Have a good 2024 everyone  !


As damn well it ought to be for that price! (as my mother would say)

Enjoy it.

I've had a few of those kinds of experiences, but there are 2 that spring to mind:

First was an audition of an Esoteric SACD player. Whoah. So THAT'S what a high-end player sounds like. Bought it.

The second was when I tried a SR fuse in my preamp. Again, whoah. I fully expected that I would return it and get my money back, but it pays to try it for myself, right? It's still in there, lol. :)



I better not,  soon be running out of organs (and  children ) 😆

However, I have booked the clock around Easter weekend 🙄

Yes. I try not to bring anything home that I cannot afford if I actually stretch my finances.

The last time this happened to me I was not in the market for a DAC and my dealer brought one over. I had a Sim Moon 650D with the external power supply which I was very happy with. The moment… I mean two or three seconds and I was sending a text message to my dealer to order me one, wondering where the heck I was going to find $17K.

Well,  wife wants a newer car . If the budget all of the sudden happens to 30k instead of 40 I think I'll get away with it 🤔

You can always finance the car 🤣. I have heard the full blown demo of Soul Note components at AXPONA, they are pretty special. Enjoy your new DAC! 

+1 @coralkong if you look at my system, it was supposed to just be a second basement system to hear while working on my model railroad.  I went to audition the Parasound Halo Hint 6 integrated w onboard DAC.  The speakers at the demo were mid level Kef.  I thought it sounded so so. then the dealer swapped in the Esoteric CD player as the DAC.  I was blown away.  I did not buy it, but I bought a lot of other good stuff once I had heard it.

@iseland congrats on the D-2.  I recently purchased a barely used A-2 for our weekend home, and it is amazing.  I am jealous as to the possibility of a D-2 DAC with the A-2.  I would need a streamer though I think.  Recommendations for a weekend home @lalitk ?

@chayro do you have an A3 with the D3?  and of course the clock?  how much better is it?

...and I liked every Soulnote system (?4or 5) I heard at CAF.  Weren't they part of a large distributor section with multiple rooms?

I had that aural revelation about four months ago.  I was a long time Krell fan with my ‘97 vintage KSA 300s  and KRC-HR that needed recapping again.  My dealer brought a pre-owned Burmester 032 integrated amp as a loaner while my Krells were in for service.  The improved in speed, clarity, detail, timbre, holographic imaging and soundstage width and depth without any loss in micro dynamics, macro dynamics or bass impact even though the change was from 300WPC TO 105WPC had me telling my dealer he was not getting the Burmester back.  I worked out a trade-deal and gained approval from my wife.  Leverage was it was my retirement present.  


I didn’t know you were into model railroad. I had a full blown N-Scale setup in my previous home and then everything went into boxes as our new did not have any room. 

Back to streamer, why not Aurender N200 if you’re considering D-2 with A-2. Now I am feeling bit envious….how are you liking A-2. 


I've heard this sort of repartee before....but the subject 'matter' was around 'n about 'something else'......

....lemme think..... 

Oh....*L* 😏  

Yeah....certainly as expensive.....in quantity... ;)


Hi @lalitk The A-2 is very nie.  It was hardly optimized, replacing a Halo A51 with surround pre pro, stok ables everywhere and old B//W Nautilus 802's.  but it shines!

I now have added an Elation PC, Auralic altair wifi streamer / DAC nad an elation Power cord.  It shines already.  smooth and sweet sounding, and plenty powerful.   I am only there about every other weekend, so trying to not go nuts.

I have large HO layout I have been working on for years.  I could pm you some pics...






I just purchased a set of cone spike decoupling gliders from Herbie's and I can't believe the benefits it's provided being upstairs on carpeted subfloors. I should have started with speaker isolation before system upgrades and I'm sure it would have made the wow factor even bigger. But these aren't leaving my home. 

Thanks for the input Jerry but the subject was not necessary about pricing as much as about the "wow ,this is something fantastic " experience because it does not come very often. 

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories, I love reading about it !


So I couldn't keep my fingers from the cookie jar , took the clock x-3 for a spin and that is not leaving my house anytime soon... 

It's kinda hard to explain how much of a difference it makes,  in short terms it makes everything better..more..clearer..focused .


Forgot to mention wider deeper sharper and more relaxed at the same time, how that's even possible beats me but still it is.

I've just had a similar experience to OP

My "current" DAC is the Cen Grand DSDAC 1.0 Super Clock, which is a fine DAC, absolutely nothing wrong with it but .....

I've had an itch to re-try R2R DACs again. I had the Ares II about 2yrs ago or so but sold it, probably a little hastily and funded my REL sub with the proceeds. My system back then has no resemblance to what it is now, and I just wasn't hearing what all the fuss was about with the Ares II in my system at the time.

About 5 weeks ago I spotted a pre-loved Ares 12th-1 up for sale on the auction site, so I bid and won. 

I fell in love with this little DAC; while the Cen Grand is very good, the little Ares 12th-1 is just so engaging and enjoyable. I can't bring myself to plug the Cen Grand back in. I'm not sure now, what to do. Just like the OP, I can't unhear what I've heard, and I have a DAC that cost x3 what the little Ares cost, just sat there redundant. I'm going to sit on it for little while longer, and make a decision