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Best DAC under $2000 - Page 3

post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
Not worth the price.. I had the XDAC3/Tube buffer/External PS, which is basically the V8 all rolled in one, except it supports USB & you can turn on/off Solid state.. The MF 324 is still superior & can be had used for 600.00.. My Benchmark was a upgrade over the above mentioned, & cost 600 less.. For under 1,000 The V8 would be a good purchase though..
Are you refering to the MF A324 Dac? It's what i've been using for a couple of years now and i'm happy. But if something better should cross my path, i'm most assuredly NOT against a change. I've actually been eyeing that Stello DA220 Mk2...
post #32 of 66
Thread Starter 
The Monarchy M24 did cost total less then a $1300 (including shipping and all the customs fees). So I'm testing it first. Thanks.
post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool bubba ice View Post
My Benchmark was a upgrade over the above mentioned, & cost 600 less.. For under 1,000 The V8 would be a good purchase though..
Yes, I agree, I think the Benchmark is great value for money, it would be my pick also over the MF, I have one (DAC1), although it's not my main source, but I think it sounds great and could easily live with it. But the OP doesn't like it....
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
The World Hifi Group website work fine for me (though a limited one).
Don't know any distributors/dealers over there though. But someone else might know..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salt Peanuts View Post
If you don't mind getting one used, they show up every now and then on Audiogon.
Thanks for your help. I'll keep my eyes peeled.
post #35 of 66

Uh... That Would Be...

That would be the Monarchy M24 on the FS Forums right now - at a truly bargain price!
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElChupahueso View Post
Are you refering to the MF A324 Dac? It's what i've been using for a couple of years now and i'm happy. But if something better should cross my path, i'm most assuredly NOT against a change. I've actually been eyeing that Stello DA220 Mk2...
Yes.
post #37 of 66
This is a good thread because the sub $2000 group is quite large with both producers and consumers. I would recommend the Stello 220 mk2 but I have limited experience (and certainly nothing coming close to an extended inhome audition). What's so good about the Monarchy M24 to put it in the same league as the Stello??? The tube output stage? Price? And despite the OP's preference, there's no denying the great value of the benchmark DAC1; a product that will eventually make it into my home whether as a secondary source or for the stereo rig.
post #38 of 66
A used Tri-Vista DAC sounds a good bit better than the Bechmark DAC-1 to my ears. They can be had for around 1.2 to 1.3K used on A-gon. The Tri-Vista DAC is upgraded version of the DAC in the Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD/CD player.
post #39 of 66
I have a different approach. I use my Cambridge Audio 840C CDP as my DAC. I haven't done a thorough A-B test, but my friend who has the Benchmark DAC is going to try the 840C after hearing my system. It uses twin Analog Devices 24 bit DACs, and the digital gets converted to analog differentially, meaning the left & right channels get split in the digital domain & then get converted into analog with 2 DACs per channel. So if you use balanced output? You'll get killer results. Who else uses Analog Devices DACs? Esoteric... enough said.

Is it tube-like? I can't categorize it as that, but I can't also categorize its sound as solid state... I often think that way of analyzing sound is reductive. Music just sounds really warm, less digital.

And, oh yeah. It's one hell of a good CD player. The music sounds fantastic from my Cambridge on both the solid state Plinius 8150 and tube Leben CS600.
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdivider View Post
Who else uses Analog Devices DACs? Esoteric... enough said.
Funny, I thought you were going to say Benchmark, they use an Analog devices DAC also. Not 4 of them though, which I believe gives a slight improvement in noise floor.
post #41 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
What's so good about the Monarchy M24 to put it in the same league as the Stello???
I don't know yet is it even on same league with Stello, but even used Stello's are out of my budget (>1900$ in here). Friend of mine did say it sounds realistic, life-taste, not sweet / soft enough. I think that cheap audio equiqments sounds offen too "mechanic".
post #42 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
What's so good about the Monarchy M24 to put it in the same league as the Stello??? The tube output stage? Price?
All of the above...

... the Monarchy M24 (the older 2006/7 version with the Silver Faceplate) has a rich, warm, textured, organic sound with great soundstage, detail and clarity. It doesn't have an overly cold, analytical sound - which many reviewers note about the DAC1, etc.

And... the reviewers regard it close to the $17,000 Combak Reimyo, and much better than the DAC1.

All... at a price from about $800 to $1100.

Perhaps that would be it...
post #43 of 66

dAck!

I'm rather surprised that no mention of the dAck! has been made in this thread yet. Highly recommended! There's much to be said for the Kusunoki approach to DACs. Audio Note, among others, have adopted this design concept with great results.
post #44 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrith View Post
Benchmark DAC1 USB. It supports 96K via USB without any special drivers and is probably the most universally acclaimed DAC of the past 10 years. Plus it is a bargain compared to other DACs and will have a good resale value at a place like Audiogon should you ever decide to sell it.

I suggest you compare it yourself to another DAC before assuming it has a "machine" like sound based on something you read on the internet somewhere. You may be very surprised by what you hear (I know I was when I first heard it, after reading posts by some people said it didn't sound very warm). No, it isn't warm. But it isn't cold either. It is just right. And the later models (based on my own blind tests) are MUCH better than the old (pre-2006) models that most of those people were referring to when they wrote stuff like that.
Far from musical & warm though.
post #45 of 66
I'm surprized it took 5 pages of this thread
for someone to even mention Audio Note.
Check out their kits if your into DIY. I'm
an analog/tube guy, but these dacs are
about as close as you can get to vinyl in this price range. Lots of opportunities for
DIY upgrades as well.
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