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If you had $5000 to spend on a DAC what would you buy?

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
I have a PSA DLIII right now, and while I love the way this DAC sounds, I feel its time for an upgrade.

The DAC you choose does not have to cost $5000 but you have $5000 to spend on any DAC you want. The DAC can be balanced or unbalanced and does not need to have a USB input.

Based mainly on sound quality, which DAC would you choose?
post #2 of 126
A fully modded EA Overdrive with I2S converter.
post #3 of 126
And archos 7 series with a 1tb SSD mod.+ a 64gb super high capacity SD
post #4 of 126
I would buy another RWA Isabellina... Its that great!
post #5 of 126
Berkeley Audio Alpha....without a doubt. It is marvelous.
post #6 of 126
Audio-gd Reference 1, or one from Esoteric, if they have a model below $5k.

I'd also be hunting for a second-hand Lavry Gold or a multibit DAC that uses the PCM1704UK.
post #7 of 126
something from Emm Labs or Esoteric, maybe.
post #8 of 126
Another Spectral SDR-2000 Pro (Which I am buying another of already) at about 2500-3000 used... maybe a Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC. Probably not though... same designer as the Spectral but not fully discrete or as cost no object and uses worse dac chips, but it does do hi rez and I already have a SDR-2000 well soon to be two.
post #9 of 126
I'd buy or commission a RAKK DAC from K&K Audio. I like the specs better than anything I've seen and there's considerable savings from DIY or even paying someone to assemble it. The balance of the $5k would go towards a used G5 PowerMac, loaded with a few terabytes of storage in RAID 5 to feed it.
post #10 of 126
the MSB Platinum DAC III is very good.

DAC III


or maybe the Theta Digital Generation VIII DAC. have never heard it, but supposed to be top notch.

http://www.stereophile.com/digitalso...iews/204theta/
post #11 of 126
Maybe the Lessloss DAC MKII, or maybe something from Audio Aero? I know there are a lot of killer DACs out there.
post #12 of 126
The Wadia 521 is awfully nice, but I don't think you'll find it for $5000. The MSB Platinum series is also very nice.
post #13 of 126
I mirror the recommendations above for Emm Labs and Esoteric. I would also add the likes of the Audio Note / Kondo range of DACs
post #14 of 126
I wonder if one might get a Sony DAS-R10 for that money. They only made about 100 of them.
post #15 of 126
The new Chord QBD 76 would probably be a great bet. I haven't heard it yet but it has garnered some fantastic reviews.
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