FWIW I am very much enjoying the XcanV3 and LCD2 combo - equally as much as the BCL amp - and the price difference between these two amps is staggering.
That is purely because - after thorough testing - it's the Dac that I hear, more than the amp. Through both amps I am hearing predominantly my Bryston Dac. When I plug-in the Dacmagic, I took a huge loss in audio quality, I wasn't expecting that result - through both amps - the Dacmagic colorations and distortion would not go away with hybrid or solid state - that dacmagic sound dominates.
I'm going to have an educated guess and say that one is better if with the likes of an Asgard - for $250, mated to a hi-end dac - than a hi-end amp mated to a $250 dollar dac. You're better of throwing all your resources in sourcing - garbage in, garbage out. This was truly evident with the LCD2s. With my other cans, I always thought the amp made more difference than my dacs - those cans weren't as revealing of the different sources than the LCD2s.
The differences between the Dacmagic and the Bryston were staggering - only with the LCD's I finally feel the Bryston earned it's keep - I had always labelled it exotica thinking it had appalling price to performance ratio, now I think it's worth every dollar paid. All the high praises I have for the LCD2's just do not apply when I heard them through the Dacmagic - the LCD2s with average source sounded very unspectacular and average. Using the Ipods LOD to the amps - made things unbearable.
Edited by SP Wild - 8/12/10 at 8:30pm