I am in the process of setting up a nice little system for my family and I. The plan is to stream music from my pc laptop to an airport express using mediamonkey software combined with airfoil. The airport express will be connected to a DAC via optical and then RCA out to my Concept 11.0 receiver and then on to my Klipsch KG4 speakers. I use Ultrasone Proline 550 for my headphones. I am still waiting on my receiver to get here so in the meantime I am contemplating which DAC to get.
All the reviews of the V-DAC seem to be very good. My only hold ups on this one are the higher price for very little options and input connections.
The Maverick Tube Magic seems to have more mixed reviews but overall they seem pretty good. Right now I am leaning towards the maverick for the following: I have the option to listen to solid state or tube. I can start tube rolling which sounds like fun. It has multiple connections so I can hook up my DVD player, airport express, and future things like maybe a ROKU. Its about $100 less than the V-DAC. Also from the reviews of my speakers (I haven't heard them yet since I don't have a receiver), it seems that they sound better with tubes. Not sure if a tube DAC quilifies though.
Now the Matrix Mini-I I seems to get great reviews also, but the price tag is a little higher. The digital display kinda worries me because its one more thing to fail.
I would love to hear a few comparisons and opinions on each of these. I have read the 100+ page thread on the D1 and quite a few threads on the matrix and V-DAC. If you were me, what would you buy? Or do you have other suggestions in the under $350 price range?
I listen to all kinds of music but a lot of the stuff I like (reggae, dub, calypso) has heavy bass lines. However, I also like classic rock, blues, jazz, classical, and pretty much anything that has good rythm and harmony. Ultimatly I want a warm sound with good defined bass, but I also want to hear the detail of the instruments. I would not consider myself an audiophile, I just like good music, and a nice sounding stereo to play it on.
Thanks for the help!