Does anyone here own the DAC 2.5? What op-amps are used in the output stage for the XLR's and headphone out?
I briefly auditioned DAC1.5 and 2.5 from Bel Canto. Mostly with my speakers though. They have a nice spacious and three dimensional sound. Very enjoyable when paired up with Bel Canto REF150S power amp. With my integrated S300iu the sound gets slightly too analytical and clinic to my taste though. 1.5 and 2.5 have very detailed sound so if your amplification is towards brighter sound you might want to look elsewhere. Both Bel Canto DACs lost to Wyred4sound DAC2 in my setup. W4S didn't have quite that spacious and three dimensional soundstaging but it has more attack and better PRaT. It just keeps up better with complex passages like doublebasses and stuff like that, which is very important for me.
Between the 1.5 and 2.5 I couldn't hear any clear differences. 2.5 has few extra functionalities and built-in PSU which takes the price higher but I guess the DAC sections of the two are identical. USB input of BC DACs was clearly inferior compared to the Hiface + coaxial route. Then again with W4S DAC2 (which has async USB input) the USB input is better than the Hiface + coaxial. So BC still doesn't have a proper USB input on their DACs. Not sure about 3.5 though.
The built-in headphone amp on BC DACs was CLEARLY inferior to the Lehmann BCL which I use regularly. Also the headphone out doesn't have enough juice for HD600. I had to crank up the volume to 85-90/100 for normal listening volume. If I want to listen loud it goes over 90 and with some quieter recordings I'm not sure if it's enough. Not good IMO.