Imo if you have to ASK others whether you need the audio-gd ref 7, most likely it's not the dac you are looking for. Just looking at the pictures should let you know it is massively overbuilt, and imo, if you don't understand or agree with the purist size-no-object design philosophy, or you don't apply it to other aspects of your audio setup, then you will not truly appreciate the ref 7.
Agreeing with you. In this case, I'm not asking if I need an Audio-gd Ref 7 because in this case, it's a case of buying once and not looking back. In my online research, I've hit a big snag and I can't get off the snag. The snag isn't will I pick up the sonic difference but the question, for the money, is there a difference to be picked up on? Where does the line of reality leave off in the case of DAC's (esoteric) and where does the rubber meet the road, reality?
As with most, my limitations are money. The monies are there for a NuForce OPPO BDP-83SE; $1,295.00. So we'll call that my budget. As to the why? My ears, brain and music pleasure centers are the why. But what's the what with the what when one writes regarding the "need" for a DAC.
As I wrote, I'm looking at a NuForce OPPO BDP-83SE for it's combined capabilities and doing so, based upon my reading, has kicked over these questions. And doing my due-Google-diligence, I'm not finding answers to my question regarding a fair comparison between the DAC mounted on the ASUS STX and something like what's in the Ref7.
My whole original purpose was to simply get the NuForce OPPO for the combined Blu-ray/DVD/SACD/CD capabilities and be happy. There I am reading and reading and reading and the questions start to mount to the point of overwhelming me and Google. It wasn't pretty.
Edited by beeman458 - 9/13/10 at 4:33pm