Originally Posted by regal
#1 PMD100 3SE - this is an amazing piece
#2 PMD100 DACk 19mk3 - great for the price
#3 Reference 1 DSp v2 - disappointing, hopefully correctable
Thanks, Regal, I just had another look at your comparison!
The "diamond"-equipped DAC 3SE seems to be your favorite. The worst is Reference 1 - that one is not equipped with the "Diamond"-output and goes therefore probably under the "neutral" lineup (even though there is no indication on that on the audio-gd website). The "neutral" 19mk3 lies in the middle.
However, apart from the diamond-output stage, there is also the digital input filter that distinguishes these three dacs. Apparently, your preferred DACs were equipped with the famous and discontinued PMD100 filter - and the disappointing Re 1 came with DSP1... So the main difference is as likely to be in the digital input filter than in the analog output stage.
My just ordered Re 9 will come with DSP1 version 5. I guess, the older Re1 was equipped with an earlier version of DSP1. So I really hope, this filter is not a weak point of it...
I don't have any other audio-gd DAC of a similar level to compare with. However, I will let you know my impressions once it arrives and after some some time of using it. And I will compare it eventually with a Resolution Audio Opus 21. This is a CD player that features a digital input and can be used as DAC. It features four PCM1704 - DAC-chips like the audio-gd Re 9 and sells at about 6000 US$ (it think it has been reviewed here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/264629/resolution-audio-opus-21-full-stack )
Edited by ursdiego - 11/10/10 at 2:53am