Sorry for the "which X for Y and Z" sort of thread. If you think it's a pain, don't respond to it and it will sink at the bottom end of the thread pages.
I'm interested in buying a nice system but I'm still perplex as to which DAC would be most interesting to pair with a Phonitor + HD 800 (potentially using Amarra or Decibels as player). I was thinking about those :
- Mytek DSD DAC
- Anedio D2
- Lavry DA11
- Violectric V800
I prefer to buy either professional equipments or from designers with a good and serious reputation (yes, that means measurements and no dubious marketing verbiage). There may be other choices around there, but I'm not looking for NOS / DIY / tube DACs and I'd like to remain in that price bracket. I'm open to use a USB to SPDIF converter as well in case the default USB port is a problem.
I can easily read their respective features and make up my mind in that regard but I'm hesitating between those because of their sound signature. The Phonitor + HD800 combo is likely to be quite "transparent" and may reveal one thing I'm very afraid of that I call "digitis", and also bad timbre accuracy. I'm particularly concerned about the two Sabre-based DACs (Mytek, Anedio), as a lot of reviews of these Sabre - based DACs tend to say that they sound quite smooth and not fatiguing, but at the same time a little lean / thin through the midrange and some complained about timbre accuracy. On the other hand they do get the measurements right, are very well received on other points (details, soundstage, etc.). The DA11 seems to get widely contrasted views about this point, going from "dry", "sterile", to "analog", "full-bodied" - I don't know which one to believe. On the over hand it's designed by Dan Lavry, has been used in studios for a long time, etc. Some reported an improvement when using a USB to SPDIF converter instead of the USB port, I may try that. Finally the Violectric comes from a very serious company, but I'm not sure there is enough feedback for me to jump there yet.
Which one would you pick if your were trying to build a system around a Phonitor + HD800 using a Mac as a source and Amarra / decibels ?