This is the only DAC I plan on getting- I don't plan on upgrading it unless something new has lots of features to offer at a reasonable price. Even if I do, it won't be for a quite a while. I'll be using it with LCD-2s and some passive monitors, not that it really matters.
Whatever DAC I end up choosing, it has to have at least two selectable S/PDIF inputs (preferably one coax and one TOSLINK). I'd like to be as neutral as possible- no rolled off highs.
I'd also like it to be used as a preamp, so volume controls and a superior analog output stage is required. However, if nothing fits the price, it's not essential; It would be great to have, but can be omitted if required.
Other features that I would find useful, but are not required:
- Balanced XLR out
- Digital out
- Analog input
- Driverless USB input
- More coax/TOSLINK inputs
- Remote (this would be very nice, but still not required)
- Any other bells and whistles that I can't think of at the moment
I'd rather it not have a built-in headphone amplifier, as I'd rather not be paying for something that won't get any use.
The feature-rich Benchmark DAC1 HDR would be nearly ideal, but I can't really justify spending that much at the moment.
An ideal max price would be around $350, although I would be willing to go up to $900 if it can be justified (I'd really rather not, though). That price just denotes the ceiling. I realize most people just recommend the best product at the max price, but if something meets the minimum spec for less, I'd like to know.
I was considering the the MF V-DAC, although it's not as neutral as I'd like and is the bare essential, and I don't know how it would operate if both S/PDIF jacks has signals being fed to them.
So I come here asking if there are any other options that I should be considering?