I did my due diligence and searched for any threads on the EE MiniMax Plus (which came out last August I believe) but did not find anything. If I missed it, then please accept my apologies for starting a new thread, and please point me in the right direction. Otherwise, does anyone have first hand experience with this latest version ?
I am looking for a DAC sub $2K and so far I have audition / heard a few of them that did not fully satisfy my requirements. Namely, I heard the Musical Fidelity M1, Sim Audio D100, Cambridge DAC Magic and the Asus Xonar Essence One. All had interesting and positive characteristics and features, but all were missing in one or more areas.
The sound I am looking for is: detailed, revealing, 3d soundstage, depth, linear in frequency response but with some low end authority albeit tight and controlled. Basically I want to be enveloped in a full lush sound that does not exaggerate any specific areas, but extracts every bit of information available from the original recording.
The original MiniMax seemed to be very well regarded by multiple reviewers, so I am curious about the new updated model. The ability to switch between tube and SS is intriging and could offer two different flavors depending on the material.
DACs that are on my short list include: The Anedio D2 (Project86's review of the D1 had me convinced, but then there were none available from Anedio as they were refreshing the model). The EE MiniMax Plus, Yulong Sabre D18, the WFS D2 and a bunch more in that price range that I have not heard yet.
There are so many DACS under $2K that it is overwhelmingly difficult to choose, I don't want to make a mistake and be unfufilled with any purchase. If I could have them all lined up in my basement on my system that would be great, but that's not the case, it's almost a blind purchase which makes it even harder to choose.
I don't really require USB because I use a Sonos music system, so the Sonos Coax digital out would connect to the DAC, which would connect Balanced to my Anthem AVM-20 Pre-processor, then to the Anthem MC-20 amplifier and finally to the Acoustic Zen Addagio speakers. I have no need to use a DAC with my computer, the Sonos is connected to my network and my music resides on a Seagate Black Armor 440 NAS. I also don't really need an headphone amp.. I do have a pair of AKG 240 Studio cans and also a pair of Beats Studio but I rarely, if ever, listen to music with my headphones. But if the best DAC for me has a headphone amp built-in, that's fine to.
The Sonos internal DAC is terrible which is why I never use it, instead I connect the digital coax to the the Anthem AVM-20 which uses AKM DACs and are decent, but not superb, it is after all 10 years old. By comparison my Pioneer BD DMP-BTD350 sounds slightly better than Anthem which is 10 times the price of the BD player.
Sorry for the long post.. just wanted to give a bit of background and where I was coming from. So.. any feedback on the EE MiniMax PLUS would be greatly appreciated.. or any other recommendations as well..
Edited by Riker - 2/27/12 at 6:17pm