Originally Posted by project86
Yeah it's definitely not a super high value option, like many people thought their original DAC was. That case on the Femto has gotta cost a pretty penny.
Sounds like someone has figured out my preferred sound signature, at least as far as DACs go. And I think I've got yours down as well. Based on that I don't necessarily think the Femto would replace your Master 7, but you maybe would like it more than the Vega or Anedio or Invicta. Different strokes and all that.
In all honesty, I could, if I had started from scratch, taken the Anedio and a pair of Magnums and be done. I think I like a touch of musicality when listening to acoustic music (and I'm listening to Shpongle now from the Anedio to the Adam's).
Originally Posted by Gandah
Probably the best way to explain what I was looking for "just going by other peoples impressions alone" is the detail of M7, musicality of Eximus DP1, tight refined bass of PWD, and smoothness of Zodiac Gold, which ultimately led me to the Femto
I liked the Eximus over the Invicta at the meet, despite the sound stage sacrifice. If you liked the Invica you'd like the M7 I think. I haven't ever heard a PWD or Zodiac Gold, but the latter I know I can borrow if I want. I'm a bit scared I wont be so impressed after trying all the others though! They have a DSD DAC now and I've requested a loaner of that when available. There's a guy with the Mytek who brought it round. Probably helped that it was running out of my power conditioner it sounded good, but it is on the "musical" side like the DP1 etc.
Redbull: Very roughly, the DACs I've heard or owned have sound signatures somewhere between a NOS DAC, which is far on the "musical" side (using Kingwa's term for it which has stuck in my head) and the "analytical" side, which often describes DACs made more with perfect measurements or performance in mind.
Musical: Metrum Octave (NOS), Mytek, Metric Halo ULN-2, Parasound DAC1600HD, Audio-gd PCM1704 DACs, Bakoon, Eximus DP1.
Somewhere in the middle: Centrance DACPort, Audioquest Dragonfly, most BB PCM510X or 199X DACs I've tried, Audio-gd NFB-10 series.
Analytical/clear: Anedio D2, Invicta, Esoteric, Calyx DAC 24/192 (with caveats), Benchmark, Lavry DA11.
It's kind-of a bad list as it covers a huge price range and at least "musical" can mean a broad range of things about the sound. If I had a choice other than the Master 7 it'd be a DAC that sounds like the Parasound DAC1600HD but plays high-res files. If my father were still alive, I'd have given mine to him rather than sell it as he had a heap of CDs. After I heard Bakoon's one-off resistor ladder DAC in Tokyo they said I should get an MSB. They are probably right.