Originally Posted by athenaesword
I agree. at this point it looks like much of the review seems to favor the femto simply because it's priced at its current price point and therefore has to be "better". there seems to be no technological breakthrough here or revelation in terms of how certain elements are being implemented. even that USB line seems to have been thrown in just because.
in contrast, I'm finding significantly more information on the invicta. not to digress, but 2 days of visiting another pro audio forum, gearslutz, has revealed a list of dacs that don't seem to have found their way here but seem to be very highly regarded there. they just don't seem to have been marketed as well. these include the lynx hilo and the forssell mdac-2. both are also in the 2-4k price range and as far as I can tell, are very loved by the folks on that forum.
To add to what we have been discussing via PM - Gearslutz people tend to have certain criteria for the DACs they love. Have you noticed how they generally gravitate towards "studio" oriented units? Or units that look somewhat basic, where (as DaveBSC mentioned) you are spending more for the guts than the caswork? In contrast, some other forums have the opposite preferences - I've read a few places where basically I could determine which DAC they would like most simply by looking at the exterior.
I tend to think at HeadFi we have a somewhat good mix of preferences, though extra weight is given to value for dollar. On the downside we tend to demonize the more popular DAC brands (Benchmark, DacMagic, Audiolab) in favor of obscure brands (then again sometimes the obscure brands are simply better).
Originally Posted by arnaud
Probably because half of a product's sound and ranking against the competition is a result of collective mind reinforcement ;)
This is very true. I always applaud when I hear of someone who totally dislikes a popular DAC, for whatever reason, as it takes some courage to go against the crowd like that. I might disagree with their opinion on the DAC but I'm glad they are thinking for themselves and trusting their own ears.