Originally Posted by sridhar3
At that price, it had better be in a different league.
Over the last 9 months, I've had the Berkeley Alpha 2 (+ USB) , the Zodiac Gold + Voltikus, the AMR CD-77 (my bought and paid for reference) and Aesthetix Romulus in my systems (2 channel and head-fi). All had their pluses and minuses.
I put an EMM Labs CDSA into my system and it is, far and away, in a different league. If the DAC2-X has a fraction more of the mojo than the CDSA has on just regular CDs, then, yes it's in a different league. Personally, I've stopped auditioning and put the CD-77 up for sale.
If I didn't find this CDSA, the Aesthetix is an awesome DAC that no one talks about (the Pandora DAC is the Romulus without the transport and functionality). 90% of the CDSA sound at <70% of the price, plus an excellent USB implementation, which the CDSA lacks completely.