Yes but the cantata is a cd player and for many years people got by on running their headphones just strait out of their cd player, receiver, mixer etc.
When I first was introduced to mp3's say 10 ,11 years ago they sounded horrible a dac or sound card was more of a necessity than a luxury. I avoided mp3's for a long time until about 2 years ago. For me the difference between what I heard 11 years ago to what I heard 2 years ago was even more dramatic then listening to what a soundcard and dac did 11 years ago. After testing dacs ranging from $99-$299 I didn't think any of them had a better performance than my serato sl-3 and my sl-3 does more than just dacing.
While I don't have the right to say that dac's are a bad purchase I can say that I have been on the first step of the ladder and it felt rickity. I am open minded though so if you believe in dac's and what they do then I think that's awesome.
Mrtim6 also said he bought the cantata 2nd hand. Some of these cd player, vintage receiver, mixer's can be bought extremely cheap 2nd hand. Why not get something that does more than just dacing and amping? Have some fun with your music on top of getting great sq.
You missed my point entirely. I understand the device pulls double duty, what I was trying to say was that people buy the Cantata for the DAC section, not because it is an AIO unit. Actually. many people don't appreciate the AIO units for a multitude of reasons. If one were to pick up a Cantata for a significant discount that's great, my point in quoting his two posts were that he preached that he doesn't understand how people spend 4k+ on DAC (meaning why people buy expensive DACs that are overrated?) but he himself has an expensive DAC. It's like Donald Trump giving financial advice on how to budget and not overspend, it's hypocritical. Now that's not to say the Cantata is not an excellent component because it is and it deserves all the praise it gets. But that isn't the point.
Edited by Greed - 7/27/13 at 10:56am