Originally Posted by AJHeadfi
Handmade in Germany.
If I were to consider the SR009 and appropriate amplifier, I would also consider a source component that can deliver in the same league. I think a good example is David Mahler's system. The source will cost you many times the SR009/amp. If you were to consider vinyl, even more.
You're right, made in Germany, never realized that. The point was they were different companies.
While top-flight MSB would be great for someone with the deep pockets who doesn't mind the ridiculous charges for their upgrades/add-ons, one shouldn't feel it a prerequisite for a Stax system or be dissuaded from a 009 system if they can't afford it. There are plenty of cheaper DACs that are very transparent. Vinyl is a different rabbit hole altogether.
At this point I have auditioned or owned over 15 USB-capable DACs from the 1K-16K price range (really trying to stay away from anything pricier due to the speed at which the market changes), and transparency and detail were not even close to linear based on price. The PWD (2K street) and NAD DACs perform way past their price point for example, while some other products (Lampy LVL 5, Weiss 202) seriously underperformed based on price. One shouldn't feel the need to spend "many times" on source - a NAD->BHSE->009 rig would (and has) given me great pleasure without really feeling I'm "missing out."
I think the ratio that some suggest for source/headphones/amp where source is so high either came at a point where many were using vinyl (between all the components involved you can end up spending a pretty penny) or at a point when headphone gear was cheap (HD650+melos etc) and computer DACs were in their infancy.
Edited by Radio_head - 2/2/13 at 5:06pm