Well I owned the Zodiac+ for a couple of years so I know it well. In saying that, I haven't heard it for nearly a year so can't compare them side by side. Regardless:
I personally think the DA8 is better. The Zodiac+ is a pretty special DAC though. It's digital section is second to none and it has a certain refinement up top that is unique, in fact the DA8 is the only DAC I've heard that comes close in that regard. Unfortunately the power supply section of the Zodiac+ is terrible, just a cheap walwart. And it shows in the presentation. It just misses out on that heft and blackness you get with a great linear psu.
So if you went with a great linear psu for the Zodiac+ (which I didn't) I'm sure it would narrow the gap substantially but research will confirm this. As stand alone units, performance wise it could be somewhat close but I would definitely go for the DA8. Considering it's half the price of the Zodiac+ makes it far better value too.
Hope that helps mate.
Thanks for the reply. I think I bought the Zodiac at the same time as you, and also had a welborne psu made for it, liked it but sold all my gear to finance a new car. Now with all the great impressions the biggest question is whether to make the jump on the DA8 or wait for the D8, which prolly will be quite a beast, but then again without the headphone amp :) And btw: last time I wrote with him he mentioned a set price (A8/D8) of about 4500US and no batch production, and price wasnt final yet.
Edited by Funklezen - 6/12/13 at 1:42am