Things seem to move so fast in the DAC world, and from what I can gather, unlike with more mature technologies, like speakers for example, in the world of DACs, time really seems to march on fairly rapidly. Already we are seeing new technology in 2013 from Meridian and Arcam, no doubt with more to come.
For that reason, I don't want to spend a fortune on a DAC, particularly as I'll probably upgrade it relatively frequently (like a camera body versus lenses). But I do want extensive detail, a lack of the harshness that I am experiencing at the moment, and a better soundstage.
That shouldn't be hard to improve in my system given that what I am currently using as a stopgap is the DAC in an Airport Express, but I would like to keep this under £400, and I wouldn't mind keeping it well under that. I also wouldn't mind buying British as I am currently living in England and they do have some good audio firms. And here, things like the Schiit are quite expensive. Over-priced really.
Finally, I don't need this to be a headphone amp, and don't need inputs beyond the async USB. Any AirPlay can go right to the Mini which I will be moving next to the HiFi when I get this DAC.
Mac Mini 2010, Rega Brio-R, and B&W 685 (the next component to be upgraded). Most files are ALAC rips from CD along with Grateful Dead lossless matrix files from eTree, some of which are now 24-bit.
Edited by netdog - 2/21/13 at 4:30am