And now for today's news:
- The Yulong DA8 has been ordered. Grant Fidelity was knocking $100 off, so I took advantage of that while I could. Since it has a sponsor, it was going to be in no matter what.
- Speaking of ESS 9018 DACs, Vapor Audio got back to me and they have a 30-day free trial period, so the BMC PureDAC is back in contention. The problem is that I still have too many 9018 DACs on the potentials list:
- BMC PureDAC
- Benchmark DAC-2
- Anedio D2
I think four 9018 DACs is too many. I intend to spend the next day or so figuring out which 2, or possibly 3 (including the Yulong), will be in the mix. Again, any helpful hints from the audience would be appreciated.
The rest of the field looks like this:
|1. Emotiva Stealth DC-1. $|
|2. Resonessence Concero.|
|3. Yulong DA8.|
|4. Metrum Octave Mk II. $|
|5. Lynx Hilo.|
|6. Schiit Gungnir.|
|7. Chordette QuteHD. $|
|8. NAD M51. $|
|9. Ciunas DAC|
|10. Benchmark DAC-2. $|
|11. Dangerous Source. $|
|12. BMC PureDac. $|
|13. Arcam irDAC $|
|14. Anedio D2.|
The first nine (bolded) are going to be in the field, unless something bad happens (like the person loaning them backs out, or I can't get one of the purchased ones here for some other reason). The ones with dollars after the name are those I have to pay for up front, though I will eventually get refunded all but shipping for the ones I send back.
While I originally thought I'd limit the number of incoming units to 10, I'm now willing to increase that number somewhat... but 14 is too many, given the limited time available. If I can't find good reasons to shrink the current list, I might bring in 11 or so now, and have them fight it out. Then, once I've made a decision and sent away the rest of the units, I spend a month or 2 recovering. After my release from the hospital/institution, I bring in the other 3 or 4 or whatever, for a follow up comparison test against the winner of the previous testing. If one of the latecomers wins I guess I sell the previous winner and buy the new winner... or end up keeping both (That's pretty much why I own both a TBI Millenia and Odyssey Cyclops... I decided I was keeping the Millenia while the Cyclops build was delayed, then when the latter finally showed up and blew me away, I ended up keeping both).
I don't like the idea of a 2-stage test, but there are just too many good DACs in this class, and I'm afraid I won't be able to give them decent evaluations if I force all of them into this limited period. Of course you can try to argue me out of this, or argue particular units out of the field. I'm listening... (more precisely reading, but the intent is the same).
I'm going to wait a day or 3 and see if any of the cyber week deals push me toward including any particular unit now based on a holiday discount that I just can't pass up... if no great deals materialize, I'll decide by the end of this week which, if any, units get dropped or deferred. Then I order everything I need to buy, and have the loaned units sent to me next week. The new units need a week to burn in, the loaners are presumably already broken in, so don't need The idea is to have everything ready to run by ~ 12/17.
First, however, I'm gonna watch the sales and read as much as I can on the various 9018 contenders to see if I can find a logic to push one or two out of at least the early field, along with a couple of the other units.
Stay tuned, this is gonna get interesting pretty quickly, I think.