Great writeup! Thank you for doing this!
I will get the vali closer to christmas and I am looking to upgrade the dac after christman holidays.
The ones I have been looking at are:
Looks like the gungnir is a top contender, especially with the new usb. However the comments from Maxvla makes me nervous it will be to "upfront" and I won't be able to relax or casual listen with it (which I like to do time to time).
Maxvla owned the USB Gen 1 and hasn't heard the Gen 2. Note that olor1n also threw his Gungnir (Gen 1 USB) into the trash for the same reasons as Maxvla. On the other hand, Questhate threw his X-Sabre in the dumpster because he hated the Sabre treble. With the Gen 2, the Gungnir is better able to be soft as well as loud and brash. If you are coming from the DAC-1, the X-Sabre might be a more familiar sounding DAC. Really hard to say what you would prefer. How do you feel about your current DAC? What would you like to see improved? I heard the Concero briefly, and I didn't think it was all that great or what it was cracked up to be. Need more time with it.
Edited by purrin - 12/7/13 at 11:52am