Best DAC/Preamp for under $1000
Oct 14, 2009 at 12:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

AP3X

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Well I have decided to bump my DAC budget from $500 to $1000 and because I have been reading good things about the following dacs, but do any of these guys have a good preamp?

Northstar M192
PS Audio DLIII with Cullen Stage 3 mods
CI Audio VDA-2
Benchmark DAC-1
Electrocompaniet ECD1

I can get the Northstar M192 or the Electrocompaniet ECD1 used for around 1000.00 used, the PS Audio DLLL with Cullen Stage 3 new is just is around 1300, Benchmark is 995.00 without the amp, and the CI Audio is $599.00. I however need RCA in as well because the DAC will be used with my computer as well as with my SACD player.

Anyone have any experiance with these amps. I would love to get your thoughts on which would would pair well with a tube amp like a DV3322. This is going to be a fire and forget about it purchase for me so I have not plans to upgrade the dac for a long time. (I say that now :wink: I would like a DAC that I can enjoy while upgradeing the components around it, Amp, headphones, etc.. This DAC would be used exlusively my headphones. I will probably have a better budget when I start looking for my home system. Also, ideally, a DAC that can be used as a preamp would be great as well as my DV47ai is used for SACD as well as Redbook.

Any comparisons or how one DAC would compete with the others would be great as well.
 
Oct 15, 2009 at 1:37 PM Post #2 of 10

AP3X

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Noone?
 
Oct 16, 2009 at 5:47 PM Post #4 of 10

argentum

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Meier Audio StageDAC has also preamp outputs and it can be had for 745 $ shipped. It uses 2 pieces WOLFSON WM8741 D/A converter-chip in dual-mono mode.
 
Oct 16, 2009 at 7:53 PM Post #5 of 10

Uncle Erik

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Have you considered a PreSonus Central Station? They're not bad as a preamp - they have a relay-based attenuator which is a surprise for $500. An audiophile preamp with a relay attenuator would run you into the mid four figures. The Central Station's DAC is pretty good, as well, and its two separate headphone amps are also handy.
 
Oct 16, 2009 at 10:21 PM Post #6 of 10

oldson

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Quote:

Originally Posted by argentum /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Meier Audio StageDAC has also preamp outputs and it can be had for 745 $ shipped. It uses 2 pieces WOLFSON WM8741 D/A converter-chip in dual-mono mode.


spec wise how good are the wolfson chips compared to whatever is in the ecd1?
 

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