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Changed title for the PWD lovers, there is more PWD owners out there.
Have you looked into Wyred 4 Sound DACs?
My vote goes for the Audio-gd Reference 7 or Reference 8 depending on your taste.
Without auditioning it, just looking at the power supply, power filtration, quality of parts and the DAC chips used you can tell right away that it should compare to DACs atleast three times its price easily. Wadia, Levinson, Krell & Audiomat among others are widely considered some of the best DACs in the business and Audio-gd implements a lot of the same technology, parts and concepts in their designs.
The biggest difference I have seen between Audio-gd and the big brands such as Wadia, Levinson, Audiomat, etc. is that the big brands use torodial transformers which in most cases require more power filtration and Audio-gd implements R-Core transformers. It can be argued either way which solution is better.
Absolutely nominate the Reference Seven. It is a tremendous DAC and like the poster above said worth three times its price (in my experience with other DACs, I'd say closer to 4-5 times its price). I previously had the Ref1 but wanted an AES/EBU input and liked the fact that the Ref7 slaved the DSP1 to another clock. If you get it, I highly recommend you have Kingwa rewire the signal wire with Nucleotide OCC Copper wire from Double Helix Cables. He has it on hand, as he bought several hundred meters of it after I recommended it to him. It blows away the silver plated copper wire he uses stock.
You might want look at Wavelength Audio's lineup. I've heard the crimson and it was flawless. Every DAC they produce is asynchronous, so it's theoretically jitter free. For $2k, its a great choice. I use a PS Audio DLiii and I've had no issues and sounds great. You even save some cash because its $700.
I can't comment on Wavelength, but I owned the DL3 and even had it fully modded. It's not even in the same ballpark as the Reference Seven -- just for the OP's reference.
I believe Regal also owned the DL3 and chose Audio-gd DACs over it.
Humm, very interesting on Audio GD. How is Ref 5? I want DAC very detail and musical and will pair with WA22.
The PerfectWave PWD is excellent.
I hope so, it is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
Cool. Then you get to wait for the bridge with the rest of us....
Let us know how you like it.
Yup, the bridge is the main reason I get the Perfect Wave. From all the reading and research I did before decided to sell my DAC1 Pre to fund this baby, I will be a very happy camper.
Provided that they release the darn thing.
The eagle has landed yesterday, I have it hook up to my DNA Sonett. So far I love it, it is very detail and musical but not as clinical as the DAC1 Pre I had.
My PWD has about 210 hours under its belt and it continues to impress. the PWD's ability to play whatever its input is natively clinches it for me. Very detailed and musical and yet it is not analytical in the least.
It's still early but so far I'm loving it. Plus Buy American!