New Dac

So excepting Chord. What other really excellent Dac’s could be recommended??

lumin? or stay with naim (lots of choices) or linn.

I would not go with Chord, but it is just my preferences.

I have a Streamer. I’m thinking Audio Research CD9, Aestheix Pandora, Bricasti, Holo Audio-May Dac- Kte, Berkeley

Depends on how much money you want to spend and if you need a streamer. If you really hate money then dCS is an obvious choice.


Does your streamer output via USB?

Yes. Auralic G1. DCS is beyond my budget.

Berkley Audio Design used to get mentioned here quite a lot. It has been a while, though.

That’s one I am going to put on my list. Thanks Nick.

I replaced my Berkeley with the dCS. It was great but you end up needing the USB → AES converter. So three boxes , power cords, shelves, and an expensive interconnect.once that’s factored in it gets expensive. A dealer recommended Weiss 505 as an alternative to the Bartok. If I had the option I’d try the Meitner MA3.

All good recommendations! Thanks

Hi, @Katzky2021 .

Somehow, you have sold me on staying with the Naim DAC + 555PS. Not as redundant or inconvenient as other worthy alternatives, in the final analysis. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I really like the results I have been getting anyway, over the years.


Out of curiosity is that based on hearing, visuals or some other factor?

To the OP: there’s a brand called Naim that gets the occasional mention around here, some people preferring their DAC to Chord, even though only available secondhand. Maybe they’ll bring out another stand alone DAC some time.

Yes, a combination of hearing + visual - clear sounding, but too clinical in the context of my system, not musical, and ugly look, plus you need to hook it to a noisy computer, which is by the way is forbidden to sit on my Naim Fraim, plus a possibility of hooking to various devices (eg mscaler, usb cables, etc) to make it sound good.

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If you are tired of chord. At decent cost there is the Ares-II or the RME ADI-2 Pro Fs. Both are very good.

The Ares-II from Denafrips is more organic , happy and vinylish.

The RME ADI-2 Pro fs is a traditional VLSI AKM-chip model
, very well done. Clear without artificial clinical sound, fresh, very good pace and transparency. Built in DSP parametric EQ to handle simple correction. More intended for semi-pro mastering and perhaps not available via HiFi-stores but can be bought from Thomann with free return within 30-days.

Both around 1000 euros.

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I have a Bel Canto 3.7 DAC which got some good reviews before they stopped making it. You still need a pre-amp though as it sounds better with one than the internal one.

Weiss, Denafrips, Aqua Acoustic, Mytech, Audiomat, PS Audio, Bel Canto….could be in your budget.


A noisy computer? I don’t understand that

How do you hook a Chord DAC?

There’s a long list of streaming transports that you could use to feed a Chord DAC. Basically anything with a digital output.

Yes, that is exactly what I asked. :slight_smile: Basically, all of them are some form of computer, and nearly of them (if not 100%) are noisy computers. You can argue otherwise, but this is fine with me.