Best dac upto £600

jst sold my denafrips ares 2,didnt like it so looking for a dac for my ifi zen stream,I use tidal so mqa would be good,been looking at gustard x16 and the new smsl d0200 but hesitant of buying from smsl cause of warranty

Hi, I also owned Ares 2 and didn’t like it either. I can honestly recommend the X16, very nice DAC. You can also try their new X18 offering, it’s a bit more expensive, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it. The X16 is really good.

Agreed. X16 bests the X18 in some reviews.

The Ares is almost unpleasant for the first 72hrs. All over the show, with odd separations of instrument. But after leaving it on continuously, or getting used to it?? I love it.

I have a topping d90 se being fed from Pi2AES via i2s running into a90 from XLR and it’s a good sound, but the ares is so lush and dreamy. Already decided on saving up for a Pontus

I tried the ares for 3months,got better but not enough to keep it,compared to my bel canto dac the ares had alot less detail and bass,the only way it beat the bel canto was vocals and more natural,ive never had any dac change the sound like the ares but not in a good way,all the tracks I know by heart sounded horrible,glad it’s gone,bought the gustard x16

I’m gonna connect the x16 to my integrated amp which has volume control so how do I disable volume control on the gustard x16

Highly recommend the Gustard X16 DAC…For the price, unbelievable clean accurate audio

Been on reading about the x16 and a bit concerned,some have trouble when connecting the x16 to a amp which has on board volume controll resulting in a loud thump on the speakers woofers when powering on and off,not sure on how to connect the x16 to my cyrus integrated now

This…“Thump”…is non-existent in my setup… but doesn’t mean it can’t have this in another setup. Anyway, i allways leave the X16 turned on

I’ve got the Topping D70S MQA attached to my Stream and really happy with it.

Its slightly over budget by £49…

whats the best settings to use on the gustard x16

Gustard X16 or SMSL m500 MKII