DAC Recommendations ($1200 to $1500)

I’m wondering if you will give recommendations for a DAC costing in the neighborhood of US$1200 to US$ 1500.

If not who could I talk to besides calling each vendor. My stereo store does not have any recommendations

Please assist

What inputs, DSD, resolution etc etc…

I highly recommend the RME ADI 2 fs.


In that price range that would be my first choice as well if you dont care about MQA rendering.

Are you going to the same store that, according to your profile, ripped you off by selling you a 5 year old DAC that had lousy specs and wasn’t even made anymore?

And based on 15+ year old hardware…

I don’t find that price and performance in DACs are at all related. A DAC should be “invisible” and there are lots that are that are cheap. Find one with the features that you need and an appearance that you like and go with it. Don’t worry about whether it is in your target price range.

That said, the RME mentioned above is a great choice.

You don"t necessarily need to spend $1200 to get a decent DAC.

Here’s one example -

One of my DACs is a Topping D90, so I can recommend the brand.


The DACs from Schiit Audio (ranging from $100-$2450) are great high-value performers and are enjoyed by quite a few Roon users.


Did you return your DAC or are you stuck with it? I’m wondering if it would work if you simply insert a Raspberry Pi 4 between your Nucleus and DAC? That would be a $77 solution.

You can go USB out of the Nucleus into the Raspberry Pi or ethernet (or WIFI) into the Raspberry Pi. Then, USB out from the Raspberry Pi 4 into your DAC.

There is a site that reviews DACs pretty thoroughly:

I have two of the Topping DACs, the DX3 Pro and the D70, and I think they’re great.


RME ADl 2 is not on Roon certification list so I’ve bumped up to $2000 range and I’m looking at the nova fidelity X45

Would you look for a USB class 3 or what are USB class 2 be OK

Should I try to get a USB class 3

Class 2 device.

Re the RME ADI2- Pro is listed, ADI-2 DAC (FS) however is not unfortunately (surprised TBH).

You don’t need to have Roon certification for it to work. Just means they have not been sent one. Works fine for me. :slight_smile:

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Lots of excellent DACs aren’t on the Roon certification list. Means nothing, really.

And USB 2 is more than good enough for audio. USB 3 will work fine as well, though. Don’t worry about that.

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I own, and highly recommend the Chord Electronics Qutest


In this price range I would have a look at the Denafrips Pontus R2R discrete ladder DAC.

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Chord Qutest

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I just took delivery of a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Streamer/DAC. It’s really nice, sounds a lot better than the DAC in my Denon DRA-100. See here:

I also echo the Chord Qutest!

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