While I have had a “nice” audio system for 40-some years I am relatively new to high quality digital. For many, many years I’ve been of the mindset that around the house, outside or just knocking about my CDs ripped to FLAC and played via a few Sonos Connects along with my lesser speakers/systems were just fine. When I was serious about listening to music I’d go to my dedicated room in the basement and listen to Vinyl and tube gear (both SET and Push Pull amps depending on my mood).
I’m contemplating downsizing and simplifying…if possible. So far I’ve tried in my room a Sonos Connect, Oppo-203, HiFiBerry Dac + Pro and most recently picked up an Orchard Audio PecanPi. The PecanPi sounds really nice but the sound stage is no where as wide or as deep as vinyl rig. Everything but the source (TT vs DAC) is the same. I’ve done numerous comparisons with quality vinyl and High Rez digital files. The old school wax and diamond always wins out. I’m certain it is not me wanting to like Vinyl better. I’d actually like to find a reason to sell the table and all my LPs…if I can get the same experience with digital.
As part of my simply my life plan I’d like to buy one high quality DAC and be done with it. Hoping to not endlessly read, buy, try, sell, repeat. Also hooping you all can help me narrow it down to a few contenders. I’d say my budget is a few thousand USD. For sure under $5K.
I know every person and every system/room is different but for reference my vinyl set up is decent but not over the top, crazy expensive. I’ve had several tables, phono-preamps, cartridges and landed happily for the last 5+ years with:
- Basis 1400 Table
- Origin Live Silver MK 2 arm
- Zu Audio modified Denon 103 (not the R the standard, I’ve tried them both) Moving Coil Cartridge
- Lehmann Black Cube SE II Phono Stage
My room is treated with both absorption and diffusion. Speakers are on the 13 foot side of a 13’X16’X8’ room and due to other factors the speakers have to stay on the 13 foot side. I mostly listen to 60s and earlier Jazz, Alternative/Indy/Punk/New Wave, Some Classic Rock and Female Vocals.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice. What-cha-got in mind?