Need advice for a new DAC or DAC/streamer

Hi all, I have a NAD C658 which I try to sell and replace it with a better DAC/streamer
I have a budget around $3000 CAN or a bit more if I need too.

At the moment I have:
Classe Audio preamp (model Four) with manual volume control and don’t use it.
Classe Audio Power amp (model 70)
Pierre Etienne Leon Trilogue speaker

Since now I use Roon and I really like to have the possibility to control volume remotely.
I would like to have a DAC with these features

Ethernet port
Input: Optical IN, Coaxial, other
Balanced output -> Power amp
DSD 256 or more and MQA
Volume control

MQA is a plus but I could live without it to get a better DAC for the same price.

I was looking these model:
Auralic Altair G1
Matrix Audio Element

I want a smooth and a musical DAC. Not harsh or too analytical.
Any other recommendation ?


The Matrix Audio measures really well:

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The Matrix Audio seems to fit in very well.
Does the Auralic really do MQA? Also, the Lumin lacks digital inputs, so you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the DAC for let’s say a CD transport.

Mytek Brooklyn Bridge a good option.
I don’t think Auralic support MQA officially.

No full MQA from Auralic (just standard first unfolding). I have never personally missed it but if you know you like it then I would look elsewhere.

here the list with all brands with at least one supported streamer dac that supports MQA. Look at their website for additional information.

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No the Auralic is not MQA (my error) but they look like good unit.

Mytek Brooklyn Bridge is a bit over budget they are close to $4000 CAN.
And I don’t like the look. For my taste


I am also looking for this kind of stuff and fall on this Rose Dac/streamer RS 150

Not many reviews but it looks gorgeous, will be roon tested very soon (normally) and has every feature you could want on a dac/streamer, 15’’ screen and many other cool stuff. I think i’ll go for it as soon as it will be roonified.

I don’t based my purchase on measurements. It’s a good start but measurements don’t tell nothing about the sound quality and musicality of the unit.

I would like to listen to those unit but I cannot find them locally in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Yes, I thought so. I have the Vega G2, and it doesn’t do MQA. I find Auralic’s product line somewhat confusing with overlapping features so wasn’t sure about the Altair G1 and MQA.

Very nice ! But it’s $4000 US and I live in Canada so it’s close to $5000 CAN for me.
Out of my budget

problem is this: even the best dac can be a mismatch in your stereoset. You have to listen those on your own device and not in a store.

Oups sorry i thought it could be more or less same prices as in €…
And i agree with People saying you have to listen with your system.
And counsellers are not buyers but i would go for brands like Matrix for your budget.

Go to audiophonics site you will have a good overview.

But as you live on Canada, you also have many good canadian brands

Of course I need to test it with my amp and speakers to make sure they match.

This is one reason I try to find local resellers for Matrix or other brand to borrow the unit for testing at home.

I have always done this way since the 90’s when I first start buying audio system.

I would never buy based from numbers or without having a listening session at home (prefered)

it is a streaming DAc.
It support both DSD512 and MQA.
It is wonderful piece of device. Should fit your budget.
It is not a Roon endpoint. I use it connected by usb to my Roon Core

I have a NUC running windows 10 with only roonserver as my Roon core. The NUC is inside my audio cabinet. Never though of trying the NUC USB to a DAC.

I want to have volume control because it will be connected directly to my power amp. Because if I use my Classe Audio preamp I don’t have remote volume control on that preamp. It’s a manual volume knob.

At the time of purchase of the preamp their was an option to by a remote volume control i didn’t buy it because at these time of my life I was listening music with vinyl on the Linn Sondek LP12 which I sold many years ago and I really regret it. Took me a long time to switch from vinyl to CD and now I only use digital and rips all my CD to my NAS.

Because of this now I get lazy and want to have remote volume control. So basically a DAC with preamp like the C658 but with better quality and more stable software and hardware.

A Topping D90 would give you MQA and the remote, and up-to-date tech.

Sonnet Morpheus, a NOS DAC, gets very good reviews and is regarded a smooth musical DAC. I myself own a Metrum Amethyst (from the same designer) which is a few steps cheaper, but is a great and entertaining DAC that keeps you listening to no end.

I like Auralic and use an Aries G2 myself for streaming. You should definitely demo the Auralic if you have the chance