New DAC recommendations please

Mine does MQA, but only 384PCM and DSD128. I will be keeping it as it plays cd’s which is important for John.

I don’t want to pay silly money. I have had Chord in past, years ago, a funny green thing. Wasn’t keen.

It must have a USB connection. At present I use a good cable, USB-C to the square USB at end that goes into DAC. I use two RCA cables plugged into AV.

Not necessarily going to add another piece put I might. I might even consider what was suggested and use one of my Windows laptops to connect to a DAC that does higher PCM and DSD than my present DAC.

I am working on the basis that a machine that can go much higher than I actually need will sound better at the rate I do use, than a machine which I am always playing it’s max output. Sort of like an amp will sound better the more watts per channel even though there is no way you will use all those watts.

Or like a car engine that goes 150mph will drive better at 70 than an engine with a max speed of 90mph.

I have heard RME are good and being German I am inclined to trust there quality.

I would have to buy untested.

I bought a Denafrips Venus last year in August and have not thought about DACs again. I love this thing. I got the new DSP board for it last week and it meets all the requirements you specified. Plus it’s less than $3K in USD.

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You gave no indication of potential budget, but if you are interested 8n upsampling both PCM and DSD to DSD256 or even DSD512, I can strongly recommend the T+A 8 DSD dac.
And T+A is as German as can be.

I play everything through HQplayer at DSD256 , poly-sinc-xtr-lp / ASDM7.

Very happy with it.

Not sure that this comparison works for DACs / applies to how DACs work. Some actually may profit from processing power - like the Hugos fro Chord. But DACs like from RME which are based on off-the-shelf DAC chips profit from proper engineering, not so much from horse power - so to speak.

I own a RME ADI 2 FS, which works perfectly fine for me. But I’ve nothing above PCM192 to play to it.

That is the one I was looking at I think. It goes up to 768khz

Yes, it does - but I don’t have such source material. And I probably wouldn’t be able to hear the difference to CD quality… :wink:

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Piping in here for RME as well. I had a Qutest previously and while it did the job I really enjoy the added functionality of the ADI with no sacrifice to sound.

You might want to look into one of the Roon Ready streaming DACs such as the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge MBB

The Brooklyn Bridge will not do the higher resolutions through its ethernet port that the OP desires. He wants something to do more than DSD128. The BB will not do more than DSD64 from its ethernet port.

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The dog and bats will be disappointed :dog: :bat:

Hi John-not sure if you are referring to me. I don’t use an ethernet port, just the USB.

If you already have a good USB output Roon endpoint then please take a look at the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ Brooklyn and the Benchmark DAC3 HGC DAC3 - either one will drive high impedance headphones with plenty of power to spare.

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I was not referring to you specifically. The responder said that you should consider the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. I pointed out that you stated in your original post that you wanted something that could do resolutions of DSD128 and above. The Brooklyn Bridge does not do that from its Ethernet port which is the only way you would use that product if you bought one. The suggestion of the Brooklyn Bridge was not at all helpful. One wonders if he actually took the time to read your original posting or if he jumped in with an opinion that was not helpful.

@John_Aiello Sorry but while I have plenty of audiophile equipment there are certain aspects of audiophile dogma that I don’t ascribe to. One of which is the high resolution numbers war. I don’t care if others play this game and pay for this pleasure, I don’t. Both the Benchmark and Mytek units that I have recommended above are reasonably priced (within the overpriced audiophile world) and feature packed, even if they don’t check all the required audiophile boxes. The OP did say: “I don’t want to pay silly money.” And silly money is what one is going have to shell out for a DAC that does indeed check all the required audiophile boxes. But hey it’s the OPs money and he can spend it as he sees fit.

By the way Aiello was my mother’s maiden name. My grandfather came from Sicily.


Pro-Ject Pre-Box Digital S2. 768k, 512DSD, MQA all for ~400USD. And it sounds pretty decent. For MQA, make sure to set Roon to “renderer only” so Roon does the first unfold. It has a firmware bug where switching between modes sometimes causes it to fail, which is avoided by preventing it from doing the first MQA unfold.

Note that DSD512 requires native USB DSD support, which means Mac sources need not apply. They provide a Windows drivers, and I believe most Linux “audio” distributions (particularly ones for RPis) support it at DSD512 now.

Which model AV Receiver?

If you’re going to spend money on something like the RME (just an example) , the output will be digitized to something around PCM96kHz. This will happen even if you feed the analogue outs of a DSD256 or PCM768kHz DAC.

Your AVR may have a ‘Direct’ mode which is supposed to bypass A to D but I’ve seen some people question some models about how true this is.

Unless I could verify the analogue inputs are not digitized I would feed the AVR via digital inputs. Plus some AVR’s have potentially very useful digital room EQ which are disabled with Direct modes.

I may have lost something in translation here, but I would not be spending very much money on a DAC to plug into an AV receiver. Compared to dedicated stereo amplification all but the most outrageously expensive AVR setups are going to disappoint.

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IIRC, in a previous thread, the OP said his AVR is the Yamaha RX-A3080.

The Yamaha receivers do offer a Pure Direct mode, which bypasses the tone controls and DSP in the preamp section.

Here’s how they say it works (different Yamaha model but, in this respect, they are all the same) :


As you can see at a glance, unless you are using the Pure Direct mode with this AVR, a fancy external DAC (heck, any external DAC) is a complete waste of money.

Noted, this is exactly what I hinted above…

And as I mentioned, some AVR’s have potentially very useful digital room EQ which are disabled with Direct modes…

I can also recommend the Mytek Brookyn Bridge, having tried a number of DACs. Sounds great, looks great, has ample connectivity (specs @ Mytek’s website) and is Roon ready out of the box.

I work in audio and hear a lot of gear. The Mytek is top notch, and the price is very reasonable.

My 2cents.