I currently have a Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Dac. I am considering purchasing a new dac with pre-amp. I have narrowed my selections to the following:
1- RME adt-2 dac (cost is a little more than my budget of $750 but due to build and features it seems like excellent choice)
SMSL m400 dac - (good reviews but somewhat concerned regarding quality)
Topping d90 dac - (good reviews but somewhat concerned regarding quality)
Other dacs forum members might recommend.
Appreciate your thoughts and recommendations. Will using with roon and Pi4.
Assuming that point 1 is “RME ADI-2 DAC FS”, I would choose this one (if you are not interested in MQA rendering).
It is a very good DAC and with a very good headphone amplifier.
Another option you might like to look at is the SMSL SU-9. Recently released upgrade from the SU-8.
With the SU-9 you get a balanced DAC, with preamp, Bluetooth, and MQA support, for $440 delivered!
If you didn’t need PRE or MQA, I’d direct you (at your budget) to the Denafrips Aris II. Its just magical (R2R) and right at your budget. I got one to match with my streamer and man, it just makes everything muct more enjoyable, fuller and more airy and defined , to my ears (you don’t measure an R2R dac:)). Bliss, for me, in my modest setup!
I have a D90. Not sure what your concerns are about, but the unit is built like a tank.
Paired with the A90, I use it for headphones.
BTW- The flavor of the month seems to be Denafrips Ares II.
I also have a Topping D90 MQA, and I have not had problem number one. The build quality is top notch.
I used Topping D90 MQA 6 months. I feel it’s sound quality is very good.when you pay this price.Of course ,if I say that D90 MQA’s sound quality better than DCS’s DAC ,It’s impossible.
Roon Forum Members- I really appreciate you responding to my request. I appreciated the suggestions of the Denafrips Aris II, Topping d90 and SMSL SU-9. I did talk to Apos (Topping and SMSL dealer in to the US) today. They recommended the Topping d90 over the SMSL m400.
Thanks again for help.
I advise to you more cheaper player with DAC SMSL DP3 which I owe. If you plan to use SMSL M400 as a standalone DAC maybe you’ll use all of it’s advanced features. But you already have all the Roon’s power from the Roon Core and Pi4 as a Bridge. So you’ll have MQA support, PCM filters and upsampling features throw the Roon Player with more cheaper price.
What are “pro’s” for SMSL DP3: It has headphone amplifier with both linear and balanced(!) output. It has native support for DSD256(it’s enough for me for streaming through wi-fi). It has two quartz resonators for separate processing 44.1 and 48 frequencies and their upsamplings. And the price of it is a trump!
The major players, in the mid-price range, compared. FWIW
Thank you very much for the DAC Roundup Link.
I have the project prebox s2 digital and just wonder what you don’t like about iy?
Gustard x16 £440,solid build,large toridal transformer,dual dacs/mqa
I have both the RME ADI 2 DAC FS and SMSL SU9, I would choose the RME every time, it has a built in head amp and has better features , sounds better to my ears and more so rock solid. The SMSL looses sound every now and again and needs a powercycle other than that its ok if a little warmer sounding overall.