Hi,I currently have a Cambridge CXA60 just with a Chromecast audio puck connected via toslink and Dali Zensor 3 speakers. I also use a Sony BDP-S7200 Blu-ray player for CD duties, but these days it’s mostly streaming. I also connect my TV to the Cambridge via optical.
If I was to go down the completely analogue route, something like a Rega Elex-R, and some appropriate speakers in the same £1000 ballpark, how much should you spend on a dedicated DAC before the rest of the system is actually holding it back?
Someone recently posted on here that they couldn’t hear a difference between their Ares 2 and Node. What type of gear do you need to actually get the benefit of DACs in the £750 price bracket?
I have said this before, but if you pay a lot og money for a DAC (or other equipment) then you will psychologically be looking (hearing) for the "betterness" of the equipment.
I built my own DAC, and heard no difference between that and the Cambridge Audio DVD player rendition of the same music.
DAC IC's are very cheap, as are the other components to make a working design.
I would use ASR or the magazines to select the relevant DAC based on performance, and select that which had the relevant features, which includes selectable filters.
If you like distortion, then maybe go for a discrete R2R ladder DAC which may be to your liking.
In the end, spending lots of money is no guarantee of purchasing a better DAC or design.