Oliver said: The airDAC is a music maker through and through -- one that offers a huge slice of audiophile sound at a real-world price. It does so without playing favorites in terms of musical genre or listener preference, delivering the musical goods in the most engaging way it can.
The gist: Who says an AirPlay-equipped DAC can’t be high end?
Pete said: For the well-heeled, obsessive-compulsive audiophile, and/or all who have invested in statement-level digital gear and strive to eliminate from their systems any compromises, the W20 should fit the bill.
The gist: Probably the best music server.
Jeff said: If you’ve wanted an Aurender S10, but were put off by its price and don’t need its myriad connection options, then I see nothing that should hold you back from the X100L. It’s a killer little product.
The gist: Excellent choice for a plug’n’play music server.
Sathyan said: For those who like to play digital music files on computers, Bel Canto Design’s e.One uLink is a worthwhile upgrade, allowing bit-perfect reproduction of tracks sampled above 96kHz. For those with DACs lacking USB inputs, the uLink provides an easy and musical way of adding computer-based audio to a system.
The gist: Make your old DAC new again with great-sounding USB connectivity.
Vade said: The DA-06’s vivid, colorful sound enhanced whatever recordings I played through it, from DSD64 to “Red Book” -- just for old times’ sake, I spun a couple of CDs through the Luxman, and they, too, sounded great. The DA-06’s wide assortment of digital inputs make it compatible with just about any digital source device, and with all commercially available digital file formats in use as of the end of 2013. I understand that Luxman plans to release DAC models at prices lower and higher than the DA-06’s $4990, but for me, for now, the DA-06 represents a peak on the value scale.
The gist: An exceptionally versatile, solid-performing DAC from one of the most-respected names in hi-fi.
Jeff said: Ultimately, the Young DSD made me want to listen to music. That’s what this hobby is all about. It’s a good component worth the 1699 bills, which means it's fairly priced. Considering that, I’ve got no complaints.
The gist: Good in all areas when considering its competitive price point.
Doug said: The Explorer clearly sounded better, overall, than the DragonFly v1.0. But it’s surprising that the Wavelength Proton, a very good DAC that costs three times as much as the Meridian, wasn’t obviously superior in sound. That’s what makes the Explorer a bona-fide high-end bargain. Highly recommended.
The gist: Who knew a $300 DAC could sound this good?
Thom said: If you’re looking for a good, solid, reasonably priced, well-designed and -engineered, high-performance outboard digital-to-analog converter, I can’t think of a better buy.
The gist: Couldn’t get this digital performance for three bills even five years ago.