Virtually all sources are digital. And this has been the case for some time now. To convert this digital signal to a somewhat more pleasant signal for our ears – analogue – a d/a converter is needed: a digital to analogue converter. Now a dac is basically just a chip. But more is needed to make it useful: at least a power supply, a pair of inputs with an input receiver and an output stage to connect it to an amplifier, or – if possible – a pair of active speakers. We test for you five converters in the price range around 1000 Euros.
In this multitest we put five d/a converters side by side. We have listened, sampled and measured. In short: a complete picture, so you know exactly what a product does. For each product we briefly explain what it is and what it costs. Then we explain in a few paragraphs how it sounds; do not expect an in-depth review.
Finally, we briefly run through the measurements. For logged in users, we have also put all measurements in the database. There you can view and download all images.
- RME ADI-2 – 999 Euros
- Audio GD R1 R2R – 969 Euro
- IFI Micro iDSD Reference – 749 Euro
- Audiolab M-Dac – 1099 Euro
- Metrum Acoustics Amethyst (DAC2) – 1199 Euro
These are all the recommended prices we found on the manufacturers’ websites.
Hi folks. Thanks for this. I know you compared 5 DACs already but can I ask you to add the Merason Frerot (sans the external power supply I guess) to the mix?
Since you reviewed it positively in the past I’d like to know where it stands, especially versus the RME. I have the latter and I’m looking for a warmer DAC to diversify my stack.
Thank you and keep up the good work. I follow the YouTube channel a lot.
Thanks! Yes, we can measure the Merason as well. Geoffrey uses it as a reference in this class.