Do hi-end DACs offer true value or diminishing return...

These two hi-fedelity recordings posted on Youtube allow one to audition the state-of-the-art, highly raved R2R DACs with values ranging from $850 all the way to $6,500. Please use headphone or, play back to your stereo system if you think your system is revealing enough. The question to ask to yourself is that the true hi-end (w/ high price tag) gears offer you true values or just a diminishing-return foolproof. In my system, I do hear the differences but, to me, the differences might not be that significant to justify the luxious spending. Maybe my system is not revealing enough.  Maybe the recording quality through the on-line broadcasting degrades.  How about you? Do you hear major differences? 

Terminator Plus ($6.5k), Venus II ($3k)

Terminator $4.5k, Ares II ($850)





High end DACs are like every other component and them taken together… the better they are the better your system can be. My Audio Research Reference CD9se DAC is truly incredible…. I consider it a screaming deal at $17K. In my system it bested a $22K Berkeley DAC (by a hair). But the better your system the more difference a small change makes. So the diminishing returns doesn’t apply… or folks wouldn’t own $500K systems.

Without listening at your own home with your own equipment I feel that it is near impossible to distinguish major differences between sampl3s posted online. There are so many variables in the delivery of these samples that any changes are likely to be random from system to system. A true comparison should be done in-house with your own equipment before spending any money. Reviews are helpful to get a better understanding of what others are hearing but as always your results/impressions may vary. 

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