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Makes music human again!

I have owned this DAC for nearly 12 months now, and I am convinced that it is a keeper for me. I use it with a Logitech Squeezebox Touch playing FLAC encoded CD rips or higher resolution material at 96kHz / 24-bit or higher when available. This DAC pulls off a difficult trick of communicating the detail and presence of recordings, but totally eliminating the digitally induced stress and edge that have often accompanied digital playback in the past. There is a sense of analog ease, but not of boredom when listening to music rendered by this DAC. There may be more detailed and in your face DACs on the market, but there are few that convey the essence of the music in a more organic and human way. If you want your DAC to let the music speak rather than showing off its own party tricks, this Rega piece is a good bet. Take it from someone whos keeping his.

- Charles R, CA
 
Rega Dac

This unit is amazing. Flat out amazing. It provides full rich sound that has been missing from many current products due to the explosion of digital media, ipods, file compression, etc. I use the Rega with a networked PC, a wadia iTransport, and an old Marantz CD player. I cannot put into words what a difference this thing makes. I play files from my itunes library over a LAN. They sound like a CD. Individual sounds are fully differentiated, the quality of the sound is way beyond expectations. I would go so far as to say the sound is tube like. As long as you have a good quality source file - you will be stunned at how good it can sound. If you are a serious listener, for the money, it is a super deal. Lots of input options as well. You will love this DAC. YOu can listen to this unit for hours on end - it just sounds so warm.

- Bill T, NJ
 
outstanding

Bought the demo which may have been broken in already.When comparing side by side with my Krell showcase with hdmi as both a transport and pure direct in via Audioquest King Cobra balanced xlrs,the Rega Dac is a dramatic improvement in detail and sound. I am using a Marantz pre pro with a Parasound Halo amp and Theil 1.6 speakers.When switching back and forth between inputs,I am amazed at how great the sound is from the REGA DAC.I am using a standard optical cable from the Krell to the DAC and using AudioQuest Jade Rcas from the DAC to the Marantz.I am presently using filter 4 as a reviewer posted that as his favorite,but i can also agree with the other reviewer online here at AUDIO ADVISOR that I do not really hear a difference between filters.When changing the playback in the Marantz from pure direct to stereo,all EQs off, which allows my Velodyne sub to kick , it has a different and terrific sound.Once again the REGA DAC out performs the dacs in the Krell.Now that is saying a lot!I would love for this Dac to have Balanced XLRS,but at this point the rcas are great.If you are looking to upgrade to a high end cd player,consider this Dac and your present player as a transport.The results will be amazing.Please note that a high quality interconnect for the RCAs is recommended.I have had a DAC /transport setup in the past, the quality of this DAC makes me smile that i tried it again.

- Gene p, NY
 
Quantum leap in sound quality improvement

What makes one audio component better than another? I ask this question frequently, as I think anyone spending lots of money in this area should. I know, for instance, that I have only heard a handful of artists whose CDs I own perform live. None of these performances were in my listening room, however. So how can I judge the accuracy of my audio system? Herein lies the subjectivity of this obsession... I know when I like something better, but is it more accurate, or just different? These comments in mind, I have listened to the Rega DAC for nearly a month through a music server in the following configuration: JRMC 16 - Asus xonar bit perfect SPDIF - Rega DAC - PS Audio PCA-2 - PS Audio GCA-100 - Soliloquy 5.3s. I also used it with a Cary Audio CD308 and the disc drive of the media PC. Via the bit perfect out, playing CDs ripped using Exact Audio Copy, the sound is a quantum leap over the Cary CD spinner, even when that player is run through the DAC. The bass was big and loose, and soundstaging / imaging poor through the first 20 hours or so, but after that I have found it to excel in these areas. Other qualities, including detail retrieval, treble reproduction, and speed, are all there in spades as well. This DAC is NOT transport independent, as one would be lead to believe. As above, the Cary CD308 is inferior to the music server through the DAC, and CDs played on the CD-ROM drive of the PC are several notches below this. As for the filters? Not so sure I hear much in the way of differences - at least not enough for me to prefer one over another. I have not compared this to other DACs in a similar price range breaking one of my long held rules in high-end audio, however, it just sounds so good Im sticking with it. And that brings us right back around to the beginning of this review. And you know what, I can live with that.

- Ryan F, MI