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Do I Need a New DAC?


New Member
Mar 5, 2023
Newbie here to seek advice on DAC.

I am thinking about adding a new my DAC so my stereo setup so that I can play small collection of SACDs using a 4K DVD player.

Here is my current Stereo setup

CD Player: Emotiva ERC-1 (as a transport)

DVD Player: Sony UBP-X800M2

DAC: Monarchy Audio M33 DAC / pre-amp

Pre-amp: Audio Research SP-6E (I think)

Power-amp: Audio Research VT100 MIII

Speakers: KEF104.2 (re-capped; replaced ferrofluid)

Interconnectors and speaker cables: DIY Gotham cable

I have a decent collection of CDs (classical, jazz, and pop) that I listen to occasionally; I have no plan to rip and stream them for the time being.

All the equipment except the DVD player have been with me for over 10 years. I am thinking about spending some money in the next several years to upgrade the DAC, the CD player, the pre-amp and the speakers in that order. I plan to add a new DAC as the Toslink In on the Monarchy M33 is broken and I cannot connect the Sony DVD player to the DAC. The digital In is connected with the CD player currently. I also would like to get some updated technology on DAC.

Based on the research here, I am thinking about these DACs: Gustard R26, OKto Research, Soekris DAC2541, Schiit Yggdrasil + (a bit over budget), and Hegel HD30 DAC (used). I have yet to hear the sound of any of these DACs.

Shall I add a DAC or shall I forget about the SACDs (about 20 CDs); instead, buy a better CD player or save more money to buy a better pre-amp.

Thank you very much for your time; looking forward to reading your comment.
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