AURALiC Vega Digital Audio Processor

Device Type: Digital to Analog Converter
Input: 2x Coax S/PDIF (RCA), 1 Toslink, 1 AES/EBU, 1 USB
Output: 1 pair RCA, 1 pair XLR
Dimensions: 311''W x 9''D x 2.6''H (33cm x 23cm x 6.5cm)
Weight: 7.5 pounds (3.4kg)
Availability: direct and through Authorized Dealers
Price: $3,500.00

Wow Factor
I first saw and heard the AURALiC Vega Digital Audio Processor at the 2013 CES and I remember thinking—I need to hear this one at home. I can't tell you exactly why this was the case especially seeing as listening to music is a difficult thing to focus on at hi-fi shows and determining the performance of a given component within an unfamiliar system is like judging a blind date by an online profile. So let's call my interest in the AURALiC Vega a hunch. And let me just say man oh man did that hunch pay off.

AURALiC Limited is based in Hong Kong/China and Xuanqian Wang and Yuan Wang are its founders. "With the mission to capture and reproduce every tiny detail in recordings with purity and emotions, AURALiC produces high-end audiophile products both reliable and upgradable. Using the latest digital technologies, our products will bring live music back to music lovers in the most agreeable and convenient way." AURALiC's product line includes the Vega under review, the Taurus PRE balanced line-stage preamplifier, Merak 400W monoblock amplifiers, ARK MX+ 32/192 USB DAC, Taurus balanced headphone amp, and the Gaia line of balanced and single-ended cables.

The AURALiC Vega Digital Audio Processor is a DAC and a digital preamplifier but it's also a computer. According to AURALiC, the heart of the Vega is its "Sanctuary Audio Processor, which is jointly made by AURALiC and its technical partner Archwave AG [of Switzerland]. Sanctuary is based on multi-core ARM architecture, with the calculating capability as high as 1000MIPS." The Sanctuary audio processor is responsible for running the Vega's upsampling algorithm and USB input buffer.

The Vega, through its USB input, handles up to DXD PCM (32-bit/384kHs) as well as up to double rate DSD (128x/5.6448MHz) via DoP V1.1. On the S/PDIF and AES/EBU inputs you get up to the fairly standard 24/192 playback. The Vega upsamples all incoming PCM data to 1.5MHz at 32bit. In essence, upsampling allows for digital filtering above frequencies that matter, sonically. It also provides the headroom necessary so that its digital volume control does not affect resolution. At least in theory. Some people, especially those adherents of the Non-Oversampling DAC approach believe that any and all upsampling makes the resulting music sound unnatural. I would suggest they have never heard the AURALiC Vega.

The Vega incorporates six user selectable digital filters, AURALiC calls this Flexible Filter Mode, which have been "fine-tuned based on AURALiC's mathematician models combining subjective auditory sense and objective measurement data" and include four PCM digital filters and two for DSD. The PCM filters are, according to AURALiC, optimized for specific sampling rates as well as for specific music types. "Mode 1 is best for the playback of orchestral music, ...Mode 2 for light jazz, chamber, and piano solo, ...Mode 3 for is best for vocal, jazz, and pop, ...and Mode 4 is the 'all-best' option for music enjoyment." You can select these filters from the front panel control knob or from the included remote. I found that Mode 4 was in fact my overall favorite but since switching is on-the-fly you can switch until your hearts content. I'm of the persuasion that set it and forget it leads to my ultimate enjoyment.

The two DSD filters provide for "flat frequency response well extended to ultrasonic" for Mode 5, and "lower corner frequency to eliminate as much as possible the ultrasonic noise which is inherent of DSD stream" for Mode 6. Here, I preferred Mode 6 to 5 as it sounded silkier to my ears. If you'd like to read more about these filters, I'll point you to AURALiC's Flexible Filter Mode Explanation white paper.

If you're thinking, hmm megahertz upsampling and user-selectable digital filters sounds awfully familiar, where I have heard this before?, I'd remind you of the Resonessence Labs Invicta (see review) which upsamples to the 50MHz range. Not surprisingly, the Vega also uses the ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC chipset that's employed in the Invicta. While we're poking around inside, there's also an XMOS USB receiver that is modified by Auralic. The USB input also includes their "ActiveUSB" technology which buffers all incoming data for up to 2 seconds to "reduce jitter effects". And while we're talking jitter, the Vega boasts extremely low measured jitter, measured, according to AURALiC, in femtoseconds.

The Femto Master Clock
The Vega includes a temperature controlled aerospace grade crystal oscillator that needs about an hour of warm up to reach thermal equilibrium. If you leave the Vega in Sleep mode, you'll be good to go whenever you like since this mode keeps that Femto clock warm. A Femto clock refers to the clock's accuracy which is so accurate it is measured in femtoseconds. From Wikipedia, "A femtosecond is the SI unit of time equal to 10−15 of a second. That is one quadrillionth, or one millionth of one billionth, of a second. For context, a femtosecond is to a second what a second is to about 31.7 million years." I think its fair to say that a femto clock is fairly accurate and it further suggests that this accuracy relates to the amount of jitter in the signal that passes through it. What happens afterward is anyone's guess.

While I'm certain all femto clocks are not created equal, it's worth pointing out that MSB Technology offers a femto clock upgrade, the Galaxy Clock, for their DAC IV which also adds $4,955 to its price, more than the total cost of the Vega. Granted, the MSB femto clock is claimed to provide jitter under 77 femtoseconds (.077 picoseconds), while the Vega's is spec'd at 82 femtoseconds (.082 picoseconds). You can decide for yourself if .05 picoseconds matters or not. Again from Wikipedia, "A picosecond is 10−12 of a second. That is one trillionth, or one millionth of one millionth of a second, or 0.000 000 000 001 seconds. A picosecond is to one second as one second is to 31,700 years."

Associated with this high precision femto clock are user-selectable internal clock settings. Auto, where the Vega will select the best available method based on the amount of jitter present in the incoming data, Course, Fine, and Exact each offering increased clock precision. These options are available from the front control knob or the remote but only after the Vega has warmed up. Prior to that, you are only given the Auto option. I was able to go with "Exact" for all playback including DSD except for some 24/192 files where I'd get cutouts indicating too much jitter for this setting. Backing down to "Fine" solved this 24/192 problem. I found this feature fairly fascinating and the fact that 24/192 playback appeared to impose the most amount of jitter into the data stream an eye, if not an ear, opener. I switched this clock setting during playback a number of times and while I did not notice a dramatic difference, I did perceive greater clarity once the Exact option was available and selected.

Other Features
Operating the Vega from the front panel knob is a pleasure. Press it in and the unit powers on. Press it again and you are offered up various functions including the aforementioned filters, clock settings, as well as input selection, channel balance, phase (normal and inverted), and System functions including Volume (Master where both channels use the same setting and INDVDL where each channel has its own setting), Display (On, Auto Off after 15 seconds without any operation, DIM, Normal, and Bright), and Sleep (Disable/Enable). You'll want to enable this mode to keep that Femto clock warm and ready. If you just turn the front control knob, it functions as the volume control. The Vega also remembers your previous volume setting and returns to it when you awaken it from sleep mode. Pressing and holding the knob brings up the Sleep Mode option.

You can operate all of these options from the included remote and if I have any criticism of the Vega, it's related to the included plastic remote. Since everything else about the Auralic Vega is made to such a high standard, its a shame that the remote, which I used often mostly for volume control, doesn't impart this same attention to design detail. I admit to finding the Vega beautifully designed and built and an absolute pleasure to look at and use, including its display which I gladly kept on. I'd love to see what their design team would come up with for a matching remote. In the end this is not a deal breaker just my single wish-list item for the Vega.

Since we're talking about DXD and DSD playback, PC users need to install the included drivers from Auralic. Mac users are good to go. I used the Vega with my MacBook Pro connected with an AudioQuest Diamond USB cable mainly with its XRL outputs connected to my Pass INT-30A in amp-mode using the Vega's digital volume control. While I did compare the RCA to XRL output, I preferred the XLRs as they struck me as providing even greater transparency. The Vega employs, "AURALiC's patented ORFEO Class-A module which is inspired by Neve 8078 analog console’s circuit design as the output stage. The principle of this module is to use a mass of small signal components with best linear characteristic. By packing them through a thermal balance procedure and bias the transistors into Class-A, ORFEO achieves impressive performance with open loop distortion less than 0.001%."

All This And Tone Too
Let's start somewhere different for a change. Different because I don't typically do this for two reasons; interest on the part of the reluctant listener, and this is one cliché I abhor. But sometimes we must make sacrifices for the greater good. I dragged my wife into my office and had her sit and listen. "Wow" was her verdict after hearing Ella and Louis lovingly spar on "Isn't It A Lovely Day" from the 24/192 HDtracks Ella and Louis. And my wife does not wow easily over hi-fi. "What's making this sound so good?" she asked. "Well, everything but the thing that's changed is the DAC." She's heard me talk about gear enough to know what a DAC is, just one of the long-suffering duties of our marriage. While we're talking about everything, I'd like to point out that I believe that's exactly what makes the Vega sound as it does. So let's not get carried away by any single aspect of the Vega's design and attribute everything to it (yes I'm thinking femto).

Everything I played through the Auralic Vega was equally wow-inducing. Everything. Music I've heard hundreds of times was presented with a crisp, clean, and delicate clarity that was simply uncanny and made things old, new again. Solo piano was big, bold, and rich. Overtones and decay were flat out lifelike. To put it another way, music sounded so much like music and unlike reproduction that I had a silly grin pasted on my face for most of my listening time. And I purposefully waited a few weeks to start writing my listening notes thinking that my initial giddiness would fade into a more reserved tone. I was wrong.

In terms of space, as in how the music is presented in the room, the Vega provides a fitfully weighty and rock solid sense of the things making the music. Here, DSD again trumps PCM in my opinion, offering up a 3D impression of the origin of sound. PCM playback was, however, nearly equally stunning even from CD-quality sources. The Vega transforms all manner of music sources into singing, striking, and resoundingly beautiful things. Just like music.

I compared the Vega to the Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC ($1,695.00, see review) which I thoroughly enjoy, and the Mytek sounds slightly veiled and diffuse in comparison. This is an interesting discovery because I never would have described the Mytek as sounding veiled or diffuse without hearing the Vega side by side. The differences between these two DACs were less marked with DSD sources but even here the Vega was more nimble and offered up a fuller, more dimensional presentation. There was that uncanny sense of, for lack of a better word, life and vibrancy from the Vega, a spark, that brought with it an excitement and immediacy that was intoxicating and addictive.

The Teac UD-501 DAC (see review), which is a great sounding DAC and a relative bargain at its retail price of $849 (and I've heard it can be had for less) sounds, by comparison to the Vega, somewhat dark in terms of tone colors, a bit thick especially around the midrange, a tad loose down low, and slightly soft up top. My guess is over time the Teac would not remind me of these relative shortcomings on its own. Rather, I would grow comfortable with its presentation and live happily ever after, unless I compared it to the far costlier Vega, again.

I also compared the Vega to the similarly priced Metrum Hex NOS differential DAC (see review) and here the Hex did have some wonderful traits to offer, mainly an ease and naturalness to its presentation that is very appealing. But head-to-head with the Vega had me preferring the Vega's livelier and more vibrant sound. If we factor in the Vega's DXD, DSD, and preamp capabilities, its total package is difficult to beat.

If I put myself in another listener's shoes, I can imagine that for some the Vega may sound overly resolute and perhaps lacking in air and ease, especially compared to something like the Metrum Hex or the Acoustic Plan DigiMaster, the latter matching the Vega's wonderful way with tone but offering up a tad more body albeit with less vibrancy and resolution. And while I've heard DACs that I would call overly resolute, the Vega is not one of them mainly because it gets all of the voices so right. Typically, digital detail comes with some amount of etch/edge leaving out some amount of tone/body. This is not the case with the Vega. You feel as if you're getting as much detail as the recording contains along with the depth and breadth of voice.

To say that I am impressed with the AURALiC Vega is an understatement. Its ability to turn music reproduction into an engaging and thrilling musical experience is simply stunning. Offering up to DXD and 2x DSD playback, the AURALiC Vega has everything going for it that a DAC should and then some.

Associated Equipment

Also on hand and in use during the AURALiC Vega review: Metrum Acoustics Hex, Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC, Teac UD-501, Fostex UD-501

christopher3393's picture

Thanks! Contagious enthusiasm! This is a review I've been waiting for. I'm also looking forward to the rest of Srajan Ebaen's review on 6moons and John Darko's review of the Vega as well. Also, I'm assuming you might have more to say about comparative DSD playback, although that's not as important to me as overall sound quality.

Any thoughts about amp and speakers that might pair well with the Vega, especially on a desktop setup? I wouldn't want to choose components that might  tilt the balance into the fatiguing zone.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I can say for certain that the Vega mates very well with my Pass INT-30A. Seeing as the Vega's preamp works so well, I'd suggest the single-ended Pass amp (XA.5) would make a fine pairing.

Speakers is a whole 'nother can of worms. There are a million choices and the best choice is the one you like listening to and looking at most.

Desktop: Wow. That would make for a killer desktop DAC/Pre! I may have a suggestion for you in a few weeks....

christopher3393's picture

Thanks! Looking forward to the potential suggestion. I'm wondering if you compared volume control from the Pass INT with the Vega?

Srajan very much preferred using a separate (high-end) preamp, saying: " Swapping in my new Nagra Jazz preamp in 0dB gain mode with the Vega back at 100 became decidedly more dimensional, billowy, fluid and embodied. This demonstrated in completely unambiguous terms how despite fancy numbers magic, a truly superior preamp still retained a very significant advantage. At lower levels the contrast was painful. Going DAC-direct sounded stripped, stark and flat. Audible space and all its connective tissue had collapsed and all prior tonal and textural elegance abandoned."

Yikes! especially for someone who wants to use the Vega as a preamp in a nearfield setup that sounds great at low volume levels. A second opinion  based on your system would be much appreciated.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

...instead of the Pass' which is how I used it for the entirety of this review. But I can certainly see how adding a $12,000+ preamp may improve things, especially at lower levels ;-) But if we're talking about spending $15,000+ on a DAC/preamp solution, there may be more effective ways to skin that cat.

When it comes to questions like these, specifics matter in terms of system context, cost, and ultimately ones preferences.

tbrads's picture


Great review, as always.  I am supposed to get the Vega in, too, so i will review it as a sort of second opinion, as I don't think I can match the nice well-rounded intro and description of the unit and its goals and objectives as you did.

Question:  you didn;t get into the Vega-as-preamp (only alluded to the fact that you are using it as such and want a better remote wand); i.e how well it's digital volume control worked without a typical audiophile preamp-amp setup.  I ask becuase I always try and evaluate that aspect, but have only once (Antelope Gold) come away with "ok, I can ditch my wonderful preamp" feeling.  In all other cases i've determined that my active preamp (Concert Fidelity CF-080) adds heft, weight and overall balls to the program, if not imepdance matching (although I dare say i don;t know much about it :) ).  Whether that is an additive that my sytem needs, and is really a tone control who can say..although others feel the same way.  My Myteks, for example, are classic cases..I listen in bypass (once the jumpers are in to cut down the hot output).  My Meitner has no such option to drive direct.  The Exasound remote was fine, but no match for my pre.

Anyway, great review.


Michael Lavorgna's picture

I was very comfortable using the Vega as preamp with the Pass INT-30A in amp-only mode. But whether or not a preamp is preferable in general comes down to system/preferences. I can see using the Vega with or without depending on the specifics. And I'm not trying to avoid answering even though I am...

I look forward to hearing what you think of the Vega - please keep me posted!


Blu's picture

Thank you Michael, your review certainly begs the question of a comparison between the Vega and the Invicta.


Michael Lavorgna's picture

But the Invicta left here nearly a year ago so a direct comparison is not possible. Also, I reviewed the Invicta before it had DSD capability and I understand there have been other changes as well.

John Grandberg's picture

I haven't heard the Vega so this is kind of a pointless factoid... But I absolutely love my Invicta paired with the AURALiC Taurus balanced headphone amp. It's an absolute Titan of a combo, which for me cements the idea that AURALiC really knows what they are doing. 

wisnon's picture

Chord Qute HD? In both DSD and PCM (Hires & RBCD)?

Technically, we have FPGA/Pulse Array Dac-WTA filter (with 10ps clock) vs Sanctuary ARM chip, user selectable filters, clock precision selection, Femto clock and Sabre Chip/Xmos. Quite a high tech showdown!

Of course, the Vega is double the price and reports more impressive paper specs, but it also is a preamp and has greater connectivity. The Vega also has a dedicated built in PSU, while the Chord can ditch the (quailty SMPS) wallwart and for $500 one can get a high quality L-PSU like a Paul Hynes SR3, MCRus or a Teddy Pardo and still save a Grand in overall layout. Still the Vega offers DSD128 right now, and that only a hope for the Qute, though MOST DSD materail will come from SACD rips via PS3 and that is only DSD64 which the Chord can render right now.


So, is the Vega worth the turnkey, no hassle investment, or is it worth tweaking  the Qute just a little to get similar or possibly better performance and save $1,200?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Very nicely put. Since the Chord left here some months ago, a direct comparison is not possible. That said, my short answer is I really (really) enjoyed the heck out of the Vega. Whether or not that enjoyment is worth the difference in price between it and the Chord, which I also enjoyed, is something I cannot answer for anyone but me.

wisnon's picture

I do understand the difficulty and dont want to put you in an unfair spot.

You had only used the Qute with the supplied wallwart, so really cant say what difference a 3rd party L-PSU would make. Anecdotal reports online universally say this steps up the performance a notch or two.  One Aussie chap was about to sell his after testing it for a few days against his top-line Bel Canto 3.5VBMk2. However, he started to hear it open up after limited  burn-in and so let it play for 3 days continuously plus borrowed his pal's quality L-PSU. Suffice to say he is now forced to give it more evaluation time, as the tonal quality improved a lot, as well as the soundstage. He is still a bit concerned about the treble, though he says its no longer harsh, just more prominent that he would like...this may well change again with more burn-in.

Having said all that, the Vega seems very enticing and though more expensive, seems to threaten Dacs further up the price chain. It is quite future proof with impressive specs and a pleasing sound. 6 Moons also raves about it and gave a 6moons awards.

Aint it great to have so much choice in the DSD capable arena, with real world pricing to boot!'s picture

It is refreshing to see that Audio Stream knocked this one out of the park!

Thank you Mr. Lavorgna!

Too many great small companies don't get considered for review because they have not spent huge advertising dollars to buy a place in the magazines, even though their products may represent cutting edge technology, and affordable pricing.

The honesty and integrity of Audio Stream shows that they are not affraid to pursue and write about this exciting dac and other similarly exciting and interesting products.

Audio Doctor is showcasing this Dac at the New York Audio Show next week in suite 1126 and I was waiting for this review to come out to see if other people heard what I heard in the Vega, 

We will be showcasing the Vega along with the new Aragon 8008 with the terrific Watefall Audio Evo glass speakers, This is going to be a great sounding, and affordable setup! I would love for your to stop by. 

I was thrilled to read the review because it did validate everything that I heard, the Vega sounds and performs at a level that very few products under $10k can muster,I know because I sell many of them. 

This is all great news because the people at Auralic are terrific people and have demonstrated that they can produce a world class product, design and build it well, and sell it for a price that many people can afford,Everything about Auarlic shows they are a professional group of people, the Dac is extremely well finished, it is nicely packed, comes with a real instruction manual, and they have a terrific website. 

Congratualtions to Mr. Lavorgnia, and to the staff of Auralic as well as music lovers everywhere looking to elevate the sound of their digital playback systems without going broke doing it.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I will certainly see you at the NY Audio Show next week.

Too many great small companies don't get considered for review because they have not spent huge advertising dollars to buy a place in the magazines, even though their products may represent cutting edge technology, and affordable pricing.

I can't say that I agree with this point of view, i.e. that there's a direct link between advertising and what gets reviewed, at least in Stereophile (and I'm not suggesting that this exists for other magazines, just that I have no knowledge one way or another). I've seen John Atkinson address this misconception more times than I care to remember where he cites a ratio of, if memory serves, roughly 50% in terms of people who do/do not get reviewed and run ads in the magazine. Stereophile does have their "5 Dealer" rule for reviews which makes sense to me, all things considered.

labjr's picture

Well at least someone's honest and impartial.

We'd hate to have to depend on Mr Lavorgna's biased opinions alone. Guys like him are easy to spot. He gushes over everything like he has a personal interest in a product and never proof-reads his copy.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Please do explain exactly what you mean. Don't be shy, now.

labjr's picture

Was trying to be sarcastic. Some of the manufacturers/dealers comments are a bit over the top.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Sometimes enthusiasm can come across a bit heavy handed but I'd rather have people excited and passionate about what they do. 

labjr's picture

"Sometimes enthusiasm can come across a bit heavy handed but I'd rather have people excited and passionate about what they do."

Nothing wrong with being excited about what they do. Just not sure manufacturers, distributors or dealers belong in the forums pushing their products.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I don't see a problem.'s picture

Dear Labjr,

I don't see it that way, I do see Mr. Lavornia liking a lot of dacs, quite frankly today there are a lot of very good dacs, there are howerver very few remarkable dacs, and at each price range in my mind there are clear winners.

If you look at my store I sell a boat load of dac's at very different prices, with differrent features and capabilities, and yes I like them all, but I love only a handful, and just for your edification I sell:

HRT, Cambridge Dac Magic, Audioquest Dragonfly, M2 Young, Bryston, Chord Qute HD, AMR DP 777, Naim NDX, Chord QBD 76, Meitner MA 1, EMM Labs Dac 2X, Esoteric K03, Esoteric D02, plus serveral streamers and CD Player/Dacs, and of course now the Vega.

wisnon's picture

What are your beloved DACs at each price point? Which are the clear winners?'s picture

You pose a great question that I am affraid I can't anwser without upsetting at least some of my vendors, let's see what I can say:

Under $2k the Chord is pretty hard to beat, and let's just say the Auralic Vega is the deal of the century! In the higher price ranges if you can afford the higher end Meitner and Emm Labs stuff you won't be too unhappy!

Other Dac's come way more down to taste warm and rhythmic in the case of the Naim and some of the others 

The Micromega Mydac which I forgot to list in the the first post is incredible for under $400.00 the Dac Magic is pretty darn nice for the feature set and sound qualtiy for a $600 price point. 

I have all of these dacs plus the Micromega and Arcam on display plus a couple of cool streamers, viva la choice! 



labjr's picture

"...let's just say the Auralic Vega is the deal of the century! "

'til the next deal of the century comes along in a few weeks!

wisnon's picture



Then again, you kinda owe me anyway...because I did send a a highly motivated potential customer from New England...yes the same one that contacted you today. LoL


Me, I have the Qute for DSD and the WONDERFUL Lampizator Dac for PCM. Gen 4 Level 4. Very grown up sound and incredible weight and tonality. Can you say

A-N-A-L-O-G? You can keep those megabuck Dacs. LoL


PS, have you heard the Calyx Femto DAC???'s picture

Yes thank you for the response.

In terms of the Calyx I haven't heard it but I did read a review on it I think from Computer Audiophile where they compared it to the Meinter MA 1 and the reviewer wasn't swayed enough to like the Calyx over the MA 1. 

I do have the MA 1 and it is excellent I have been going back and forth between the Vega and the MA 1 and lets just say both are excellent and do different things well. 

The Vega has the most amazing midrange out of any dac that I can think of other than the EMM Labs DAC 2X, and I think it is the midrange quality of the Vega which Mr. Lavorgnia so loved. The midrange is warm and tubey yet the dac has gobs of resolution and a gigantic soundstage, how Auralic has managed to voice the dac this well I don't know, all I can say is I feel the same way Mr. Lavornia feels the Dac is incredibly engaging. 

wisnon's picture

I have not heard the Calyx, but a very trusted friend of mine sold a spectral setup and bought the Femto. He absolutely raves about being the best digital he has heard. The specs are supreme as well.


As for the Lampi...well its a midrange master, midrange being its raison d'etre and it IS tubey, because it uses tubes both for rectification and integral in its output stage. And its casts a HUGE soundstage with unbelievable heft and solidity. For me it works great with my SS amplification and Heil speakers. Its an R2R multibit Dac, so "no Sanctuary here" as Chris Jones would say.


Anyway, it seems for the money, the Vega (which I have not yet heard, but like intrinsically based on the story around it) seems to be a good value proposition with great performance for the money  and offers a nice techy approach, with Sanctuary chip and the Opheo modules, etc.

t30lse's picture

Hi Michael.

Steve has indicated that the MSB Analog dac is on its way to you after his very positive review of this product. Are there any plans to share your insight on how the Vega compares to the MSB Analog? I understand that these dacs are at very different price points but given the comments about the Vega's performance in this discussion thread and feedback from other online sources it does beg the question of how the Vega stands against some of the best in the businesss. Thanks.

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I also have the Luxman DA-06 here for review which is more line with the MSB's price so I'll be able to compare all three.

Balis65's picture

 I'm looking at upgrading my DAC from my current Moon 300D and considering the VEGA. My only fear is that it could induce listening fatigue. What's your take on this?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I associate listening fatigue with an overly bright presentation where there's an unnatural sense of detail. To me, the Vega does not suffer from this and instead sounds exciting and engaging. I certainly never felt any listening fatigue with the Vega. That said, I have heard more laid back sounding DACs. The Luxman DA-06 is a prime candidate in the smooth camp.

stevej866's picture

Ok, your review has definitely sparked my interest so here's the Million Dollar Question - Auralic vs Bricasti?

azwldkat's picture

Hi Michael... as a 2.0 home audio / theater guy, i have 3 digital sources. FIOS Cable box, Oppo 105, Lossless USB Music Server. I bought a Vega expecting the best & immediately hit the wall with issues. YES, it SOUNDS SO SO GOOD, BUT I HATE IT CAUSE ITS INCONVENIENT TO USE. #1 it uses the exact same remote codes as my Simaudio I7 integrated. Basically i have to keep a towel over the Vega or I run into redundant volume Ups & Downs, Mutes, Power ons & offs, input selections, etc... Literally, the exact same remote! A deal breaker for most in my position. I contact Mr. Wang & he is not interested in addressing my concerns. I will forward those onto you if you wish to read them. I also addressed the no 12v trigger aspect on the Vega & the fact that you cannot use it to power up amps with no trigger... & finally, when you power the unit off or try to put it into sleep mode, the unit asks you to CONFIRM this action or the unit remains FULL ON. As great as this sounds, I don't know who this was designed for... Apparently not me...

I was blown away at the DC audio show by the Bricasti M1 setup. Basically the M1 & a pair of Mono's & a pair of Tidal's & nothing else in between (really nice!) but blown away none-the-less.

My question to you Michael is how does someone like me with ALL digital gear, get into a high end DAC & PREAMP, while getting rid of his analog integrated & just get a nice pair of Mono's ??? none of these new DAC / PREs have 12v triggers!! All these companies boast their DACs are also PREs but how am i supposed to trigger a pair of amps??? How am i supposed to go all digital in a digital world when analog still seems to reign supreme????

Pocketempty's picture

As always fantastic job. Would this be considered a good upgrade to the Ayre Codex?

geoffalter11's picture

Hi Michael,

Not sure where else to post this question, so I thought I would start here. I am looking to upgrade my DAC. I have a Metrum Musette. It is going from my iMac via Silver Dragon USB to my Wells Audio Milo Headphone Amp. What would be a good next DAC for me?

Thank you,