The Ever-Expanding DSD DAC List

Vol. 08 Winter 2012 of Net Audio included an entire section devoted to DSD

There are a few lists that I maintain for AudioStream including the ever-popular HD Download Sites and what began life on November 2, 2011 as "DSD-Ready DACs (A Short List)". At that time, there were four DACs from three companies including Playback Designs, EMM Labs, and the then lowest-priced contender the Mytek Digital Stereo 192-DSD DAC ($1,695). Today this list has grown to include some twenty eight companies.

You can see the updated DSD-Ready DACs list here where you'll also notice the now lowest-priced DSD-ready DAC has reached a new low with the Teac UD-501 ($849) which is currently here for review.

I view this ever-expanding list of DSD-capable DACs as good news for people who care about the quality of their listening experience since in my experience DSD simply sounds wonderful. DSD provides us with another source of great-sounding music. The next step in our DSD evolution will be, at least according to my crystal ball, even lower-priced DSD-ready DACs as well as more sources for more DSD music. It's these last pieces of the puzzle that will help broaden the appeal of the very appealing proposition that is DSD.

burnspbesq's picture

And it's a really good one: the Lynx Hilo.

Michael Lavorgna's picture


labjr's picture

I'm anxiously waiting for your review of the Teac. Nice to see the Japanese companies jumping into DSD DACs.

I imagine at some point, the DSD feature will be a given when you buy a DAC. Seems like it's here to stay. I really hope sample rates will increase quickly beyond the point of diminishing returns and can work on improving the sound quality in other ways.

Axiom05's picture

Unfortunately none of this will fix problems at the recording/mastering end of things. :-( I hate to pay even more money for a lousy recording. Still, there is always hope. 

labjr's picture

Hopefully, the increasing popularity of inexpensive DACs will make the record companies think about improving the quality of transfers from older analog tapes. 

Axiom05's picture

The Resonessence Invicta is now DSD capable.

Michael Lavorgna's picture


gallardo's picture

Apple Computer set up an idea in the market that was very clever. The price for the new product was the same of the older, but whit all the improvement, and that was the difference cos you got the idea that you where getting the last tech for no more bucks, what's was pure marketing cos to getting the new tech you has to buy a new device.

So, why don't the DSD music brands compete whit the PCM 24/96 or 24/192 (US $ 24, or $ 27 for a complete album) instead of trying to get rich selling at $ 40, or $ 50 the album ?

I think they are using a wrong marketing idea. Selling almost the same at twice the price It's not going to contribute making the DSD most popular.

Low the prices and sell more

Sell more and get more money.

Get more money and make the market bigger

labjr's picture

I wish Apple would hurry up and make hi-rez capable iphones and ipods. That would boost the market for hi-rez material by a million times overnight.

John Grandberg's picture

I was about to comment on the Invicta adding DSD support - I'm listening to DSD tracks on mine right now. But someone beat me to it. There is also the new Matrix Audio X-Sabre which is Just being launched. I'm on an iPad so no link, but google it. Looks nice. 

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I added the Matrix DAC.