What DAC would it take to upgrade from a PS Digital Link III?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bob_in_OKC, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    The DAC is my main audio system right now is a PS Audio Digital Link III. It was in storage for a while and might be headed back. It's a fine DAC to my ears, but the reality is I don't have many files. I also don't subscribe to Tidal, but I might start. I'm still playing CDs on my Rega Saturn and prefer it. I like the sound of it better than what I get playing FLAC files from a Windows computer to the USB input on the DLIII.

    But let's suppose I subscribe to Tidal and rip my CDs. At what level of DAC do I get solid upgrade? Do I stay with USB for convenience or do I need SPDIF output? Any discussion at any level is welcome. I probably wouldn't spend more than $2,000, but I'd go with $300 if it's actually an upgrade.
     
  2. TimB

    TimB Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Galion, Ohio USA
    Keep the Link DAC III, the only 2 draw backs to speak of is that it does not play DSD files, and the USB is limited to 16/44 red book. Othwe wise, it is an outstanding dac. I still use mine. You are not going to get an upgrade in sound for $300, but you can more features.
     
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  3. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I have a Gungnir that I upgraded to Multibit. Liked it so much I got a Bifrost multibit for my home office. I cannot see changing these in the future. Supposedly, the Modi multibit is a non-upgradable version of the Bifrost. I cannot say.
     
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  4. wownflutter

    wownflutter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Kokomo Indiana
    I run a Rega Planet and a Squeezebox both in to my Link Dac III. I feel no reason to upgrade. I think it sounds great. I also have a Peachtree Audio Dac upstairs on my computer. I think it would be a step down from the PS Audio.
    When I'm not listening to vinyl, I use the Squeezebox 99% of the time. The Rega Planet get used about 1% of the time.
     
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  5. timind

    timind Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brownsburg, IN USA
    I used a DLIII for a couple years and loved the sound. Unless you need features not available on the PS Audio dac, I'd say keep it.

    As you don't plan on selling it, you could experiment. Always fun.
     
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  6. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    It's interesting to me that I have a consensus so far to go with status quo. I will add that I'm not one for additional features. Better sound quality is probably the only reason I'd upgrade, and yet I don't have any particular criticism of the sound I get from the DLIII.
     
  7. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    PS makes some of the best DACs and yours is a good one, including a decent analog section with nice beefy power transformer but for $2K it can easily be beaten.
    Consider the Sony HAP-z1 ES. Not a DAC in the traditional sense in that all files played must be transferred to the internal 1TB drive but sound quality wise it is an awesome sounding unit. It "upscales" MP3s to DSD quality and I must admit MP3 files do sound really nice. CD rips to FLAC files (I use Dbpoweramp) sound even better and DSD files can sound better than the FLAC files with quality recordings. The DAC is competitive with $2K DACs on the market.
    But the analog section and convenience factors are what make it an outstanding buy. The analog section is a dual mono design with dual power transformers and dynamics and transients are exceptionally nice. The overall sound is clear, dynamic, transparent hi-res but with a slight warmth and sweet overall smoothness- it never spits out a sour note.
    Add the playback software to a tablet or phone and you have a very playback friendly setup that eliminates the computer from the mix.
    No tidal yet but it has spotify and tune in radio and each sound spectacular, especially some 320kps audiophile stations- but even 125kbps on regular old FM stations sound better than any tuner I have ever heard.
    On the down side the transfers can be occasionally finicky over wifi but not often- and the unit has so much resolution that it is very sensitive to interconnect cables- it is worth it use good ones.
     
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