Originally Posted by billbartuska
I don't think you're going to find one at $450.
And if you did, I wager to say that the premium for valves would be s significant part of the price, to the determent of overall SQ.
Maybe a DIY kit/plan???? But I'm not aware of any and wouldn't know where to look.
If you're open to used/demo there are two ways:
Find one that you're interested in at about $1,500 (if one exists, and assuming 1/3 for used/demo), find the US distributor and from him find all the places where it's sold. Contact all the sellers (they all have contact links on their webpages) an ask about used/demo units. They're also a good source for private sellers wanting to upgrade.
Have you tried USAudio Mart? It's high end audio for sale/wanted. Post a wanted.
I just picked up a pair of mint Amphion Argon2 speakers (list about $2K) for $600.
I think AudioKarma also has a for sale/wanted section.
Just out of curiosity, why a tube DAC?
First off, thank you for the quick reply.
To answer your last question first, they sound better than SS. I went to a head-fi meet about 4ish months ago, and I was able to listen to all sort of amps and dacs. One guy brought in the Schiit Lyr and the bitfrost, and it honestly did not sound that great of an improvement over the asus essence stx. Even though the amp used tubes, there was very little difference.
Other than the Sr-007s and the blue hawaii, and of course the stax lambdas, nothing else really sounded like a worth while investment over the stx. Sure things sounded a bit better, but the cost of that little bit was 1K and above.
Then came in the tube amp and dac. They were the only thing that brought warmth and musical qualities to the Q701s that the STX could not. In short, if I wanted solid state, I would probably either rebuy the stx sound card, or I would get the schiit magni. Since I would rather not, I am hopping to get my hands on something with a bit more warmth to it.
(Also, my musical preference is really warm, dark, full, and forward. I do not like cheerful and bright sounding things)
I would be fine with a DIY kit as well. I was sort of hoping that Spriggs would teach me how to design my own, but I think I have already drove him up the wall with this amp and my stupid questions.
I will check out the rest of your suggestions. I am completely fine with used equipment. Spriggs again actually works in a pretty cool audio store that introduced me to the jolida to begin with. They have pretty good things and certainly some great dacs. The problem is they all cost about as much as a car and some even cost as much as a house. Soooooo yeah. I think I will be buying a home before I buy a dac
Next stop, USaudiomart.com