The DDDac in its basic kit form has gained an enviable reputation as a ‘giant killer’-a product that performs at a level much higher than its asking price. In my version, I produce custom built power supplies, upgrade key components and offer a choice of output formats. One of these models that uses one dac board and has capacitor output was compared to, among other expensive dacs, a Lampizator Level 7, which costs £7,000, which was sporting a further £3,000 worth of expensive valves. The performance was incredibly close. The Lampizator did have a little more valve warmth on e.g. female vocals but my version of the DDDac was better at deciphering complex musical packages. I now offer an option of a valve output stage which lifts performance of the DDDac even further.
You can also have a version with a built in Raspberry Pi as a music server. Connected by i2s, this combination offers exceptional performance. So, the basic choices are:
- How many dac boards do you want? Standard choices are between 1 and 4
- What output type do you want? The cheapest is simple capacitor output, then valve output stage, with or without output transformers
- Do you want standard USB/SPDIF inputs or do you want a built in Raspberry Pi music server?
Prices start around £1,500 for the version with one Dac board and capacitor output.