I’m kinda fascinated by the DAC discussion, specifically the fact that many of us own more than one DAC, each with its own apparent strengths and optimal applications. It’s got me wondering: Are two DACs better than one? Are three DACs better than two? How many DACs does one person need to lead a happy, satisfying digital-music life? Would you consider multiple DACs from the same manufacturer or do you prefer to own DACs from different manufacturers?
BTW, I’m curious about these things as an audio enthusiast, but also as a representative of AudioQuest, manufacturer of the DragonFly.
For me personally, budget is the biggest concern here. I’d far rather own one really, really good DAC than several less expensive, lower performing DACs. As good as low priced DACs have become, I can’t imagine the variation in sound signature justifying the loss of sheer quality if I were to divide my budget to purchase additional DACs.
With that said, I’m possibly about to buy an additional portable DAC – perhaps the Audiolab Dragonfly Black or Cyrus Soundkey – for listening to music at work, as the sound that comes out of my work laptop is quite awful and I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford something like one one of those DACs.
For what it’s worth, I’m unlikely to ever use a separate DAC with my mobile phone.