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I'm still using my Grace m9xx (as a DAC only).
Grace m9xx > Stax SRM-T1 > Stax 404LE's.
Is this DAC a decent upgrade from the little GRACE unit I have?
I’d imagine, yes. The grace is a nice combo with a pretty great DAC section. But if the RDAC lives up to the previews, it should be a noticeable step up.
I think it's largely a matter of preference. The Grace will measure significantly better I believe, but some people prefer the sound of R2R.
I used an m9XX as my desk DAC until the RDAC protos came in, and I don't think I'm going back until Christian steals my RDAC to send out for reviews.
The m9XX measures better, so stick with that if you're a measurements guy, but switching to the RDAC was a big upgrade IMO, more noticeable to me than the switch from m9XX amp section to the LCX or CTH.
I should add:
Normally I‘d say it‘s not a 100% fair comparison to go from a ladder DAC to a delta-sigma one. Not that DS can’t be great, it just seems like pushing a boulder uphill to try to make it sound like something it’s not . But the m9XX kinda aims for a bit of that analog sound, more than your usual modern audiophile DAC. And largely succeeds.
On paper, it looks like the RDAC does more with that “musical” sound profile while still measuring less impressively.
I just bought a new DSLR (camera) - price was too good to pass up, and wife and I are off to Hobart for Dark Mofo this weekend - so no play money left just now. Guess I'll continue being satisfied with the m9xx, and wait for some feedback from ppl. who get this DAC. If it's a winner I'll cross my fingers that MD do it again sometime.