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Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

Many in fact; Ancient Audio and Audioaero very high-end more $$$ than AudioNote. Ancient is the only

company that I'm aware of that has ever offered tube "mono" DACs one chassis for each channel left and right. The digital input modules are special order apparently in their Silver DAC III, part of the Air and Lektor models. The single chassis DAC from Audioaero uses sub-miniature dual triodes 6021W for the output. I think both are north of 40,000 so a bit of an academic issue.

A few contenders at the top echelon of tube DACs worldwide.
Zanden 5000s, built like a tank in the same vein as Tektronix mil-spec test equipment and that's good.

The JCF Audio DA8-V Vacuum Tube DAC; now here's a DAC that takes the vacuum tube part seriously, eight transformers and seventeen tubes, that's eight 12AU7s and eight 12AX7s plus a tube rectifier. Draws around 100 watts at idle and weighs nearly seventy pounds, heftier than some amplifiers and with a tube count greater than most preamps.

Space Tech out of Canada, has a "cost no object" 3 chassis tube DAC the DA-512X-128ASP it can even take Western Electric 300B, 45 or 2A3 tubes. About $13,000 see their lower cost entry DAC model below.

From Seoul, Korea the Solos Tropos Sarajida DAC-1, DAC-2 and DAC-3 models from $1,700 up to $8,500. A forty pound chassis, six 12AX7 tubes and Mundorf capacitors.

The Kora Hermes recently out of production but still readily found on the used market it definitely competed with the AudioNote's and at a price not so dear as the above units. At that same level, Manley Labs, The Wave DAC had the Burr-Brown PCM1704 with two 12AX7s and new old stock JAN, Joint Army Navy, 7044 tubes, ceased production last year. Supposedly, there is a new tube DAC replacement coming from Manley next year.

Other defunct DAC brands that deserve mention as they still show up on the used market; Musical Fidelity TriVista, Conrad Johnson, Audio Research, California Audio Labs, Sonic Frontiers, Vacuum Tube Logic and STAX, all of which produced high end tube DACs of the past.

On to the lower cost side of things and back to current production DACs; the HLLY Tube DACs all very low cost sub $300 models straight from China. The Lite Audio DAC-60 and DAC 68 which are 24bit Vacuum Tube DACs. The Jolida FX vacuum tube DAC with 12AX7 output tubes. The Music Hall DAC 25.3 uses a single 6922 tube.

Once again from Canada but not so low cost, the Space-Tech Lab DA-64XT vacuum tube DAC. Also, the Audio by Van Alstine, Fet Valve Hybrid DAC uses 6CG7 tubes about $2,500. Audio Space Acoustic Laboratory LTD., has the DAC1US with two 6922 tubes and the new DAC2 model with its three 12AX7 tubes, priced somewhere above $3,000.

There are probably many more brands out there that I'm not aware of.


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