Brian has been parading this DAC, looking for a challenger. Looks pretty serious, although I think it would’ve been prettier if the enclosure is all silver.
The AMB Labs Gamma 2 DAC is the design of AMB Labs, the same people who’s created one of the world’s best headphone amplifier, the Beta22, as well as other kickass products like the M-cubed, the Mini-3, the Gamma1, et cetera. The Gamma 2 is purely a digital to analog circuit, hence it requires to be used with the earlier DAC design, the Gamma1, to provide USB and S/PDIF receiving capability and convert them to I2S data. The Gamma2 then takes that I2S data, upsamples them to 24/96 with an asynchronous sample rate converter (either Texas Instruments/Burr-Brown SRC4192 or Analog Devices AD1896 ASRC chips), before finally converting them to analog with Wolfson’s top-of-the-line 24-bit 192KHz chips: the WM8741, WM8742 or WM8740 DAC chips. It’s also equipped with an on-board CMOS oscillator for the I2S master clock.
What should I fight the Gamma 2 with? It’s a DIY, but the parts alone costs ~$250. Should we find a comparison twice its price, or triple its price?
Anyway it should be a fun comparison.