Hi! Yes, I had what is now being considered an early version of the Manhattan and sent it back before I could listen too much. Kept dropping drivers, inconsistent front panel display and horribly flimsy buttons. What I did hear was good, but I tend to think the e22 will be a better dac when pushed to DSD256. I am getting a newer black faced Manhattan from Michal soon, so I will report back. I also have the Fore Audio DAISy1 (A Sabre dac that uses a tubed buffer stage, $5k) and it sounds very good at 256, but not sure it is worth twice the e22 at all. The tube buffer calms down the SABRE chip, but a tubed preamp or a stand alone buffer would do that too, assuming you need it.
Hi. Well, the Mytek is still a great DAC. The other 2 you mention are also SABRE-based DACS, and the main difference (other than DSD256 for the Exasound) is the analog stage and power supply (and hence the $ differences). The exasound is nice cuz you can add a linear ps in your own time. The Vega is the best of the three, an with the right USB connection provides an amazing soundstage using the Exact Femto clock setting....but also another $1k above the exaSound. Neither will BLOW YOU AWAY. It's more subtle, not nite-n-day. Like cable or player changes....those kinds of improvements. For me, for the money, stay with Mytek or go with the Chord QuteHD....the best PCM I've ever heard, but a bit more polite in DSD than the Mytek. It also allows adding a linear ps later (although my "best PCM ever" comment included using my Hynes SR3-12). My Hynes is worth about $400 and the DAC can be had for $1600-1700. It is up for review asap (but won;t be done until after RMAF).
Hey Frank, I just saw my reply - and the dreadful typo/auto-correct!
I meant to say 'thanks for humouring my message..." Using the British spelling may seemed to have bastardised that into 'humiliating' - not the word I meant at all. I hope this didn't throw you. (I'm damn clumsy on the ipod...)
Apologies, Luke :-)
Are you by chance the same audiogoner who went to great lengths to try different interconnect designs before settling on pure gold?
Apologies if I'm mistaken.
I've had great fun messing around with wire (UPOCC, in particular for speaker and power cables).
I was inspired by that audiogon thread to make some up some interconnects. But being poor, I made do with silver with only a touch of gold. The rectangular wire is about 22awg/24awg, with the only dielectric being loose cotton tubing - and uses Audio Thrills' teflon RCAs. The cables are all ridiculously short and run parralel with just a 1/2" cotton rope between the - & + runs.
I've been very happy with them - better than any I've tried from my friends, at least. So if that was you - thank you so much for the great inspiration.
I hope your tinkering had led to some phenomenal sound :-)
Wishing you well, Luke.