It’s a little old in the tooth now, but how does it stack up to today’s competition? Say, to a Sabre brother like the SU9?
From memory it’s really not that old tbh, only like 2016 lol
It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a stratos but imo it’s something that I think is slightly higher preforming than the su9 in terms of spatial recreation (mainly depth), timbre, and dynamics. They are most likely matched when it comes to raw detail and smoothness
I knew if anyone would have tried one of these, it would be you M0N lol I have the opportunity to pick up a demo model 45% off retail, which still makes it almost twice the price of an SU9 for me. Is it stupid not to pick it up at that sort of price? Is the headphone section anything special, or should I really just see it as a DAC. In a perfect world I own a turntable someday, but I wouldn’t want that to be a real contributing factor
Hmmmm, is there a way you could get them to go down further? If it’s 800 bucks than that’s well within the territory of a dac like a bifrost 2, ares ii, soekris dac1421 (or 1321) which I think would end up outperforming the ADL in most aspects if you don’t plan to use the features. From memory the headphone section wasn’t really that special and was more for convenience rather than quality
I thought about asking. As it stands right now those DACs would cost the following in CAD: ADL-$1000, Denafrips, $1000, 1421-$1167, 1321-$650. So at $800CAD you think it’s potentially a buy, or is the 1321 still gonna outperform it on the DAC alone… Cause I mean than you gotta talk about comparing the SU9 with the 1321 which I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on. FWIW, I do use Tidal, so that appeals to me about the SU9 but is in no way a deal breaker. I have a Zen that can do that, and would think that 16bit Tidal through a superior DAC vs an SU9 with MQA makes more sense
I should ask what amp you plan on using with the dac, since it might be worthwhile to spend the extra but who knows
It might outperform it in speed and staging, but the ADL should outperform in detail, body, and impact
Signature wise the su9 is more neutral smooth and the soekris is more neutral slightly analytical (but not harsh). To me, the 1321 is more resolving of low level information, ends up being more precise in its stage with more depth as well, and it’s representation of dynamics is more accurate imo. The SU9 will have better tonal density, and similar detail, but doesn’t sound as organic imo, but it would depend on synergy in the end, the soekris don’t pair well with everything.
If you have a higher end dac that’s a bigger step up then yes the superior Dac will win, but with more equally matched dacs mqa would be the deciding factor
I mean the reason this question is pertinent to me right now, is that the ADL is now or never. Not saying it’s gone today, but sort of “if this is a deal, I’ll invest now rather than 18-24 months from now if it’s an endgame quality DAC”, but I mean, my amps are Zen,SP200,BassX,SP100, and TA-A01B. I’m in the camp that usually, your amps should be worth more than the DAC. Based on your recommendation and my own research the Lakepeople g111 is pretty cool, and was gonna be my next bigger audio buy. But, that’s still gonna be there in 6 months, and if not, than something similar and likely better. And yes, if DACs were very similar MQA would be the deciding factor, but it seems the Stratos is better (at least in the areas that matter to me the most based on your comparison) than the SU9. I also had the Project SE DAC that does MQA, the one that’s about $550CAD, but for that money getting two outputs seems like something I want, and with the SU9 now here, and both being Sabre based, I kind of wrote that one off.
Edit: That Denafrips DAC seems right up my alley based on the “organic, analog, vinyly” type of sound people seem to ascribe to it, and at less than $1000CAD, would probably be the DAC I get way down the road after upgrading my amp(s)