Looking for a specific kind of DAC for my 789. Does it exist?

Finally got my hands on a 789 and would like to match it with a decent DAC with some specific features.
I’ve heard that the 789 has some issues with its volume, which can be avoided if you use it as a pre-amp and put the volume/gain to the max on the 789 and control the output volume on the DAC. Which leads me to this feature list that I’m looking for:

  • Pre-amp capability (to alleviate the lowering volume issue on the 789)
  • Physical Volume knob (not just remote)
  • Bluetooth (LDAC or higher)
  • USB / Optical Input

So far I’ve been looking at:

  • Aune X8, but it doesn’t have Bluetooth
  • SMSL M200, but it doesn’t have pre-amp
  • Topping D50s, weird volume knob, no pre-amp

Maybe I’m overthinking the 789 volume issue and should just go for the SMSL M200 but I don’t really like the slanted look of it unless it’s sitting on a SP200

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hmm the zen dac and zen blue is the closest I can think of… just no optical in :man_shrugging:


The Soncoz SGD-1 checks all those boxes, I think.

Soncoz was founded by the designer of the Khadas Tone Board.


Wow I had never heard of these guys, looks pretty legit.
I don’t see any mention of a pre-amp, unless I’m missing something.

Looks great though!

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It had a volume control for the line out so it could work as a preamp. But you’re right that it doesn’t have a built in preamp gain.

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I would say Zen blue paired with a schiit sys and e30. More flexablility/dac upgrade in the future.

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