I'm trying to learn more about audio systems and make the best out of my very limited budget, so I would like to ask for your advice about which DAC I should buy. The DAC will be between an iMac and Audioengine A5 speakers.
1) I can get a second hand Beresford Caiman (modded, the owner says). I would need to connect by optical to get 96/24 sampling/bit rate.
2) Find an eBay seller who ships to Turkey and get a HRT Sound Streamer II (basic version). Every review of this DAC that I read was positive.
3) Wait for the local Audioengine dealer to import the D1. It also gets positive reviews, and Audiostream recommends it for a budget system.
Which one, do you think, would make most sense? Would the Sound Streamer II sound better compared to the Caiman connected via optical TOSLink? What about the D1? 96/24 is not a "must" but I would prefer to have it, it's 2012 after all.
Any and all opinions are welcome. I tried to keep the message short, hoping nobody gets bored in the middle of it. :)