The DirectStream Junior/ Matrix/ Sbooster/ I2S rig has been great. I’m able to listen to high quality DSD and PCM recordings in a way I never thought possible. Prior to the DSJ, I had the Stellar GCD for a year, and before that, a $299 PeachTree DAC, and before that, a little HRT USB DAC.
The DSJ blows away the PeachTree and HRT on top tier recordings, but also renders many beloved CD’s, that sounded great for 30 years prior, unlistenable because their recording quality is not the A+ meat the DSJ excels with. The DSJ sort of boxes me in to only HQ recordings, something that was not true with the PeachTree and HRT.
Octave Records is great, but let’s face it, 99.999999999999999999% of music over the next 20 years will not be recorded at Octave, or Blue Coast. The music world largely could care less about our audiophile universe.
One idea is to get a second DAC. A lower cost, less revealing DAC for listening to great music, yet mediocre mastering. Something like this that I saw on Thomas & Stereo’s YouTube channel.
My solution so far has to climb higher and higher up the narrowing recording purity tree. But I see this as unsustainable.
Curious how others have solved this dilemma? Maybe an entry level turntable? Something fun but not so revealing?