A well designed unit will always stand the test of time. And the 22A DAC is one good example. Priced under $500 now, we compared it with another popular under-$500 DAC, PS Audio’s DLIII DAC. The DLIII is another good value for money buy but if you want something that has a more “natural” flair, the 22A is it. Upon initial listening, the DLIII grabs you with its fine detail retrieval ability but after an hour or so, you are drawn to the 22A’s more relax and fuller sounding presentation. It has a very natural and unpretentious sound. Just smooth, easy listening. No wonder, it has been the favorite pick among audiophiles for an under $500 DAC. If technical spec is critical to you, than go for the DLIII but if you want a well sorted out “old school” 20bit 8x oversampling unit that just sings, the 22A is a good choice. XLR outputs is a nice addition in this price category where many DACs only offer RCA outs.
Cosmetically, it is in good shape for its age. There is the usual scuff marks from use and some knicks along the edges but nothing major. We don’t have the original box or manual but will securely pack it for safe shipping.