I'm ready to share my experiences with the TL-DAC vs HS-DAC which i have been listening to for days now.
First i briefly compared the TL-DAC with my Metrum Quad DAC that i have been using for a few years now. Immediately i got the impression the TL-DAC opened up the music a bit more. When the HS-DAC arrived i decided not to compare it to the Metrum DAC as i liked the TL-DAC from the start.
At first i noticed the TL-DAC was that little bit more organic and slightly fuller sounding then the HS-DAC. To pinpoint the differences i listened to some tracks 2 times or more until i knew a track very well. I listened to Jazz, Piano, Voices, Pop and Rock… This revealed enough to make one of the DAC DAC’s my DAC of choice.
The HS-DAC does things in resolution and speed better. The highs on the TL-DAC seemed to have a bit roll off compared to the HS-DAC, which makes that the TL-DAC has a bit more upper midrange, while the HS-DAC a bit more in the highs.
But the thing that was remarkable and important for me in my setup, is that the HS-DAC has more definition in the lower regions. And the starting and stopping of a sound was better. That makes it better suited to complex music. For instance piano notes that rapidly follow each other were a bit more articulate on the HS-DAC. It also helps that the HS-DAC has a blacker background. True the TL-DAC sounds a bit more organic and vibrant and i easily could live with it. Since both DAC’s can draw you into the music and are involving it made my choice not very difficult.
The HS-DAC will be my DAC of choice.