I'm curious if anyone has heard either of these yet. They seem to be operating under the radar while other names take center stage. Having listened to two modern R2R-based dacs I am converted. These are two of the more afforable models available, along with the Schiit Modi Multibit I reviewed earlier.
Airist: There was a lot of fanfare when announced, then some controversy over possible IP theft which seems to have been resolved, then a delayed roll out. It's been available now for some months and feedback seems to be good. It's appreciators are naturally centered around the Massdrop crowd, but it deserves more exposure. At only $350, it's less than half the price of a Denafrips.
Soekris 1321: Having built one of the Soekris diy boards I am somewhat biased, but it also means I know what these dacs are capable of. The 1321 is the entry-level model at only $463 US/420euro. Soekris operates outside of the audiophile market and as such isn't really into jumping the marketing/promotional hoops. But with the new advanced 1421/1541 models, word is starting to spread. Even better, a little technical know how allows you to change filter settings, potentially elevating performance further. Needless to say I prefer the diy boards for best price/performance ratio.
Any other budget R2Rs out there waiting to be discovered?