Here's an update on the Maverick Tubemagic DAC/Preamp. Today I placed it in my reference system as both a DAC and Preamp and I was more than pleasantly surprised. There was vey good tonal balance. Bass was strong and controlled. Mids were smooth, clear and warm. Treble was smooth, detailed and non fatiguing. There was very good air and transparency with a wide sound stage. I'm not saying that it was on par with my Van Alstine gear but I would have no problem spending $500-800 on it. Bear in mind that it costs $199 and an additional $19 for the tube upgrade and another $10 for me to purchase the opamps for upgrade from Digikey. I'm going to try a $30 burr brown 0627 super chip opamp upgrade for kicks.

My only issues with it are that the gain is pretty low when used as a preamp with my Parasound A21 amp. Hopefully there is some way to fix this problem but it may not be an issue with my son's budget system whom I bought it for. The other issue is that the unit causes a popping sound to come through the speakers when using the buttons on my CD players. I am going to exchange it if there is not a good solution to the popping.