Im not going to write a review, there are plenty out there. This is basically a heads-up to people who havnet used exteranl dacs and are runnning sub-hifi or aging cd players as their source....
well, the DAC3 is pretty amazing! I have one on dealer demo and I am very impressed. Been listening with my pos cdp as a transport too. Going to get back my Hard disc from my friend then i will be in audio nirvana.
I cant describe this well.... all i have to say is, having owned 4 Bel Canto DAC2 dacs, this is in a whole nother league. I do not own a DAC2 now, but I would consider doing so (again for the fifth time) while i wait for the price to come down on the DAC3. The DAC3 is significantly more expensive ($2300 new), but has a multitude of inputs includiing a real USB interface and a digital volume control (read:lose the preamp ((sounds great with my pre though) and some unrivaled ultraclock technology!
Im not a salesman for Bel Canto. I just think that you may have underestimated the importance of a quality dac to get the most out of your speakers. bottom line: GREAT DACS LIKE THE DAC3 INCREASE MICRO DETAIL, AIR, and well as BASS. Bel Canto DACs do a great job of conveying emotion. You wont be sorry you tried one