Well I've been acquiring a few DACs over the last couple week, and have got the last DACs burning in now, should be ready to do a comparison over the weekend.
I titled this thread 'entry level' DACs, and agree that's debatable. These are DACs that are under $500, but do not include the ultra cheap DACs like the Fiio models that are under $100, maybe I should have totled it the $300 - $500 DAC comparison.
I've been torturing myself over finalizing the headphone rig with the perfect DAC and which one to go with and ultimately decided this would be the best way to compare, so I'm anxious to start this weekend.
I've got a few DACs that I'll be comparing:
Musical Fidelity V-DAC Mk II
Audio-GD NFB 3
PeachTree Audio DAC-iT
Cambridge Audio DACMagic
HRT Streamer II+
Musiland Monitor 02
Oppo 83-SE DACs
Obviously this is not an all-encompassing list. These are the few that I had narrowed my search down to or could get my hands on relatively easily. I don't expect that any of these would be able to compete with the really high dollar models out there, but I'm just not in the market to spend $1000+ on a DAC right now, so we'll see which is the best of the bunch.
It's just one guy's opinion, but I'll do my best not to just say "this one's better" and actually provide a meaningful descript of how they actually sound.