I can appreciate where this sentiment comes from, but I have written in other threads that, as applied to high end audio systems, the idea of diminishing returns is not necessarily correct. I say this because in my experience and that of others I can quote, when a system achieves a certain critical level of performance smaller changes yield bigger improvements precisely because they are leveraged by what has gone before. That means that the same order of change the next time around will yield an even bigger result. We have experienced this many times over. This is the opposite of diminishing returns. It also means that very large changes such as moving from a modest DAC to a truly high-end one, in that context, can yield changes that are beyond our imagination before we hear them, but which are instantly understood for what they are the moment we hear them. There are two caveats however, 1. If the system is either deficient or if there are impedance mismatches the potential of the DAC will not be experienced, and/or 2. If the highly touted super expensive DAC itself is not really all that it is cracked up to be in the first place and the well tuned system shows that to be the case. I have been fortunate to experience first hand the difference between a very highly touted $80,000+ digital stack verses another DAC (SW1X Level V Special) in the same price range, the difference in the quality of performance is staggering. The profusion of color, micro-dynamics and fine subtle information delivered from the DAC V is beyond compare. As I sell SW1X please take this however you will, but it is an honest representation of my experience.I don't believe Dacs are any different to any other commodity on the planet! There is a diminishing return as you get more expensive. In todays money I don't think there is any real "need" to go beyond $2-3k for a dac and certainly not beyond $5k to get 99% of the sonic performance of something that is $20k. I honestly don't believe it is even a 5% improvement between the best of the sub $2k dacs and a dac in the $10's of k's. I think the majority of people making claims otherwise have either spent the money themselves, and therefore hear the improvement to justify the expense, or are otherwise deluding themselves. I don't have any objections to someone buying a $20k plus dac.....hell, I might even do it myself if I was a millionaire, but I really don't believe the sonic improvements are real. Sure, you might get top of the line components and finish.....but that's really what you are paying for. Dac's are no different to handbags!