Crystal Evaluation Boards

Cannot recommend it.... I have a 24bit crystal eval board.. but the 16bit performance it not very good.. it doesn;t sound special in any way... the board look good, with good ouput opamps.. but it's no fun to use them... and pretty expensive ...

I'm building my own 24bit DAC.. cheaper and more flexible in design.. and most of all .. more fun to do... It's a project of take a look at the digital forum..

Analog devices board

I have the Analog Devices EVAL AD-1853EB evaluation board. I quite like it. I believe you will find that most manufacturers base just about every aspect of their 1853 design on the eval board except that they try to differentiate somewhat in analog filter + possibly power supply.

I am quite happy with mine. It does good duty being more or less built into my 12 year old CD player (which I am also quite happy with).

In my experience, I have way better sound than most of my friends from my humble setup.

Whether the Crystal boards are crap or not -- I have no idea. My guess though is that how you deal with the power supply will make a difference.