I do not think the Pontus is a particularly good sounding DAC. In OS mode, it sounds fuzzy, gritty, brittle. Treble is a bit hard and glaring. Bass sounds a bit dirty. Staging and layering are both lackluster. Somewhat claustrophobic for OS. The tone is pretty good. Slightly warm sounding if anything. In NOS mode, the hard and brittle nature is gone. It sounds less grainy, but still grainy overall. But it also becomes very dull and soft sounding in the mids and treble. It's warmer, more laid back, less focused, darker, less nuanced, and less engaging than the Metrum Amethyst. In NOS mode vs Amethyst, the Amethyst just sounds so refined compared to the Pontus. Overall it lacks much in the way of a sense of refinement no matter how you run it. It reminds me of a "fixed" S19, but you might recall my review of that was a picture of dog poop. So, the Pontus to me is like palatable, edible poop...but still poop. Before you ask, I let this thing play music for a few days straight. I use a good digital transport, no PC/USB fuckery, with AES out. I can't say if the balanced outs on the Pontus sound better, since my Super 7 is SE in. I also can't say if this unit is messed up or not. The PSU was dead on arrival for me, and I had to replace the whole PSU. So, who knows if this is a "good" unit or if the PSU replacement caused problems. But I have no reason to think anything is wrong with it and hate that people jump to that conclusion just because something actually just sounds bad.