First a big Thank You to @dsavitsk and @MisterRogers for delivering a ECP DSHA-2 amp to Denver in time for our SBAF micro meet! http://diy.ecpaudio.com/2015/07/dsha-2-headphone-amplifier.html this little blue rectangle of crystal clarity proved to be a revelation at first listen, am very lucky to have some extended listening time at home with DSHA-2 with this chain: Audirvana+ --> LPS Mutec 3+USB AES --> Yggdrasil XLR --> DSHA-2 --> HE1K balanced and Audirvana+ --> LPS Mutec 3+USB AES --> Yggdrasil SE--> Jotunheim --> HE1K balanced Preamble: DSHA-2 has been mentioned previously in the TIII amp thread, but truly this amp easily deserves a thread of it's own. fully welcome those from TIII thread that have commented on DSHA-2 to link their impressions here. I read those few comparisons after hearing DSHA-2 myself, and couldn't agree more on what a supremely resolving yet flowing sound this amp delivers. Specs: uh. not going to make stuff up or guess. will await Doug to edjumicate us here hopefully. Awesome elements of DSHA-2: nice compact footprint. gobs of power to HE1K. it's blisteringly loud at vol pot 11am. external power supply. not sure what's in there, or what level of power is delivered, but my simple mind likes keeping power away from the amp circuit. just in case. or for further power-only improvements down the road. balanced only (who needs SE anyhow? haha). supreme clarity, yet increased spatial presentation to allow plankton to be easily revealed with delineation. still incorporates musical flow and balance across the channels, not limiting music to analytical plainness. engaging. equal presentation of bass, mids, treble - no one steps upon the others. Comparison to Jotunheim: with the recent Jotun impressions flood from many of us regarding, speed, detailing, at your face presentation, bass, no distortion, power, etc it seems a worthy partner for comparison. upon initial comparison it was hard to hear major differences between these amps. both are lightning quick, both uber powerful, clean. low bass with impact, clean treble. but after a keeping each unit on overnight and focusing on background details, can now zero in on the main difference- DSHA-2 reveals plankton much easier, with precision imaging yet also with better flow complementing the interplay of instruments. this was more evident with some tracks that had background and faint acoustic guitars, DSHA-2 delineated better string reverberation and decay yet the guitars from L and R channels flowed perfectly together. in sync. going back to Jotun I had to "squint and focus" to pick out the same acoustic guitar string details, and when presented together they didn't sound as cohesive or playing off each other. a tad less lively. so in more complex or busy tracks the Jotun may overlap other elements making (buried) details more difficult to recognize or hear as clearly. whereas DSHA-2 delivered the finer details requiring little effort by the listener. Note: this might be where a few folks hear a bit of "steel" to Jotun's presentation of treble? perhaps treble details aren't as fully defined, yielding less clarity and thus a bit of sheen? (pure speculation). Sound stage elements: With HE1K and these amps I'm finding layering differences. Depth Jotun has a +1 forward level (in front of you) and 0 level (right at you) depth DSHA-2 has a bit more with a +1.5 forward, a +1 forward, a 0 (right at you) and a -1 (slight behind you) level of layering! Width: DSHA-2 delivers an additional 0.50 step increase to the left and to the right. tad wider. nothing major, sometimes not noticeable. Height: DSHA-2 adds a 0.5 step height above center and 0.50 step lower than center. this provides a bit larger, yet cohesive area for instrument placement. ie. a high hat can appear from a different location than the bass drum or even snare. this was more evident on binaural recordings that can capture a sense of 3D space during the playing. so to my ears, the wider/taller/deeper areas of DSHA-2 allow for "more room" for instruments to be placed and less likely to overlap or smudge the details if sonics get busy. as mentioned earlier, nothing is lost in terms of musicality or titled toward analytical. the sounds still flow together. Pairings with cans: yes, as with Jotun any BrightCans can be "too much" with either of these SS amps. some proclaim HE1K or Utopia as "too bright", which I don't hear with in short listening sessions. yet completely understand after extended listening on amps such as these. and thus, Admission: after a 3 hour (comparative) listening session with either of these crystal clear presentations from Jotunheim or DSHA-2 listening fatigue set in and I shut down the ears for a bit. I thus give YoungEars like @Hands merit badges for accuracy of brightness, maybe it just takes older folks longer to feel the effect of brightness over time vs. instantaneous recoil. ;-) Summary: unless the brightness of cans or forwardness of presentation is a complete turn off, one can appreciate the sonic deltas between these similar sounding SS offerings. with some effort by the listener Jotun delivers about 80-85% of the over all sonic bliss that DSHA-2 more effortlessly portrays without pause. but that last 15-20% is a kicker. it's hard to un-remember once additional nuances contained within your favorite tracks are easily noticed via the DSHA-2. both definitely cut from the same sonic cloth yet despite the slightly smaller size, the DSHA-2 is the slightly Bigger Brother of Jotunheim. if pressed to buy only one-final end game SS amp in my chain, DSHA-2 would win at this date. Note: the DSHA-2 will only be returned after @MisterRogers finds my house and camps out on the door step. for days. doors will remain locked until food and water are depleted. eager for more folks to hear this SS amp!