See below. As always, subject to change as I listen more, going back and forth with a variety of recordings. You guys know what a tough exercise - think ballpark. I've also changed a few things around after further consideration. A few extra DACs thrown in for entertainment purposes and relative comparisons. And yes, I do hear the DAC2541 has being slightly more engaging (however it does have less plankton to work with). As usual, I've put some thought into scale. Engagement / microdynamics / immediacy Plankton / low-level information / resolution (not macro-detail) Blackground / clarity BAL OUTPUTS / AES INPUT and variety of headphones and amps Richness (entire range, not necessarily warmth, think chocolate cakeness) Treble F'kery (digititus, sandiness, unnatural edge, prickliness) BAL OUTPUTS / AES INPUT and variety of headphones and amps Thought: the prior generation AKM DACs were less resolving, but more engaging and much less F'd sounding. Hence my crapping the new AKM stuff here. I mean, if you are poor, get something like Modius or JNOG**. TBH, I use Modius as cheap instrumentation for headphone measurements. It's technically superb in some respects, but I have zero desire to listen to if I can avoid it. Of course it doesn't matter now with AKM. Cosmic forces beyond our control saw to this. Obviously these are specific technical aspects that do not really paint the entire picture nor attest to how they may synergize with your own specific components. **better yet, ditch delta-sigma garbage and get Modi MB and swap AD86xx opamp to OPA2156 (toob) or OPA1656 (clean) -or- wait for entry level stuff from Soekris. I wish we had other choices like RDAC. @CEE TEE? Sigh... if only those Airist Audio guys were the real deal and didn't turn out to be posers. Think what could have been. Then again, their profiles of Haavaad and Princeton should have been red flags.