So just how good are these Chinese DACs? I have zero experience with them. My plan is to set up a relatively and relatively inexpensive simple 2 channel system that includes Tekton Mini Lores and Audial Model A amplifier, which I already have. The Model A is made by Pedja Rogic, the same guy who makes the Model S TDA1541 based DACs. I would say the Model A is basically among the best gain clone amplifier implementations made. In my view, the options are: 1. Just get a DAC + pre for volume control. I have no experience with the slew of Chinese DACs now available. After some online research, I am thinking of the Gustard A18 as being the best option for the cost (around $600); or 2. An integrated Amp/DAC combination made by the likes of Parasound (New 200, Cambridge Audio (CXA 61), Audiolab 6000A, These components are convenient with all functionality in one component. They cost from $800 -$1200, are either class D or A/B. My sense is option (1) will offer the best sound quality, but who really knows. My guess is the Gustard is probably a better implementation of an AKM based DAC than the others, which are either Burr-Brown (Parasound) or Sabre (Cambridge, Audiolab). Is this a good assumption? Should I consider other DAC/pres options? And my guess is the Model A is better than the amps in the others as well. Am I misguided? Has Class D surpassed a well implemented gain clone? Any guidance on which way to go would be ideal. Thanks.