It has been a few weeks now since I got my D100 and it is getting better and better as it burns-in! I will be the first to admit that I am not a good reviewer, so I dont have a long post with fancy descriptive words for this thing, but with my current setup (see sig) compared to my old setup, the first thing that was really really noticeable was the smoothness of sound. It is the smoothest digital sound I have ever heard! (is that an oxy-moron?) And the more I listen, the more new details are popping out. Just last night I was listening to a song and noticed a guitar right/left pan in the mix that looped over and over again. I had heard this song hundreds of times and never noticed it. VERY COOL!
I am using the balanced XLR outs to my Audio-gd C-2C and now I feel like the amp might be the next to upgrade (to the fully balanced Phoenix)
Of course, then I would have to have someone recable my D7000s.
This setup truly impresses me. I cant see upgrading the DAC for a long long time (same with the headphones by the way!).
The build quality looks really good to me. Very clean and well laid out with lots and lots of high-end parts (just how I like it!). The unit even came packaged very nicely in its own slip cover to protect and the box has the nice Neko logo on it.
It is my understanding that I have no opamps in my analog path now (both in the DAC and Amp). I am a firm believer in untouched pure bitperfect nuetral sound. The DAC does not upsample, but it does oversample...so I guess that would be the only downside for hardcore purists, but I have accepted the fact that all modern DACs will oversample and usually for good reasons. I wanted a modern DAC to support high bit depths and sample rates and this chip (actually two) is the absolute best spec wise from Burr-Brown.
I also noticed the separation of the right/left channels are WAY clearer and cleaner. As I pointed out above, this is very evident with various stereo effects in the mix. This is another reason why I am now excited to go fully balanced some day.
Not really any negatives yet that I can see/hear. If I had to point anything out, then I guess I would recommend an aluminum encloser instead of steel for the next model. For the price of this thing, I would expect no less (but this is being very nitpicky). The top of the housing ...right in the center bows up a little, so maybe needs an anchor screw. Also, I would like to see some nice isolation feet (the pointy metal ones) to really give this thing the bling factor hehe. Finally, maybe Wes could add a BNC digital input since they apparently have super low jitter (probably not even needed with this Wolfson chip though).
I am building another computer in the next month or two and I will be getting a sound card with SPDIF Coax out. Not sure if this will make a difference, but right now I am using optical out. So that is the only change coming up in the near future.
So awesome job Wes! I hope your new company is very successful and I highly recommend your DAC to others that are interested!
Now I gotta prepare to sell all my other gear to recover funds and make the wife happy... =/