I have a FUN. And a COMPASS, too. And have pre-ordered /chosen to wait for the NFB-11
I like both the FUN and the COMPASS. I have the EARTH OPA in the COMPASS and the MOON in the FUN.
The COMPASS has a chassis with a little more metal in it. Just a little fancier casework. I doubt this makes it sound better, but as listening is only part of owning something for me, I pay attention to the, um, "object-ness" of the piece in it's many aspects. It's not just build quality but build style and so on.
Let's face it, I like gizmos. Put a thicker aluminum panel on it and I'd probably buy it. Whatever it is.
That said, the FUN's casework is good quality, just not as chunky as the COMPASS. However, inside the FUN you have more going on than the COMPASS. First off, the FUN is packed with customizability, which for me is a big plus. I can play with my FUN in different ways, which is - well, FUN.
Then, the FUN has ACSS which is incredible at this price point.
The FUN also seems to pay more attention to power supply considerations than the older COMPASS, though the COMPASS was not exactly a slouch in terms of power supply & regulation. But the FUN does offer somewhat more sophistication in power supply.
They both are versatile- you can use them as DACs, DAC/HEADPHONE AMPS, or as DAC / Preamps. Or just preamps. Or just headphone amps. On optical. Or USB. Or SPDIF.
Right now I am using my FUN as a USB DAC / headphone amp. I also often just use it as a DAC with tube headphone amps. I'm using my COMPASS as a DAC / preamp in a speaker setup. Sounds great in that role.
So anyway, those who bought FUN will be getting a very nice product, I doubt you will be disappointed.
I look forward to getting my NFB-11 because I want to compare the ESS DAC against the Wolfson in an A/B test. And then I may sell my Compass, I have way too many gizmos.
Edited by milosz - 11/19/10 at 2:23am