VERY helpful review and comparison! i had been looking at the eastern electric minimax gear as well as the yulong D-18, but don't much care for the higher prices or "warm & forgiving" euphonics descriptions. i like speed and detail, as long as there's ease to it too.
i recently upgraded my stereo system to a pair of energy RC-10 speakers with the first aluminum domes i've owned, and really like the improvement to treble speed and even bass weight over my previous reference NHT superzeros, and really wanted to upgrade my DAC after my system sounded too lean in a squarish reverberant room, but am now in a larger and warmer sounding one.
with the increased treble resolution i'm getting now, i can hear much clearer differences between my sony DVD player and pansonic class D receiver's internal DAC. i used to prefer the sony, but had to do a lot of A/B comparison to hear differences, but now can hear that the panasonic has much more treble info and razor sharp imaging over sony's overly warm and thick sound i'd equate with the yulong/EE sound with the panasonic having more of a bitfrost personality. i guess i liked the larger and more diffuse sound of the sony, but now, really like what the panny does for cowbells and especially the resolution in "white noise" type instruments like maracas where you can hear the beads more clearly. i guess you could call the sony warmer and more forgiving, but it just sounds thick and slow compared to the panasonic.
bitfrost sounds like the unit that will agree more with my speed and detail (acoustic suspension only!) tastes more as well as my bargain hunting preference. besides, there might be room for improvement down the road if schiit upgrades DACs. i just like percussion too much to tolerate slow and euphonic lush presentations, and prefer instrumentals over vocals too.
thanks for the review and comparisons. it's really helped a lot that you went into so much depth comparing each unit's strengths and weaknesses against each other. i prefer transparency over musicality,