I can't wait for my Asgard!!
As much as I love my Asgard, I think I finally found a set of cans it doesn't drive particularly well: the Fostex T50RP. There is a certain level of "honk" that won't go away with modding the cups or eq'ing out. I can only speculate that it comes from damping because when I drive the Fostex with my Yamaha receiver, some of the honk goes away. The Asgard is still a nice pairing with the Fostex after modding and eq'ing, but it's not a good pairing with the stock Fostex, IMHO.
Edit: here's a post with some info on my latest setup regarding the Asgard and Fostex http://www.head-fi.org/t/529140/show-us-your-head-fi-station-at-its-current-state-no-old-pictures-please/5070#post_8250524
so far I have HRT musicsteamer II+, maybe later i'll upgrade.
Honestly, unless you want to spend upwards of $1000, you'd be hard pressed to notice many improvements over the HRT II+ with other DACs. That is one smoking DAC regardless of its price.
Yes I do agree with you...headphone system is first for me...with my speakers and HRT are really shine!! love this small dac.
Most people say the Lyr is a pretty big difference with both the he-500 and the lcd, like a nice improvement over the asgard. My asgard did nothing special with the HE-500. It gave them enough power yes, but I felt it was somewhat lacking in dynamics while having a decent soundstage. It had a very smooth sound. One you'd expect from a solid state. Somewhat sterile compared to my LD. The asgard is not a bad deal, but I feel it hit around average for its price. Many others, however, have been enjoying it :)
I noticed a significant difference when I went from the Asgard to the Lyr and rolled in some decent tubes. With the HE500's the difference was definitely enough to justify the price of the Lyr.
I'm one of these who gets buyers remorse - but not this time. The Lyr is well worth every penny.