In what way are you using the unit that buffer size needs to be small?
Also buffer is usually measured in samples not time.
it is on the asio setup page. I am figuring that is the output buffer. the streaming media buffer is on a different page. I noticed it was skipping so I increased the hardware buffer and fine. as you said it does not matter for listening. that only matters if you are recording or dj'ing afaik.
I quite like the piece. I really wanted something that would work perfectly in Linux and play DoP. I compared this DAC to many other pieces that cost an order of magnitude more and found that I couldn't hear enough of a difference to justify continued search for now.
I don't know about the non Muses Essence one, but I had a Muses one, and I currently have the UD-501. I used boed out in Balanced mode to a Bryston BHA-1 to a Black Dragon cabled Sennheiser HD-800.
Hands down, the Teac was much more neutral and revealing. The Muses sounded pleasant but colored everything with the Muses sound, which got frustrating after a while, as it also tended to sound slow. The Teac was just right, not too revealing, not too warm, not dry or brittle (which is the danger with this setup, unfortunatley).
Hope that helps.
Sorry it has been a long time but I finally gave in to my base instincts and opened up the teac unit to take a look at the inner workings of the dac. Frankly I was surprised at how substantial the build quality is on this unit for its modest cost. Even with its substantial end caps removed this unit is pretty heavy and very stoutly constructed for a unit that only retails for 849 usd. I also tried to locate a fuse within the unit. Damn if I can find one I did not see any fuse at least one that I can find within the unit. If there is a fuse in this unit teac did a great job concealing it. I saw another post with in this posting that said another person could not locate a fuse within the unit either. So I am not the only one who could not locate a fuse inside the well populated volume within this very substantially built unit. Damn I had hoped for a good bump in the units performance by upgrading the fuse but if there is no fuse that is not going to happen.
The one thing that I can say about this unit after ten months of use that it definitely is at its best when you use the balanced outputs. The sound is decent from its single ended inputs but it performs noticeably better when you use the balanced outputs.
I have checked the inside of the unit too and there is no fuse in the unit. I believe the unit has some type of shunt to protect it. I do agree with your findings regarding the sonics. It sounds ok single ended but sounds noticeably better in balanced output mode. I am using nordost heimdall version 1 balanced cables to my emotiva airmotiv 5s on my desk top and it sounds pretty decent. To improve sound try a upgraded power cable this does make a difference with the teac.I have had my unit for awhile and have been satisfied with its desk top performance. The headphone amp is not bad but my dedicated headphone amps do sound better. I wish that teac had used a better volume pot in the unit like a alps blue velvet unit. The pot they used looks out of place when you look at the build quality on the rest of the unit. I guess they had to cut some where to keep the cost of the unit below a thousand. A better pot would have bumped up the performance of the headphone amp a bit. I bought my unit from the teac factory store. The last time I checked teac has bumped up the price on the unit from when I bought it. At the time I payed 749 usd for mine.