I've had a 3.1 Sig as my choice when funds are available. I also saw this amp and I have a question I suppose I could ask Brian but since I'm here and have some experienced AN players. Does one need to match the same output transformers for the best results if you went with a combo DAC/amp? That's $2k for the 3C. I"m not going to ask if it's worth the difference as the whole point of building a kit is to get the best possible performance for the price. If one component were to be sacrificed to standard transformers, which should it be?
Welp there isn't really an easy answer here unfortunately. For equipment that is transformer coupled you could have the best internals backing up those output trannies and still have a terrible sound, if the outputs weren't made well. The vast majority of the sound will be dictated by the quality of your output transformers, so really can't skimp there. As to which could be sacrificed with the least amount of impact on the sound, honestly I'd go for the ones in the DAC. Yes, it is your source component but I think you'll realize more of an improvement on the amplifier end rather than the DAC end. Both will make a large impact when changing from standard to "ultimate" but the amplifier is directly feeding your headphones and will really shape the sound.