Getting back to design of the DAC. Now I run my DAC's with a very simple single stage active analogue section, with only 2 caps and 2 resistors in the direct signal path - and I do this for transparency. But this means the digital RF noise in the 100k to 1M band must be very low, so the digital source must be filtered - and DSD is at -20dBFS at 100kHz. So I can't put raw DSD into the DAC, or it will sound very hard. So the DSD is filtered, which converts it to regular PCM.
If I were doing a DAC for only DSD would I do it this way? Yes, I think I would, as simple analogue is always the best.
Incidentally, the DSD filters on Hugo has been improved - they are much smoother than with Qute.
I was looking to get a DAC that handles DSD natively (no conversion to PCM) and when I was researching the Chord DACs, I read that the QuteHD did not convert DSD to PCM. I assume that the QuteEX is the same. Then I read that the Hugo is even better and I decided to go for the Hugo, however, I am concerned about the statement above where it seems that DSD is converted to PCM in the Hugo. Is DSD converted to PCM in the Hugo? If so, why would it sound better than native DSD?