It is impossible for other DACs to sound as good as the Dave and Blu 2 / M-scaler as they have short tap length filters and don't reconstruction the original analog wave form correctly. The other issue is generally digital volume controls affect dynamics unless very little attenuation is required. Anything more that 20 dB and the DAC sounds flat. The DAC then requires various analog gain setting to match different systems. Analog volume controls affect transparency. This is why these DACs can sound better with a pre-amp. The great thing about Chord DACs is that they have properly designed digital volume controls, don't require a pre-amp and can feed power-amps directly.