the original ESS9018 has 135 SNR the ESS9018k2m has 127 SNR ... so please put in the original ESS9018 !! that would rock!!

I currently have a Fiio E18 and I can't wait to upgrade to the Q5. I know whatever Fiio puts out will be HQ. aka subbed

Hm, I wonder if this difference in 8 SNR will be audible to smb Fiio, leave Sabre aside already and go with PCM 1702/1704

So? 8 * 2 == 16. Do you still believe you will hear the difference? I don't know why you're so eager about SNR numbers, but I believe an implementation plays higher role. And your ears - everything else doesn't matter

You guys should ditch the pure delta-sigma DAC chips and implement something like the Advanced Segment architecture chips from T.I. Anyway, any official word yet on just how much output power the amp-module in this and the X7 will have? Like, how much output into 32 ohms, or 300 ohms? ANd what the output-impedance will be?

FiiO already uses the TI PCM1792A in the X5 and X5ii. The DAC chip is still all Delta-Sigma but with a multi level design to better deal with inherent noise from Delta-Sigma. Many DAC chips use a similar approach, and 'Advanced Segment' is just TI's name for the multi level D-S implementation they use. From the PCM1792A white paper pdf: http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm1792a.pdf

So then is there ANYTHING out there with a R-2R architecture, or at least partially R-2R architecture, that could be utilized in something like the Q5 or the X7?