Got the Spring 2 delivered on Friday, very happy with things so far. Been running it continuously since Friday at about 3 PM, so a little over 50 hours of use at this point. KTE SU-1 in the chain is also brand new. I don’t have a full-size DAC to compare to, I have been stuck with my AQ Dragonfly Red for the past month or so. Shouldn’t say ‘stuck with’ as that portable DAC has proved to be quite musical and enjoyable to listen to in the interim. It normally sees use in my car, and on my desktop at work paired with PSB Alpha speakers/sub. But I digress. My chain, running fully balanced at this point is: Windows 10 PC/Jriver>>Belkin Gold USB (3m)>>KTE Singxer SU-1>>Apollo 0.5m HDMI>>Holo Audio Spring 2 KTE>>Balanced XLR>>Ragnarok>>Cardas Clear Light XLR/Balanced>>HD800 (SDR mod) The Windows PC has an ELFidelity USB card with its own dedicated iFi external wall-wart 5V power supply. This was a cheap science experiment, the card was on sale at Kitsune for about $35, and allows for the external power supply to be used. All listening so far, except where noted, has been through the KTE SU-1. I have to preface my listening impressions with stating that I have never heard the original Spring, my previous decent quality DAC was an Oppo Sonica, which was sold to help pay for this upgrade. Prior to that I was using an Oppo BDP-83SE, which was a big step up to everything I had been using previous to that player. Going on memory, the Spring 2 has really opened up the Soundstage in complex orchestral and choral passages - big crescendos and the like seem to be more controlled, with less glare in the treble. This was a specific fault I had with the two older Oppo DAC’s. Comparing with the Dragonfly, which is not really fair based on price as well as application, the Spring 2 has a much bigger soundstage, and is more open/airy sounding. Instruments sound more 3 dimensional – not so much the spacing of things, as the three dimensionality of the sound-field itself around the instruments. There is just something ‘more’ there with the Spring 2 that has not been present with any of the other DAC’s I have listened to. There is also a nice smoothness/liquidity/"analog-ness" that has not been present with the other DAC’s either. With respect to DSD, I am noticing an improvement over previous DAC’s I had listened to with SACD’s or DSD files. With previous equipment, DSD usually sounded nicer for the most part, but specifically with orchestral string music, there was a funky resonance to the sound that just did not sound right. Not really sure how to pin down or describe what I was hearing before, but it is gone with the Spring 2 playing DSD files – there is a smoothness and naturalness to DSD files that is awesome with this DAC. I am really excited about this part of this new DAC’s performance. One last note is that with burn-in I am pretty sure I am seeing some changes for the better. During the first few hours of use on Friday, the coax-in, fed from my Oppo BDP-103, was slightly smoother than the KTE SU-1 path. But at the 50-hour point, the I2S input is clearly better now. Not sure how good my disc player is as a source for coax-in, but the I2S definitely appears to be opening up on soundstage and ‘ease’ of presentation, as burn-in progresses, and is the clearly preferable input. Overall, I am very happy with this DAC, I think I will be living with it for some time. I would be very interested to see a detailed listening comparison with the original Spring when someone is able to make one. I will also post some further impressions after I get at least another week or two of burn-in. Lastly, regarding the post above with the pics, I see even further upgrades to the Spring 2 - It will be interesting to see if they make an appreciable difference. Looks like it has many of the original Spring 1 upgrades that are not present in the Spring 2 KTE. I was wondering why these were not present in the new KTE Spring 2. I have not opened mine up yet to look inside. Kinda leaves room for a 'Level 4' build, but not sure how much improvement any of this would bring.