Whoever said DACs "are supposed to be audibly transparent"? Did you poll every DAC vendor to determine this? Man, what an unscientific statement, and very likely untrue. DACs are "voiced" by their maker to offer the sound the maker wants them to have. The goal, most of the time, is for the DAC manufacturer to say their DAC sounds the best using all the foolish audiophile terminology they can fit int he space allotted to them. I doubt any DAC makers have live singers and musicians in their regular testing process to validate the sound from their equipment sounds like live. It's possible they do this occasionally as a marketing stunt, but I'll bet most DAC makers rely on measurements and listening to determine if the DAC is producing the results they desire. As for my testing, no one said one was inferior to another. I said I preferred one over the other. Sony is known to voice their stuff on the warmer side (ever list to they Z1 or their DAP - very warm), and the UDA-1 was a little warmer than the Schiit. Also, it sounded a little closed in compared to the Schiit, but that is very subjective. On a purely objective observation, the FR didn't sound the same, and I preferred the Bimby. Ug. I get to type this again. The small volume variation was in favor of the DAC that the folks didn't think was better. The general consensus is that the louder the better. Unfortunately, my google foo is failing me. I read about the testing here on HF. I think it was at atomicbobs house. I'm sorry I cannot find more info. If I do I will post. As for my testing... The Sony and the Schiit (spec wise) have the same output. Listening matching for levels using test tones, to the best of our ability said they were matched. Both were fed by identical USB cables (AudioQuest Diamond Platinum Obsidian! - JK, just regular USB cables, probably from mono price) and identical BJ RCA cables I got for a good price used. I set the Mac to output to both simultaneously, then I used a home made RCA switch box between the DACs and the amp. My son would turn away from the computer and I would flick the switch (with no music playing) to randomize the start. That became position 1. The other DAC was position 2. I would start the music, and he would listen. When he wanted a switch, he would raise 1 or two fingers. We also did a version of this test were he would listen to one, then I would pause the music, flick the switch a few time, and he would listen and say if it was the same DAC. While it possible the outputs of the DAC were not perfect, it was clear that the sony was warmer; the FR wasn't the same. Not worse or better; just different. Perfect testing? no. It was a close as we could get. I'm not sure what beating this all to death is accomplishing. Are we trying disprove that there is any variation in DACs, other then output level? That has been proved over and over again by measurements (you know, science). Are we trying to say that any variation in DACs is inaudible? There would be like saying prove god does't exists. You can make that statement with authority as there is no viable scientific way to prove it, although it's easily disproved with blind testing. I'm not even gonna proofread anymore. I'm just posting.