It’s okay to prefer a cheaper product even if that’s not what you expected. Personally, I think the amp on the RME is quite good. Not ‘weak’ at all. I’m curious whether you’d hear these same differences in an actual blind test. Now that a bias has developed with the sighted tests I don’t think that’s really going to change. Either way, useful comparison for me. I’ve actually been thinking of trying the Micro iDSD BL though it’s a ‘downgrade’. I’ve found differences between the ADI-2 DAC, Polaris, IHA-6, and Pro iCan to be rather minimal. That’s my opinion on solid state amps I’ve tried in general. Maybe some of those summitfi ones are a dramatic change, but I find the ones I mentioned I find much much more similar than different. On the other hand I find the color from a SET tube amp to be very noticeable. When I first got the RME I compared the DAC portion with the Metrum Onyx ($2500 NOS DAC) using the Pro iCan. I thought the the RME sounded notably less natural and less full. Had a harder edge to the treble. Not that surprising especially considering NOS DACs have some treble roll off. But even with the RME on the NOS setting it just sounded off. I still ended up selling the Onyx because I liked the footprint of the RME and within a few days I didn’t really notice or care about the difference much. Got used to it. Then I figured well, how’s the internal amp? Basically sounded the same as the Pro iCan with Xbass and 3D sound off. Even when the Pro iCan was in tube mode. Just my opinion. The tube distortion the Pro iCan adds is so minimal that it’s basically placebo. So I’m using the ADI-2 DAC built in amp over this solid state/hybrid that has a list price of $1800. Preferring cheaper gear isn’t a terrible thing, I promise. Your wallet will feel better about it too.