Congratulations on your successful adventure. As I’m learning with my new server and newish DAC, bits may be bits, but timing fidelity and noise have a really big impact on the believability of digital music. I’m now to the point where digital vs analog is only a matter of what music I want to hear and which format it’s on.
I recently auditioned an EMM Labs DV2 DAC and a NS1 Streamer. I compared the DV2 & its companion streamer against my dCS Rossini DAC and Rossini Clock. The DV2/NS1 combo handily won! I bought them.
As I used the Rossini, I’m using the DV2 to directly drive my Atma-sphere MA-1 amps and Majestic 845’s. With a pre-amp in the mix, results may be different. It goes without saying that everything matters in the audio chain, including the room.
The Rossini presently has an upgrade (the Apex) that can be obtained. Mine didn’t have the new Apex upgrade analog board. In fact, the Apex upgrade at a $8-$9k price point — which alone can buy a pretty great DAC — is why I began considering other DAC’s. For example, EMM’s MA3 DAC is priced at $10k. It includes a volume control like the DV2 and the built-in Ethernet streaming functions of the NS1 (streamer). Reviews have said it is very close to the DV2.
At any rate, the DV2 is providing the BEST digital that I’ve ever heard in my room!!! It is the most musical sounding, satisfying and best detail reproducing DAC I have ever heard! And with the dCS Rossini and before it, a Lampizator Big7 and then a Lampizator Golden Gate, I’ve had some pretty great performing DAC’s front ending my SoundLabs.