So, I really didn’t want to like the D2…it’s expensive (to me), uses SMPS, aging DAC chips, has no digital inputs, no bluetooth, limited scope for upsampling and no direct NAS access.
However, I genuinely cried during the first track I listened to…for me it really was that good at conveying the music. Vocals and instruments all seem to just sound more present, 3 dimensional and organic, drums and guitar in particular sound as I believe they should. The background against which they appear also seems somehow darker and more silent. The rest of my system, which lusts longingly for a future upgrade to Amphion speakers and a Hegel amp, has no business sounding this good. My headphones, connected via the balanced outputs to an Arcam rHead, also sound completely upgraded. I’ll make a decision over the weekend after some more hard-headed comparison but at this point I’d be very surprised if I don’t choose to keep it.
Some asides - the build quality seems very good to me and the very slight audible hiss from my tweeter at rest is much reduced from my previous setup (even when the DAC was on a good LPS). I’m not a fan of the Android app on my tablet, certainly not on first impressions (makes the Bluesound App look good imo) but I don’t care about that. Much to my surprise, I also so far don’t really like the effect of upsampling on it (either on the D2 or when done via Roon) - it seems to lose a little detail. Perhaps @wklie can clarify but as I understand it upsampling must still be happening in any event inside the DAC chips? Not quite sure why I prefer it that way. I do though find converting to DSD good for headphone listening - makes it a little more laid back.
@wklie don’t suppose there’s any plans/scope for a USB Bluetooth dongle? The use case for me is two good, firstly friends and secondly surfing Roon and coming across new artists who can only be previewed on Bandcamp or similar.