A long time ago I got a Holo Audio Spring lvl 1, and a Pioneer Elite DV-58AV to use as a transport. I spent $1200 on the Spring and $100 on the Pioneer, and all was good. One day, curiosity got ahold of me and I tried the analog output of the Pioneer, just to see what it would sound like. And it sounded... Phenomenal. I was actually pretty upset at how good it sounded. This standard little DAC chip in this old universal DVD player sounded better than my fancy NOS resistor ladder DAC with the big power transformers and shielded output and all kinds of expensive wiring. I ended up selling the Spring several months later to get a Marantz SA-8005 to simplify things. The Marantz sounded awful. Very bright, bleached, lifeless, I don't know. Something was not working with the sound of that unit. I kept the thing for a year before realizing I was not enjoying listening to music anymore. I sold it, and had no DAC on the way to replace it. Out came the Pioneer again as an interim. That gorgeous velvety sound I remembered came back, and I decided to keep it as my main digital centerpiece. I also did some digging to see if there was a standalone DAC on the market with that PCM1796 chip in it, for computer audio. I ran into the Music Hall 15.2, with good reviews to boot. I anxiously await getting that thing in so I can stop using my laptop's built-in DAC. So there you have it. That's the stupid story of how I became endeared by a cheap DAC chip from the 2000s. Don't tell me my speakers aren't good enough to reveal the differences in DACs, because I promise you they are! At this point, I am content with the sound of my system.