I replaced a John Kenny MkIII with the Gustard U12... much better. Linear power supply pays dividends for better dynamics, bass performance.
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I just received mine a couple of hours ago.
I was hoping to hear some improvement but I was surprised how much clearer everything became instantly.
Just listening for about 2 hours and I notice soundstage is still a little congested, but high are crystal clear and I am hear more texture in the bass.
I did notice some skipping on one of the 24/96 tracks, but I am too tired to troubleshoot at this hour.
I am running Audirvana 2.0 on a mac mini.
I briefly attempted to play with XXHighEnd for a little while and could not get any terrific results yet.
I am guessing to clarity is better due to eliminating a lot of jitter. Noy sure why soundstage has not opened up yet.
This really is doing a nice job for me. Gustard also has a X12 dac for around 500. Has anyone tried that yet?
I am quite sure that these components are not in the same league as Off Ramp and others, but it does show me that minimizing jitter does a lot for my SQ.
I also learned that 24/96 is the max that I can send my Audio Note non oversampling dac.
The next thing I would like to experience is 24/192 music.
I am delighted with the increase in sound quality with the Gustard U12. However it definitely needs 7 to 10 days to break-in properly. Once it opens up, the resulting clarity is just terrific, in a "OMG I have to re-listen to my music entire collection" kind of way.
My wife even noticed the benefit. This has never happened before with any prior upgrade or tweak.
I use a SOTM SMS-100 streamer, a Corning Optical USB cable into the Gustard, with the U12 output feeding the AES/EBU connection of my Auralic Vega Dac, via a Grover Huffman digital cable. The Gustard is a great value too. Highly recommended.