Hello, i'm trying to be undestanbable (i'm french and my english is a few approximative...). With a friend we try lost of combination with an audiomeca Mephisto (the one) and a Sonic frontier sfd2 Mk2 DAC. We put a digital control volume (a meridian 518) between the DAC and different amplifiers ( Jadis JA 80, Plinius SA-50, SA-102, SA-250 MkIV, Unison Research Smart 845, Cello Encore 150) and we use all ways the same pair of digital cable ( a good french interconnect Hifi Cable). We use a pair of Quad ESL63 Pro and sometime a pair of Magnepan Tympani D (but only for the joy, because they are totally modified and have died for medium but less uniform than ESL...).
We have very good result with the digital volume control, BUT it's better (so we hear that...) with a good preamplifier. the couple Plinius M16/SA250MkIV beats the couple Cello Encore OmegaOhm/Encore150, but the sound of Cello is very warm and alive, but less dynamic and large. May be something about impedance between DAC out and amplifier in ? I don't know but the preamplifier seems to introduce something...
Friendly Loïc CARTAU