@phastm3 and @soma70 , yes, I know what you are saying is true about those DACs. But for me, I’m a cable guy, and tend to go top of the line. And that would mean adding a very expensive power cord, AND interconnect into the equation. I know I could improve things by just getting one of those DACs you mentioned and compromising on the cabling, but I would just end up getting the pricey cables. I’m not prepared to go that far now. This is why I’m opportunistically considering adding the M scaler, likely used. It would be a mere fraction of the cost of the separate DAC cables alone. I think it’s a psychological thing, I need my gear to be performing at their best, completely unrestrained, regardless of whether it’s lower or higher end gear.
Also @phastm3 not sure if you are still using your Zenith MKIII, but if so have you tried the Innuos PhoenixUSB? You may not be the “extra box” type, but there is no denying it frees up the sound and for me dramatically improves the sound coming from the Gryphon DAC module. Some say it brings the Zenith MK3 90% of the way to the very expensive Statement, but I just read another reviewer that said he was hard pressed to hear the difference between Zenith plus Phoenix and the Statement.