Making a SOTA DAC

Hi, I would like to hear your opinions about the following. In the mid-80's and 90's there were only a handful companies that were very knowledgeable with regard to digital signal conversion (Wadia, Goldmund/Stellavox, Mark-Levinson, Krell and Accuphase) and there were some guru's too like Ed Meitner and Jerry Ozment. Nowadays digital signal conversion technology has evolved into some kind of "basic" technology that every person with technical background can understand (you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the implementation of digital technologies into let's say a DAC).
This fact leads to the conclusion that everyone can build a good sounding DAC. There are no longer "secrets" within the technology. Nowadays you don't have to be a guru (like Ed Meitner or Jerry Ozment) to be able to build a SOTA DAC that smokes previous attempts for the "best of the world" status.

I more or less agree with everything you say up to the point where you make the SOTA claim. I especially disagree with your statement that these new DACs should smoke previous attempts. That's just audiophile hyperbole. It takes talent to make good sounding equipment. It takes real talent, guru level talent, to make SOTA components of any type. As an analogy, anybody can drive a car, but only a few can compete at the F1 level.
I have to disagree about the SOTA part of your post. I have a Meitner and a Ozment DAC. The only other that competes (well) with them is the Electrocompaniet (wide open soundstage). Jerry's 24MXL (almost 34MXL) is incredible as is any Meitner. Both are very analog like my AA Capitole 24/192. I have yet to keep any others that have come along.