Super personal though. Talk more about your preference of gear. Audio Research or Conrad Johnson? Which is you?
Unfortunately I didn’t have them both - U1 and S1 - at the same time, but I believe the S1 sounded better than the U1/Directstream DAC. I could be mistaken because ear witness testimony is unreliable with the passage of time.
I sold the S1 because I reasoned I could get a lower price Lumin and use my Directstream DAC and have as good or better sound than the S1and recoup some money I spent.
At at the end of the day I’m happy with the U1 and Directstream DAC...but that S1 put a spell on me...
The latest Linn Klimax DS with Katalyst DAC architecture, latest Linn Akurate DS with Katalyst DAC architecture, PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Perfect Wave ll, MSB Select ll DAC with dual PSU, DCS Vivaldi full stacks, DCS Debusy & Rossini, Briscati DAC, Esoteric Grandioso full stacks, Naim Uniti Nova.