I have listened to EAR DAC 4 in two systems.
BNC/AES SPDIF input , no serious jitter rejection , no Digital processing , no op-amp , wolfson DAC 8741 , transformer coupled ECC88 output tube stage (5v output with analog volume control to drive power amp).
tube rolling: Telefunken E88CC
the wolfson 8741 is not true multi-bit
jitter reduction is not good
usb input sounds crap
stock ECC888 tubes are crap
it should be used with Pre amplifier
as you see there is no special thing in specification but EAR DAC sounds good to my ear.
EAR DAC 4 have not been tested in a 7 way high resolution system. we listened to this DAC in a good sounding 2way Living voice RW in complete EAR system.
CEC TL0-X Transport -> EAR DAC 4 -> EAR Pre -> EAR 861 Power -> Living Voice IBX-RW
All Purist Neptune Cabling
i should say this player is fuller than many DACs . "fuller" means better and fuller micro dynamics (like sounds of LP versus CD) even at lower sound levels. it sounds coherent and dynamic but in hard rock music it is a-little out of control. control and extension is affected by complex music but very magical sound in less complex music.
I think EAR is good to be in your list.
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