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This looks like it was a pretty cool shootout. Very impressed with your audio club. I enjoyed reading the review, thanks.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
Take Aways: -Tube units faired better than solid state. -Ladder DACs did pretty well with the Schiit finishing in the top 4. The other Ladder was the Holo which some thought was "Darker". I found its clarity excellent. -The Chinese made DACs by Black Ice and Line Magnetic beat everyone else.
I note that the preamp and amp were both solid state. So I am not surprised that two DACs with tube gain stages won. It is possible that the results may have been different if, say, there was a tube preamp in the shootout.
The preamp and amp used in the shootout are terrific. Many people, including myself, think that injecting tube goodness somewhere in the system makes sense. It can be in the DAC, or can be later in the chain. If tubes are used later in the chain, a solid state DAC might score highly.