Hi-Fi 2.0 | XMOS XU208 | ESS ES9038Q2M DAC | Volumio | DSD | S/PDIF IN | USB Sound Card
Raspberry Pi with the iFi PSU into the Tone Board Dac, has beaten so many other sources. Auralic Aries, Meridian MS600 etc. and certainly better than the Dacs I had from Meridian, Bel Canto etc. that were the ones I had ended up with over the years.
To be fair, it is only what you find in those expensive DACs and streamers anyway, if it was to go into a fancy case, go through the marketing, packaging, through a distributor and then through the normal retail chains then it would be as expensive as all the main contenders anyway.
The Khadas is just incredibly smooth and detailed, it is a great, great bit of kit.
You can stick one on any device to try, it has coax input as well as usb.
I think you have been listening to the wrong stuff.
Simon.. the DAC to which he refers has a very strong following, and uses a top quality chip the ESS model so I would not be so quick to judge. He has not identified his amplifier or his headphones or speaker..
What he is comparing is just the front end . I suspect that were he to drive his CDs through that system using the CD player as a transport or via local home streaming ,the result will be superior to his Tidal etc