Frankly I am blown away overall..... I have not heard the older DAC2 --- but your DSDse design around the ES9018 here is just stellar sounding. It is truly in a league of its own....and I am getting the impression that you have taken IC-based DAC design to just about the limit to what is possible with your attention to detail in the current DSDse. To do appreciably better, some significantly different approach will be needed. I cannot stop listening to it .....I just want to throw more and more at it....and never leave.