I've been mulling over the purchase of one of these for a few years now. I did some research and found the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 was right for me. Lots of inputs, the price was right, and a tube output. The volume control I originally thought was superfluous really came in handy as the output is kinda' hot. Got it hooked up with a Toslink cable from my Onkyo CD player and fired it up. First up was Megadeath's Countdown to Extinction, mainly because of it's heavy rotation in my CD collection. OK, I'm diggin' it. Things are more focused, cymbals sound better, yea, this is an improvement, and it was. For 2 minutes. Then the right channel started to cut out and sound heavily distorted. Ugh. OK, this thing came directly from HK, maybe the tube needs reseating. Pulled it out and cleaned the pins, no help. I could tap the unit and make it cut out, so I'm assuming a bad solder joint or something like that. So I went with the "poke it with a stick" diagnostic on the inside components and found one of the internal interconnects had a broken wire going to the volume control. Not wanting to send this back to China for repairs, I removed both boards and removed the terminal end of the interconnect and soldered it straight to the board. I also reflowed some wonky joints and cleaned out some solder blobs floating around in there. The IC wire they used is either poor quality, or old stock, as the shield wire has turned black from corrosion. Some day I'll have to get in there and replace it all. I can't say I'd recommend this DAC to anyone at this point. I realize that this thing is at the bottom of the food chain, but 2 minutes out of the gate and it dies is something I have a problem with.