About to pull the trigger on a miniDSP SHD to serve the duties of Streamer\/DSP\/DAC\/PreAmp , in my 2 channel system in office. This coupled with a power amp, will replace my Marantz SR7010.\n\nWhy this, at over $1K?\n\nDAC measured really well at ASR , placed at the top bracket, with SINAD of 111db and .0003% THD+N. Reported jitter\/noise below -120db, so not an audible concern.\nDirac Live 2.0 room correction. DIRAC License included. UMik-1 included in price(although I have this already). Dirac was key for me.\nPreamp. Volume Control. Remote Control. Can directly feed a PowerAmp. (Analog o\/p 2v RMS unbalanced, 4v RMS balanced )\nHas both Digital & Analog Inputs & Outputs. So if needed, can just operate this as a streamer\/DSP with Dirac and feed the digital o\/p to another higher performing DAC, in the future. This is an outstanding DAC by itself, so I dont need another DAC, but just provides that option if required.\nNetwork Streamer w\/dedicated processor. open source Volumio , Roon endpoint. Seems Airplay works too, although not officially documented.\n\nDid look at a bunch of alternative DACs and solutions(AVR,Integrated Amp,Stereo receivers etc) , but this proved to be the most feature packed & performant, that included top of the line room correction.\nAlmost bought a RME-ADI2 - measured better, fantastic feature set, Preamp, parametric equalizer, great build quality & support etc..(still could buy ;-)) , but miniDSP edged over it, with DIRAC and streamer.\nAnother option was to buy mniDSP Studio version , all digital input\/output ..and feed a DAC. But for $300 more, might as well buy SHD that includes a high quality DAC.\nOther DACs considered: \nTopping models( Topping DX7 Pro - measured better and Cheaper..fallback option) , Okto research DAC8 Stereo DAC , Matrix Element ( measured better).\nNAD C 658 is another I looked at, that checks all the boxes in terms of featureset including DIRAC, Streamer, DAC,PreAmp etc , but a bunch of negative reviews all over the forums and no measurements I couldnt find. Nice thing about that is the future upgradeability via MDC modules..but ruled out.\n\nNow I've also been trying to get the Mac version of Dirac Live for Studio working. I have installed it ( both Dirac Live app + Dirac Live Audio processor plugins) and my JRiver can detect the audio plugins (VST) , but for some reason Dirac seems to have gotten greedy and not exposing a trial version. Dirac Live processor for MAC Costs $349..,while its included in miniDSP. Have reached out to them ..also their latest version is presently not tested with Mac OS Catalina. If I can get Dirac working on my MAC , will allow me to apply the correction filters , right at the source ( JRiver, Audirvana) .,as opposed to relying on downstream DSP\/DAC's room correction capabilities. Also the Dirac processor works at a higher sampling frequency(192 Khz) on MAC, versus lower(48,96Khz) at miniDSP..,shouldnt be a big deal, but main advantage I see is being decoupled from DAC( additional options).\n\nYes I could just do REW with IIR filters imported or Audyssey(which I was doing for years with D&M AVRs) , but seems like Dirac live is more streamlined..yet to play with it, but only hearing positive things about it, compared to others. My sub-optimal listening room definitely needs room treatment + room correction.., Right now, I'm not doing enough justification to the Focal Electras.. but they've been very forgiving so far and I'm enjoying them every bit..,just not the 3D soundstage I heard in the demo room! There's a parallel project underway with room treatment which I'll share once done. Hardwood floor(now treated with a thick woolen rug that helped) and early reflections from glass doors all around doesnt help the sound stage or my ears! . There's also the speaker boundary gain on the left due to tight placement near fixed bookshelves...\n\nStill need to get "the" power amp to pair with this..,to replace the AVR.., but for now, I will just feed into the Analog input of the Marantz (in pure direct , no dsp) ..,once I get the miniDSP.