On how the d1-six-tube came about: "Your unit is a d1-six-tube with DSD option and silver front panel. I also included a SR20 fuse in case you wish to try it instead of the standard fuse. The fuse is in the power switch in the external power supply. There is no user's guide in the parcel because it's on-line here. As with most DACs, mine is better when warmed up. The main adjustment for the sound in the DAC menu is "treble fir filter" on/off. It makes a difference mostly at 44.1kHz. It is disabled at 176KHz, 192KHz and DSD. This DAC has XLR outputs but in this tube version carries an unbalanced signal only like the d1-tube-mk2 so the normal way of connecting it are the RCA outputs. The AES/EBU is a real balanced digital input you can use; or coax and USB, each with their own characteristics. The d1-six transistor version was introduced at the end of December 2015. It gives the maximum performance I can achieve from one box in the d1 family. As the name says, it has a total of six R2R ladders of the best resistor grade. People really liked this DAC after having tried it; or after having upgraded from a d1-dual to a d1-six. Some asked if a tube version was possible, a kind of mix between d1-six and d1-tube-mk2. They wanted the d1-six performance with some tube sound flavour. In February I had opportunity to visit Voxativ in Berlin to prepare for the Highend Munich show. I brought with me a d1-six-tube. We tried it on their Voxativ Ampeggio Dué, the 9.87 system and their newest Zeth speaker. Now it was impossible to take back my DAC. It had to stay in their reference system because it shows so well what their speakers can do. Their DAC was driven by the d1-server."

That Voxativ had once again shown with TotalDAC at this year's Hamburg show in early February I knew from my preview of their T-211 integrated. I simply hadn't realized that the model above the d1-server in this show photo had been a d1-six-tube. Very small hifi world. Knowing the Voxativ sound well—I've reviewed the Ampeggio and 9.87 system and heard the Dué at a friend's many times—this got more promising by the minute. In my book, an effective Voxativ endorsement counted big. If Holger Adler had updated their prior TotalDAC to d1-six-tube status as both their in-house reference and to impress with at trade show exhibits, my ears were up; way up. Our French contributor Joël Chevassus is a big fan of the brand as well. Sacre bleu. Final stats to know about the tube version? Max 1.4Vrms on both RCA and XLR; and 420Ω output impedance.

If your rocks quiver at the sight of nudie pix...

... not of the ladies but Vishay resistors, this show's for you.

For contrast, here we look at a Soekris machine in a neighbouring sex shop. It too champions discrete R2R but executes it with SMD resistors.

Back to the d1-six-tube, the top PCB mostly conceals what lives below.

Here we take a farewell glance at Vincent's costly denuded Vishays and two gloaming 12AU7 after which we'll observe proper dress code again. With my puny math skills, I counted 12 rows of 12 Vishays on the top board. That netted 144, not the 300 promised. "There are 24 x 12 = 288 resistors on the upper board, 144 on each side. Then there are another 6 Vishay foil resistors with 0.01% tolerance on the bottom board for 294 in total. So indeed, 300 is a round number. The d1-six transistor version does have 12 resistors on the bottom board, making for exactly 300. The small difference comes from the transistor versus tube output stage."