The more informative airy Pacific better differentiated between electronics and repertoire than the B.dac and in general I found it sonically to be of an even higher tier. But after days of swaps and going through a fair part of my music collection, I admired the French for its distinctiveness, overall seasoning, fabulously emotive potential and far less demanding attitude towards associated hardware. It got along fine with more ancillaries including speakers if pleasure and not ultimate resolution were at stake. The Pacific is the best DAC I know for a number of reasons and a very useful reviewer's tool but not so much on poorly recorded songs. The B.dac delivered regardless of content.

As a reviewer, I'm perfectly happy with the insightful Polish machine. As an enthusiast, I'd be most pleased with the B.dac. This was very clear on heavyweight music by Sepultura, Skyforger, AC/DC and extremes such as Sunn O. The French softened such repertoire, made it thicker, heavier, less piercing and insightful, thus injecting joy for routinely spectacular results. The secret was in making artificially sounding sharpish Rock/Metal prettier whilst preserving its inherent drive and severity. This served such music from its best possible side. Finally a note on hardware synergy which emerged from extensive listening sessions. The B.dac benefits from snappy, airy and open companions like the Kinki Studio EX-M1 which was a perfect match with my speakers. This setup sounded spectacularly impressively. The LessLoss C-MARC power cords efficiently extracted the very best from both machines without altering them in any way. Extremely happy especially with energetic heavy fare, my Boenicke W8 delivered massive bass slam with full control and not even a hint of boom. Even the iFi boxes could pack it. In the long run, the Trilogy 925 excused itself because its similar voicing emphasized the B.dac's core virtues. This was pleasant but ultimately too sweet and to a lesser extent, the same applied to the thick-sounding Audiomica power cables.

Summary. For a newcomer it would seem exceptionally risky to introduce a very expensive DAC as their portfolio's icebreaker. Before going the costly route, even well-established businesses think it over many times. Competition is fierce and numerous, the market for pricey digital hardware limited and today's more affordable products quite effortlessly punch far above their weight. That's why especially a new audio house must offer something truly unique or the battle is lost before it even began. Not for For years this team of three had been readying a blade which I found sharp, pointy and lethal in the best sense of competitive purpose.

Several hours into this assignment, I had a case of major déjà vu. If I hadn't known who made the B.dac but had to take an educated guess, a group of freshmen with their first machine surely wouldn't have been it. I'd have put my money on a product developed, tuned and built by a team of skilled people with years of experience in the audio industry. I'd had the very same impression with the COS Engineering D1 many moons ago. Now the French was executed as nicely, behaved as reliably and mature and felt like the properly costly affair it so obviously was.

I grew fond of the not because of that, however. Once its steep ask is factored, classy visuals or a posh presentation aren't extras but mandatory core requirements. All of that was indeed sorted but what really impressed me was the unique voicing. I can't name another DAC which sings this enchanting and inviting but withholds the usual drawbacks of such sonic traits. That makes it into an enormously gratifying find, expert mood setter and liquid performer of the highest caliber. After taking all of its virtues into account, I keep my fingers crossed for its ongoing commercial success. Although expensive, it's a well-polished gem and as such deserves recognition. What a fine first effort from team!