LessLoss use the Soekris R-2R board for two reasons: sonics and signal strength. If implemented correctly, the former can be pushed far but most importantly, this solution creates a signal powerful enough to need no conventional output stage. That's why there's nothing between this converter module and its line outs; no tubes, opamps, transformers, even capacitors. Similar circuit minimalism reigns in far more expensive products by TotalDAC and MSB. All internal wiring is LessLoss' own C-MARC soldered in classic point-to-point fashion. Latest-gen Firewall modules locate at strategic circuit junctions. Each small wood compartment filled with hardened resin contains two pairs of these filters. All components and sockets fix to wood. My loaner was the basic Original version but there are two far costlier siblings, the Reference and Reference Supreme. Perhaps one of those will be sent my way in the future so I won't go into them here.

It should be obvious that Echo's End purchasers won't chase parts density or enclosure bling. This is a modest looker designed to score high on performance and ease of use. It's made by people who are strongly convinced that less is more if done right.

For this review, fidata's HFAS-S10U handled storage and transport duties, LampizatOr's Pacific DAC (KR Audio T-100/Living Voice 300B + KR Audio 5U4G Ltd. Ed.) passed signal to a Trilogy 925 integrated. Speakers were Cube Audio Nenuphar on Boenicke S3 speaker cables. All components connected via LessLoss C-MARC power cords to a GigaWatt PC-3 SE EVO+ power conditioner which saw the wall via matching GigaWatt LC-3 EVO cable. Amber-modded Excellence interconnects by Audiomica Laboratory linked both DACs and amp. iFi audio's iGalvanic3.0, micro iUSB3.0 and three Mercury cables were on duty between the Japanese server/streamer/transport and either DAC.

To map the Echo's End's flavor, it had to confront my Pacific DAC. To level this skirmish as much as possible, both fed my Trilogy 925's RCA inputs, connected to my power conditioner with the same power cords and occupied the same shelves of my rack. Switching one USB and one RCA cable was all it took to compare them. Familiarity with previous LessLoss items and a fair share of R2R DACs set mild expectations prior to the first audition. These included a pristine black backdrop, pleasant moisture and overall elegance. The only question was about sonic costs. The Echo's End's asks significantly less than my reference after all. In any case, my educated assumptions turned out to be spot on. This indeed sounded like a signature LessLoss product. It behaved in a very particular yet very different manner than my daily source.