I was going to do a full review but ran out of time. So some short observations instead. Right off the bat, let me say as a one-box headphone / desktop solution I think it misses the mark. Something like a Violectric HPA V100 or Audeze Deckard will give much better results for much less money. On the other hand, as a standalone DAC and / or direct digital preamp the Codex is brilliant! I haven't heard all the competition in the $1550-2000 range but this must be a serious contender. With SPL Phonitor and Anax-lite Sennheiser HD800's these are my impressions: - Tonally nicely linear with a touch of mid warmth - Midrange performance can make or break digital playback - full marks here. Great midrange texture, and almost neutral but warmish tone - Treble extension seems limitless, wow! - Superbly extended and structured bass. Detailed even. Yes detailed. And even - Excellent focus and space around instruments and artists. Sound staging is great with nice extension in all directions. Depth is a strong suit. - Satisfying transient attack, unforced dynamics I must say, the Codex had me worried. My usual DAC, the Wadia 121, occupied a similar position in the market as the Codex when it was launched a couple of years ago. But time has moved on. Not having AB'd against the Wadia I started scheming how I would rationalize yet another gear purchase. Choosing the David Elias track Morning Light / Western Town I sat down to some comparative listening. A lovely JJ Cale-esque / Dire Straits-ish track with and incredible bassline, rolling rhythm, smooth vocals and great acoustic and electric guitar picking, riffs and licks produced in 358.2/64 DSF. This track proved an excellent choice and allowed me to evaluate several aspects of performance without having to hop around between tracks. Of course the 121 doesnt do DSD so I relied on Jriver to downsample to 176.4kHz, and it did so admirably. So is the Ayre Codex better than the Wadia 121? In a word ... No. (Thankfully!) Different presentations for sure, but ultimately it would be extremely difficult to pick a winner. Which sort of underscores my perception that digital audio has matured extremely well and great performance can be had for very reasonable tom. A good implementation and a well designed analogue section should give an enjoyable performance with essentially very small, even miniscule variations between different sources. Ultimately it comes down to personal taste, much like great wines are free from faults or major aberrations, but still some people might enjoy one more than another. Wolvebain, sir, thank you very much for the opportunity to sample this great DAC!