no, with D/S DACs it's about 90-95% the chip and the necessary filters, 5% other crap. if you experience a really bad D/S DAC that sounds worse than a Modi despite costing way more, it's because the designer did something retarded to really fuck up the sound. see: Benchmark, Mytek. spec sheet implementations sound better than that shit. this was discussed here https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...i-multibit-jds-el-dac-ifi-nano-bl.6313/page-7 that suggestion was only for RobS as he was already talking about buying some random Arcam thing from 1990. rather than get the TDA1541 sound potentially spoiled by brit-fi (i don't know what Arcam was doing in 1990), i suggested he go straight to the source and get a machine built with Teutonic German engineering to see if it's a path worth pursuing for him. there are TDA15xx DACs out there with S/PDIF inputs. a lot of them come from Asia. most of them suck and give TDA15xx/NOS a really bad rap. i thought the Border Patrol was good, and then i heard better and realized how damaging it is to not have an output buffer. plus it's super overpriced. there is MHDT, but i haven't tried and i know Marv doesn't care much for them. i'm sorry that i don't have more straightforward, practical recommendations for people who really want something plug and play with modern amenities. i'm sure there's something out there though. the aforementioned resurgence of R2R from Japan was DIY-based. these chips are pretty simple to work with, kind of like learning to code in BASIC on a C64 or VIC20.