The sound presentation of my Directstream at 16/44.1 is vibrant, punchy, forward, big and clear, but as the bit depth and sample rate increase something is both gained and lost. It seems like the DS provides a really big canvas for 16 bit, but for 24 bit has to shrink the higher resolution image to fit into the same space. But the biggest change is in sample rate (more with multiples of 48khz, for some reason). 24/96 still sounds pretty good if a bit less precise, but by 24/192 the DS sounds a bit muddled, lacking punch, and washed out and I have to turn up the volume control on my preamp.
With DS I can hear clear benefits going to 24 bit, 96, 192 and occasionally 352khz: better resolution, smoother and more solid sound sound, maybe a little more air or space. These are the same things I notice with other DACs when switching to higher resolution. However, it does seem like some drawbacks in the presentation become apparent the bigger the file format.
If there is a difference in the way the DS handles 16 and 24 bit or 44.1/48khz vs higher sample rates can you guys address these in a future update? Thanks.