So I finally got the system sorted out. I am running a MCH server with Lynx card straight into a stack of 3 x DirectStream DACs. Control volume with the remote - the DACs don’t miss a beat and stay in synch perfectly! The server runs Dirac. This setup beats the crap out of ANY surround sound processor. Spend a lot of time ripping blu ray concerts, SACD and DVD-A, but well worth the effort.
I have a different server for 2 channel, which runs into one of the DACs over USB.
I used to do the same but with MSB Signature plus for mains, and NAD M51 for surround / center. I found the DirectStream to be close enough to the MSB to swap out it, and with the freed up cash I threw in two more DirectStream for MCH. Because the DirectStream has processing delay, you need three identical DACs in this type of MCH setup. My next move will be to replace the three DACs with the Multi Channel version of the DirectStream (Ted, Paul are you listening!).
The all Spectral Amplification is also all spanking new (bought used), and what a revelation these amps are. Compared to the improvement wrought from replacing my Class A monos + Arc Ref 5SE with Spectral DMC 30 SS series II and DMA 360 Series II, the difference between the MSB DAC and the DirectStream is indeed splitting hairs. 2 years ago when replaced the PerfectWave with MSB this was not the case - MSB trounced it. So to my ears, the DirectStream has all but closed the gap with the five figure big boys.