I think the discussion here and elsewhere on NuPrime forum shows the biggest benefit of this community where you guys offered your opinions to discuss the merits of each product and system compatibility.
I don't know about other manufacturer, we don't do a lot of comparision. As an engineering focus company, we mainly plan out where we can take the technology over the next 2 years. Yes, I see and hear things that are 1 year out, he he he.
My take on where the tech for the following products go from here:
DAC - DAC chip performance pretty much reached the satuation point a few years back, we are looking in very small improvement from ESS 9018 to 9038 because we are down to the THD that doesn't matter. Here we are talking about decoding capability, not some new encoding format such as MQA ( whether it sounded good or not there's a huge debate). So we have been focusing on improving everything else outside the DAC chip.
Class-D amplifier - every time I think we hit a limit, our chief engineer Kevin brings up some surprises. In terms of pushing the technology limit, these are the areas that we are leading: 1) switching frequency where Evo One is up to 700kHz and no one else is capable doing. This is a hard problem; 2) 1M Ohm input impedance - it is easy to do but hard to make it sound good; 3) changing the sound charasteristic. Lots of tricks to use Class A transistors on the input stage of Class D design to create amps that sounded like, well, Class A devices. I will be giving a short lecture about this topic at High End Show in Munich, Germany next week. The "lecture" time is 3pm, May 10.
The big league amps are practically all class A or A/B designs. I think with the Evo one and future designs, we are really to enter the big league.