DSD and PCM DAC have different sonic signature.
Both DSD DAC are more detailed and precise than the PCM DAC and maybe the soundstage is wider and deeper.
PCM DAC has better midrange and in our opinion is more dynamic than the DSD DAC.
In the end I believe it’s a question of personal taste.
We like both DSD and PCM DAC, that’s the reason we will implement both in the Sonic Empire version of the DAC.
The TWSDAC-DSD-SE DAC is the entry level of the Lite series DAC. We designed it to offer an affordable DAC which sounds anyway very good.
Of course, the balanced version of the DSD DAC driven by the FIFO and 5/6 MHz DRIXO oscillators followed by 4 doublers to reach 22/24 MHz sounds better, but it does cost almost 3 times.
Does it worth?Difficult to say, I would start with the cheaper DSD SE DAC in order to understand if I like the DSD sonic signature.
TWSAFB-XMOS USB receiver and TWSAFB-LT FIFO buffer share almost the same architecture in their clean side of the circuit.
The FIFO buffer is more versatile. It has 4 x I2S selectable inputs, while the XMOS receiver has only one USB input. The FIFO buffer ca drive almost all the DAC (old and modern), while the XMOS board can drive only standard DSD and I2S DAC. For example the XMOS receiver cannot drive the PCM DAC Lite and the balanced DSD DAC.
Although the TWSAFB-XMOS can drive standard DSD and I2S DAC, it was designed specifically to drive the TWSDAC-DSD-SE in order to offer a good DAC at an affordable price.
The Zanden filter is not part of the Lite product line, it will be implemented in the Sonic Empire version of the DAC only.