A couple of things to note .. it runs hot, especially for hi-res. I've not owned another solid state component that runs this hot. Tubes yes, but not solid state. There is no physical on/off switch so I assumed there would be an auto sensing on/off function. Nope. I'm one of those people that like to power everything down when I'm out for hours at a time, like when at work. Even when not in use it's quite warm. I've been unplugging it til I come up with something else. I've considered using my SOtM battery supply to power the DAC (not sure if it's even compatible) and it has an on/off switch. Otherwise I may look for an alternative. Just my own craziness.
I've had one of these for two weeks now and I am completely pleased with it. I replace an Audiolab MDAC which I had for a year and didn't like the limitation on 96khz over USB. Also, found the SQ a bit bright and digital relative to the chordette. I also wasn't a fan of all the different filters. The chordette gives me no choices to worry about optimizing the sound quality which is just fine by me as simpler is better in my mind - I want to enjoy the music and not worry about fiddling with features. It does run hot and I asked Chord about it and they have no concerns. Just in case I unplug the unit when not in use. Also the wall wart was not an issue according to Chord as the unit regulates power in its circuitry.
I don't find it bright, but rather dynamic, detailed and with good sound stage. I really like how small and unobtrusive it is and like its physical design. As Phil Gold remarked and Michael Lavorgna, it really enhances the sound of redbook CD's. I've been playing lots of 24/192 files and it sounds remarkably good. I haven't accessed any DSD files yet, but hope to in the near future.
All around I find this DAC to have a natural flow to the music, making it easier to listen to than the MDAC. I really like it and believe I am going to be content with this DAC for a long time.