I am really pleased with the Gaia

I have installed the Gaia in my hifi and had several hours of listening (I started today at 0530!) - which is a good indicator of what I hear from it!

My system is: Intel NUC running Roon, usb from the NUC to Uptone Audio IsoRegen into MiniDSP SHD Studio (room correction with Dirac), SPDIF to Gaia, I2S to Venus II, XLR to Sugden preamp, XLR to Auralic Merak power amps, LS2 speakers (these were built from a design by Troels Gravesen in Denmark http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/The-Loudspeaker-2.htm and they are fantastic)

I must say that I really had no idea what to expect from adding the Gaia to my hifi. I have never heard a DDC but having some understanding of what they do and reading feedback from users of DDC's I decided I would purchase the Gaia to use with my Venus II.

What did I expect? I think I thought I would hear a subtle improvement but my expectations weren't high. It's good to remember that you must hear the reality and not what you expect to hear. So, I played music with and without the Gaia to see what difference I could hear.

I can say that the improvement wasn't subtle, it was significant to the extent that I was somewhat astonished at the difference with the Gaia in place. What I hear is aligned with other Gaia users' reports; deeper tighter bass, improved soundstage, precise positioning of instruments and more clarity to the sound of the instruments. Acoustic instruments sounded..... more acoustic! Vocals were notably improved too. It's as if a veil was removed and everything sounds clearer. I have heard instruments which are quietly recorded that I haven't heard before - triangle, high frequency bells. Wonderful!

So, I am really pleased with the Gaia. I'll seek feedback from the forum about what adding the Terra MCLK might add to the sound quality.

Best wishes for 2022

Credit: Gordon E @ UK