There are two upgrade choices now shipping for the HDSP processors. The first is the DAC-B kit that upgrades the AK 4490 DAC. The other is the long awaited ESS 9038Pro DAC.
Measurable Improvements – the AK4490 DAC increases Signal to Noise ratio, and consequently Dynamic Range, to 129dB. Then, top DAC of all, the ESS 9038Pro increases Signal to Noise and Dynamic Range to a remarkable 140dB.
That’s what you can measure. Here’s what you can not measure – The accuracy and spatial properties of the sound stage are greatly improved. All who have used the HDSP have agreed that no other digital processor reproduces sound with such purity and accuracy. Yet those same users found an absolutely audible improvement with the AK4490 DAC when those were installed.
Then; For the ultimate in soundstage reproduction and sonic purity The ESS9038Pro has no equal. It has been described as night and day by the sound quality competitors what have used it. It is a more involved upgrade that the AK 4490 as it requires a different output board and a PCB modification but if the absolute finest that technology can provide is your goal, this is the DAC you want.
The ESS 9038Pro does require professional installation so you are best to order your HDSP with the 9038Pro DAC already installed.