Ken’s occasionally-evolving system

My system continues to involve though the rate of change should be slowing. The latest change was to swap my Chord Hugo TT2 for a Gustard X26pro DAC. Never would I have imagined that a $1500 DAC would beat the pants off a $6000 DAC but in fairness, PGGB deserves a good chunk of the credit for this. The X26pro has a NOS node that does minimal amount of processing so that the benefits of PGGB can be be appreciated. Things then got significantly better after adding the REF10 reference clock.

Starting with the top shelf:

  • Antipodes K30
  • Gustard X26pro DAC and Mutec REF10 master clock
  • Shunyata Denali v1 and EtherRegen powered by Farad Super3
  • Spectral DMA-150Mk2 amp
  • Quadraspire SVT rack on Nordost Sort Füt
  • Aerial 10T speakers


  • Stillpoints Ultras under just about everything
  • All power cords are Shunyata Delta V2 except Venom V14 NR for REF10 and EtherRegen
  • Shunyata Omega USB, Delta v2 clock cable to DAC and Alpha v1 clock cable to EtherRegen
  • MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables (Spectral requirement), Shunyata Alpha v1 interconnect
  • Stillpoints Aperture panels behind audio rack on at 2nd reflection point on side walls
  • ASC Isothermal Tube Traps in front corners and at 1st reflection point on side walls
  • Two dedicated circuits with the amp on one and everything else plugged into the Denali on the other


Waaah … Spectral electronics … I like :partying_face::partying_face::beers::beers:

Those 10T while not most pleasing to the eyes … of some beholders … can rock and play big​:+1::+1::+1:


Hi KennyB. Are you still enjoying the Gustard X26pro DAC and has it been issue free? I am looking at their lineup (more so their new A26), but good information about them seems somewhat limited, and buying them ‘blind’ seems to be the only way (similar to Denafrips, which is another option, but from what I can find, Gustard seems to be particularly good value at this ‘modest’ end of DAC’s).

Yes I am still using the X26pro and I love it. I have had no issues whatsoever.

The A26 looks like another winner.

I purchased my X26pro from Amazon seller Aoshida HiFi. It was Prime so shipping was free and so would have been return shipping had it not been to my liking. Only a few minutes into listening I knew it was a keeper.

Thanks for the reply.
I’m not too clued up on clocks, but for my future reference, does your Mutec REF10 provide the same functions as the S20 would, or is that something quite different?

The result is the same in that digital to analog conversion is governed by a clock that is higher in quality and lower in noise. I get an additional benefit in that the REF10 also provides my EtherRegen with a reference. This really helps.

USB was the only interface choice for me as upscaling with PGGB is something I consider essential. USB is the only interface that supports PCM up to 768k. I’ve optimized things around USB.


Thanks for your thoughts Kenny. Gustard A26 now ordered. I did it direct through Aoshida due to good writeups about them (I hope that was a good decision).

Aoshida is excellent. They took great care of me after the sale. Let us know what you think.

As an FYI, a Synergistic Purple fuse was very worthwhile with my x26pro. I almost consider it mandatory given how much it improved the treble.

It will be a month or so of shipping and breaking it in, so will report back after that. Thank’s for the fuse suggestion. I did order the Gustard upgrade fuse while I was at it (only about $25US from memory). If it doesn’t do good things to the treble then I might need to buy the Synergistic Purple as well.

Posting an updated photo as a few things have changed since I started this thread in 2021.


  • Shunyata Typhon (original) connected to same duplex as my Shunyata Denali v1
  • Quartz Acoustic Premium Audio ground box is conditioning the signal ground of my DAC
  • Shunyata Venom ground cables added between Denali’s ground connector and the ground terminal on the EtherRegen and REF10 SE120


  • Original model Aerial 10T speakers were replaced with a revised model with improved drivers (tweeter and woofer) and revised crossover.
  • Interconnect between my DAC and amp is now the QSA Lanedri Gamma Revelation XLR
  • Power cords feeding the DAC and Denali are now the QSA Lanedri Gamma Infinity
  • Amp is now powered off the Denali v1 instead of being plugged directly into the second dedicated circuit
  • REF10 clock was upgraded to SE120 with a silver faceplate swapped in
  • DC cables now feeding the EtherRegen are the Audio Sensibility Signature Silver followed by a QSA Lanedri Gamma Infinity DC extension cable
  • Router (not pictured) now being fed by an iFi iPower Elite (under evaluation) with a QSA Lanedri Gamma Infinity DC extension cable in line

The net effect of all these changes is that my system does a far better job of getting out of the way of the music. Transparency has improved considerably.