I decided to front end the Gustard U12 with a new small fanless pc. picked up this one from amazon and it is a real good deal. I usually build my own from a barebones case but this one was such a good configuration and form factor for the price, couldn't pass it up. It works work great right out of the box, easy setup- it even comes with an RF remote. And, it dual boots to android 5.1 or windows 10- All pre configured. Very well done. And the foot print is smaller than a CD case.
So I have the Gustard connected, ASIO drivers and USB Audio 2.0 drivers set up, and using hifi bridge software to bypass the internal windows directsound and go from source (tidal, foobar etc) direct to the Gustard XMOS USB Audio 2.0 driver. the unit is outputting 24/384 from AES, but of course I am going to have to reduce this to 192 for input to the Theta CB's AES.
I did some very basic quick listening, and even at 44.1, the Gustard U12 is very black, open and silent. Wide stage. It's a freaking ridiculous bargain of an audiophile device for less than $200. The case, display, fit and finish are top notch. The pcb is done with pride. The linear power supply is well done. I would probably upgrade the caps with something better quality but that's about it.
Tomorrow will install Roon and get the rest of things set up.