So, how does the 975 sound? Well I say fantastic! I have been noticing a trend with new 975 owners that there is a lot of music listening going on and it is hard to step away from it and let others know what you think. This pre-amp really makes nice music. Most of my listening so far has been from my Sony Blu-Ray player via HDMI to the 975 in 'Stereo+Sub' mode for Redbook CDs and whatever lossless audio is on a particular Blu-Ray. So thoughts on some material I have enjoyed on my 975:
Disney Blu-Ray African Cats (DTS Master Audio) - Amazing sound from the big cats, SCARY good at reference levels! You can also hear the saliva in VO artist Samuel Jackson's mouth. Now that is lossless audio.
Norah Jones - Broken Little Hearts (Redbook CD) - Fantastic. When she starts to sing the track Miriam, it is like a well made sports car taking a curve at speed, this pre-amp/DAC easily makes her sound alive.
Chick Corea - Remembering Bud Powell (Redbook CD) - The best reproduction of a drum kit I have heard on my system. Simply sounds like live Jazz.
Overall I don't miss my Lexicon. The Logic 7 processing may have been SLIGHTLY smoother with sound pans between channels on 7.1 DTS/DD but the extra detail and warmth from the 975 more than make up for the loss of Logic 7. My biggest suggestion for potential buyers is to make sure your Blu-Ray player outputs bitstream and standard 2 channel PCM over HDMI. When I first connected the 975 I was only getting MultiChannel PCM and I thought... hmmm, more detail but alot of nasty mid-fi receiver sound going on here. Thanks to the fine folks on the AVS Sony Blu-Ray player owner's thread I found out the correct settings for output of bitstream/standard redbook PCM (HDMI Audio = Auto, BD Mix setting = off).
My only suggestion to Outlaw Audio would be to price this pre-amp at $2K. If I went up the street to my high-end audio saloon (Gifted Listener Audio) and heard this pre/dac making music I would guess the SQ to be in the ~$2K range. It will no doubt be on Stereophile's recommended components list like their other products. Good job Outlaw!
For those interested... here what the main menu looks like. 4x3 480p goodness... luckily the sound is better than the OSD (and remote!)