There wasn't any need to save my settings. I only changed a couple of things anyway.
Thanks, Bob! Turned out restoring the factory defaults fixed the issue.
In fact, the whole time I spent with it this past evening made for a substantially different experience all around.
No more complaints about the smoothness of the loader, or the noise level of the disc spinning. I don't know if I actually heard what I thought I did Saturday night, or if it was just a tinge of paranoia or buyer's remorse influencing my ears, but neither of those aspects seemed the least bit problematic last night.
Saturday night was spent mostly watching a film I hadn't seen before, so it was impossible for me to gauge what was the disc, player, or film itself when it came to the a/v. I fully enjoyed it, that's all I know despite some problems initially getting up and running.
Last night I also watched a couple films that were new to me, but then afterwards spent some time demoing material I was much more familiar with.
One was the opening chapter to the new Synapse release of Suspiria. The other was the opening chapter of Star Wars (I refuse to call it A New Hope
Suspiria's 4.0 track is a hell of thing. I've played the opening Goblin score a bunch of times on my 103 and it's always sounded incredible- layered with a slew of subtle, eerie sounds . It's a knockout track that puts most modern mixes to shame (and that goes for Thor: Ragnorok which I watched the night before). It's always sounded sensational on the 103, but it was superior here.
I have a pair of Powered Airmotivs on my desktop, usually fed by an iPad and that's where I do most of my music listening. The conversion is pretty solid on my Mac stuff. I don't need
an external DAC to enjoy my music with them as the source. But on the occasions when I do use one in conjunction with my Mac mini, that same content is definitely kicked up a notch in a way that is readily apparent to me. Air between sounds; the size of the soundstage; more precise imaging; a larger, more pronounced dynamic range- all the qualities I get using an external DAC there, I heard last night with the 205 in an HT application.
With Star Wars, I always felt Ben Burtt's mix for the DVD and Bd releases (especially the first) were overcooked and kind of sloppy in many respects. Last night was the first time the audio on that disc viscerally engaged me. I was finally able to hear layering and subtle nuances that I haven't up till now.
what I was hoping for all along. That superior Sabre DAC delivered on it's reputation!
Needless to say, I no longer have any plans to try to sell it off. After what I heard last night, there's no regrets whatsoever now at paying the slight "going away" premium for it.