With all the cables that had to be pulled through holes that needed to be drilled, this setup took half of a Saturday anyway, despite the fact that I had an agile helping hand around to compensate for my limited fine motor skills.
The Marantz HD-DAC1 has become the center hub for the secondary stereo system with, at the moment, two optical audio inputs used up, one for my older Marantz CD67mkIISE (OSE), which had to leave my main stereo, and the Audiofly receiver routed through it via a Toslink cable. On top of that, the system’s DAC is ready to have my notebook with HiRes files connected to it at a moment’s notice via a decent USB-cable.
Before the setup is done though I decided to go for one more (inexpensive) experiment. Because the HD-DAC’s (shiny and bright) electronics are just below the grille at the top, I’ve decided to avoid the interior getting all dust-covered by (the Internet is your friend) ordering a 22,2cm x 22,2 cm polished black plexiglass top (3mm thick) and 1mm thick felt feet to see if I can construct a removable lid to protect the interior.
If it looks like sh*t, it’ll be used elsewhere.
Note: Yes, the HD-DAC1 is the best thing since sliced bread. I’ve had enough time to spend with it and it makes my Beyerdynamik T-90 headphones sound (much) better than Beyerdynamic’s own headphone amp (the A-20 that I use in my main setup) can and it really kicks everything else that is connected to it up a clearly audible notch as well. This little unit really floored me, especially because I was not expecting that kind of improvement. I had just intended it as a cuddly preamp of sorts for my active speaker setup which also allowed me to extensively use my headphones on my secondary system. I guess I’m going to be on the lookout for another unit further down the timeline when one becomes available at a greatly-reduced price.