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I've used Audirvana on and off for a few years and usually have as many options turned on as possible. Over the time I've noticed sometimes the sound can be a bit bright or harsh and I've noticed it seems to back off a bit with Direct Mode switched off. I've generally thought that's probably because it is not getting as a good a signal with it switch off, and perhaps because of expectation bias I leave it turned on. But the last 24 hours I've been doing DSD comparisons and I noticed that I can actually hear more detail with Direct Mode switched off with the Resonessence Herus. I haven't read many opinions about whether people generally have Direct Mode switched on or not. I would be interested to hear other people's experiences. With Direct Mode on, it feels like the DAC is being slightly overdriven, initially it sounds quite a bit better, but it is a bit like an overexposed photo where the detail is harder to see (that's the best analogy I could think of!).