The dac it self is an card based addon system. The jotunheim doesn't have an dac, it only becomes an Dac/amp setup when the addon card is installed inside it, without it the card it's just an amp. But your right the AK4490 Dac add-on card module is poorly design, since I have read some where that the modi 2 out performs the module. I heard that they fixed it with the latest Muiti-bit Dac card, but I refuse to pay $200 for it, when 50 more I could get a SU-8. Plus the fact they slap CM6631A usb transport chip on all there dac's. Here what the AK4490 Dac module looks like, This isn't my picture of it, it was the only one I could find of it, to show you it.Only one side of the module is used for the components, So the other side is blank.