I've been into finding a good DAC lately. To do this, I located a great sounding affordable reference and moved my way up in search of high-end sound at a great value.
My great sounding affordable DAC was the Audioengine D2. Very musical and pleasant DAC.
Then I moved to the Schiit Gungir w/USB, which was a big step up in the bass department and incredibly musical after breakin.
Shortly after screwing around with the Gungir, I heard about the Halide Design HD DAC. I ordered one thinking it might actually sound better than the Gungir for less. I wish I could tell you that I made an extensive comparison of both DACs, but I never received the HD DAC. Halide charged by CC, but never sent a confirmation, failed to respond to six emails and never answered their phone even when I was in their own country for work! Needless to say, I had my CC company void the charge and I moved on.
Recently, I spoke to Drew Baird of Moon Audio, a dealer for Halide Design. He indicated that his customers have orders from three months ago and that other dealers are experiencing the same delays. Halide can't handle the demand for their DAC (and is obviously doing nothing to get a handle on the issue).
Moving forward, I recently purchased a Perfect Wave DAC MKII from Underwood HiFi for $2580 to compare against the Gungir. I know this may not be a fiar ocmparison but I feel the Gungir makes very pretty digital. I personally think it may be a good point where most people would start counting the diminishing returns. The PWD MKII arrives tomorrow.
Conclusion: Halide Design probably makes a great sounding DAC as many reviews claim, but their communication is terrible. If you can't get a company to talk to you when you want to give them money, how can you ever expect them to support the product after the fact.