Going in, I had high expectations because of Audio Aero's reputation over the years. It was no simple task for Vermeer Audio to fill those big shoes but I gladly report that they did a great job of it. Not having any Audio Aero precursors on hand for a head-to-head comparison, I can only base my findings on what I remember but do dare claim that Bruno Ginard and friends actually delivered a product of astonishing build and finish which easily lived up to my high expectations. Bruno boldly claimed that they took the LaFontaine, then with a lot of time and effort made it sing like the top-line LaSource. Now it sounded more than just a bold claim. It had become reality! What struck me first about the TWO was its true high-end combination of natural yet neutral sound. It delivered this at the very highest level yet remained incredibly immersive no matter the musical genre or its format/resolution. True, one wants to vet the quality of recordings fed to the Vermeer since the TWO differentiates them extremely well and plays them back very accurately. A wonderful recording results in an absolutely remarkable, musically engaging and tonally accurate performance which has one all too easily lose all track of time. With recordings of poor quality or one that simply isn't musically and/or emotionally persuasive, the Vermeer won't sugar-coat the truth. You won't feel willing to waste your time knowing how much more wonderful music of better quality awaits your rediscovery instead. Any good recording becomes a very special experience whether the TWO plays it as just DAC; as or converter and preamplifier. It's excellent at both. Unless one had a system at the very edge of the art or too many sources to accommodate, one may really give up on a separate linestage. There's no need for it. I finally understood why those who had bought Audio Aero components in the past held on to them for so long without any intent to let them go. I guess anybody who decides to acquire a TWO won't be willing to part with it anytime soon, either. It's simply too well built, too good-looking and too remarkable sounding!