Again, it was very interesting, but… Let agree that methodologically you did not try Placette as it performance was masked out by you need to use your Neurochrome buffer to get gain. Your chain will sound as the worst element is and in case of 10Y you have the worst element removed. I do have high high probability that if you were able to run Placette and 10Y directly then they will sound identical as the same volumes. I think it is simple to test. I do not know what output in your Phasure DAC. Get any DAC with a op-amp in output stage, most of them are. Find where a feedback provided to the output op-amp and reduces it to gain10-12dB more gain from the DAC. If Phasure DAC has no op-amp in output stage, then get any other DAC. The quality of the DAC is not import you need it purely foe prove the methodological concept. Then repeat the experiment. I think that you will find then Placette will hold his own.