Do you honestly think the Kondo sounds louder due to distortion?? I can’t see the amount of distortion there to be high enough for such an outcome. How many volts out are we talking about and what distortion levels? Please be specific if you are going to play scientist.The main issue with any tests is statistical validity, needed to establish consistency and control of the switching conditions. You need a lot tests and the conditions are hard to establish and control.
When listening to to the two DACs residing in my system - the dCS Vivaldi and the Kondo KSL I have found that my preferred sound level for those two DACs is different - the tubed Kondo that has much higher measurable distortion sounds apparently louder at equal electrical volumes. How should I set the volume for an A/B test?