Although the title might evoke images of the Matrix films and its blend of Eastern religious esotericism with gnostic undertones, this is far more simple than that. Thank God. (or should that be Brahma? anyway.....)
After measuring the iFi iDSD NEO v1.1 (original version that came to market), I decided to turn back and re-measure the ZEN DAC V2, which I keep around as a baseline for evaluating all DAC/headamps under $1000. Yes, it sounds that good. Since my original measurements of the ZEN, I have upgraded my lab considerably, and can see deeper and more accurately into what is happening in these hyper sensitive pieces of kit.
What I found was very interesting, although it should have come with no surprises, as already once in this post I have mentioned the veracity of the ZEN V2, and how it punches well above its weight class. The ZEN and the NEO measurements are for all intents and purposes identical.
The only major difference I can see, if it is major, is the falloff of the harmonic distortion is a bit smoother in the NEO. Both, however, produce more even order distortion than odd.
It comes as little surprise then that I think both sound identical. Perhaps one does a certain passage of music better than the other, then the tables are turned when the passage is of a different constitution.
Here for your viewing is the 1khz distortion FFT for each.