Yes this is possible but unlikely if your comparator DAC is similar. Anecdotal reports indicate DACs that do better imaging only work when the room/speakers/set up/amp etc etc are all sorted. The DACs that pull off 3D representations tend to be R2R topology with NOS or superior filters and are usually not so affordable. This all implies phase/timing is implicated.
The problem finding out is measurements wont tell you which DAC to try. There is no measure for 3D audio imaging. That means there is no data. Lots of people confuse no data for no effect. Amusingly they often do it with supreme confidence.
To find out what your Hegel does, make a pilgrimage to someone with a great system that has nailed the 3D imaging trick. This is very rare by the way. Take your DAC and AB their source vs your DAC.
That will hopefully tell you your DAC is just fine and you can relax and save your money.
The best 3D imaging I heard used the top of the line MSB R2R DAC in a great system. Changing to an affordable S-D DAC was crushing. Then again it wasnt a blinded trial but the effect wasnt subtle. Id say any music lover with two average ears would have picked it blinded at p<0.05.
Which town are you in NZ?
Are you saying that if we took 2 or more DACS, and digitised their output with an ADC - on the same song, that the signals would be the same or different?
And if they are the same, then where does the extra depth, layers, and width comes from?