By the way, it might be the reason for such difference.I’ll admit that I was somewhat amazed, no I was smitten, so much so that I emailed Chord to ask if the presence/attack was dialled up to give this result? kindly Rob Watts took the time to reply with the following explanation:
I know no metric describing spatial imaging of DAC, but different transient rendering definitely might be more than enough for different presentation.
Also, it would be interesting if you remember - maybe some genres/tracks on Chord did not force you to turn volume lower?
If your experience and Watts' answer are correct, I'd hypothesize that tracks, mixed (= created from multitrack records with all processing) with delta-sigma converters in monitoring chain might sound more "correct" through Aune and somewhat more "penetrating" on Chord.
Your description resembles difference between DS and R2R dacs. So, maybe that's the point.
And it just can't be seen on standard tests with quasi stationary signals or single impulse.