I have heard the Total Dac several times - 3 years in 3 different systems - if not more.
It is a Nice Product.
I would place it in Tier 2
Tier 1 being dCS Vivaldi II & MSB Select
Tier 2 is Esoteric / EMM / Total DAC
This is the way - I would classify them.
All my classifications are based on personal listening & demo in known set up
over several years. Nothing is 'review' based.
p.s. Personally I use Tier 3 level products - Aqua Hi Fi - Transport & DAC [just
to put things into perspective] Meitner / Play Back etc. would also get into Tier 3.