Well, let me take a guess that a manufacturer isn't going to screen out a pcb and solder a bunch of useless components to it just to make it look good. I'd be more impressed by a nearly naked PCB that produced amazing sound than one loaded with components, personally. Not that I'm all that impressed by this glorified headphone amp, mind you. I'm just saying, maybe chalk it up advances in tech? Remember when PCs had off-die memory controllers and actual, discrete north bridges? Kinda like that.