AURALiC VEGA G1 $3,999 Full Review

March 23, 2019 § Leave a comment

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The Auralic Vega G1 is a streamer, DAC, and preamp that can drive power amplifiers directly. This fact alone is enough to make one consider upgrading to the G1 because of the reduction of boxes and price associated with three separate components. The G1 has it all in a single chassis. Let me rephrase that, it doesn’t have it ALL because some features are better left to products like the Auralic Aries. Anyway, the G1 has all the traditional digital inputs and its most powerful input Ethernet. I call it powerful because it enables not only streaming from cloud or local network sources, but it also enables two-way communication for volume and playback control. ”


T+A Elektroakustik DAC 8 DSD High End D/A Converter Review

March 21, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Much like any top DAC these days, digital filters offer the listener a customized sound. Want a softer, gentler approach? Done. Want an etched, lean performance? You got it. I spent a few days reading the manual and pressing buttons. I settled on one filter and left it for the duration of the review. I did the same when reviewing the Mytek Manhattan DAC II; the MQA setting, which the T+A does not offer (an MQA software update is in the works). I used Qobuz, primarily, as a streaming service via Roon on my Antipodes CORE Music Server. With Qobuz, there is no MQA support, but some seriously amazing hi res recordings available from the ever growing Qobuz catalogue. You won’t miss it.

Here we get a choice of four oversampling filters, used only for PCM audio (the 8 plays DSD, too, up to 512). There are two Finite Impulse Response filters and two Bezier interpolations. My choice was the ‘BEZ 1’ (blue LED), which is said to produce results ‘similar to an analogue system’. All four filters offered refined, superior sound, with enough variation to satiate the most nit picking listener. ‘A Bézier curve is a parametric curve that uses the Bernstein polynomials as a basis.’ Deep MIT dive here. To me, ‘BEZ 1’ sounded as detailed as the three other filters but with an even more pleasing musicality. ”

MSB Technology Reference DAC review

March 13, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Upgrading from the Base Output Module delivers a cutting edge constant impedance passive volume control preamp. Using this remarkable preamp will reduce system complexity and ultimately improve the audio quality of the entire system.It’s a remarkable feat of electrical design that sets a new benchmark in the industry. The output modules are individually tuned for maximum quality balance or single-ended audio. ”

PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player and DirectStream DAC Review

March 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The Digital Lens imposes a small penalty on user experience. The interface to the Memory Player is the same symbols and functions we are accustomed to for CD and DVD playback – and for tape before that – except you engage with it via the touchscreen in place of physical buttons. But because the Digital Lens needs to accumulate the data before sending it along, the Memory Player is overall less responsive than CD and DVD players. Not agonizingly so, and certainly not a deal breaker for me, but having lived with CD players for decades, it’s something you notice and may find frustrating. We’re used to ever-increasing speed with our technology (among other things); it’s hard to go back.”

Chord Qutest DAC Review

March 1, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“One of the things that hit me about the Qutest’s sound after I had run it in for a good, long while is the amount of resolution it is capable of digging out of even well-worn tracks in my library, surprising me more than a few times with its clarity and subtle spacing of players within the confines of recordings at this price point. After trying out the four filters on hand”


February 26, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“I could not hear any difference between the VEGA G2 alone or with the LEO GX only in 16/44 sampling. I could hear a difference with 24/96 and 24/192 when I streamed the music. This did not occur with all streaming. Just some of it. This was due to the LEO GX’ ability to suppress all the jitter that probably is present in some streamed music. The VEGA G2 alone could not suppress all the jitter. Most of it, but not all. The VEGA G2 is a very good DAC. The LEO GX is better at jitter suppression, but both products are excellent. I would recommend the two be purchased by consumers who are streaming all or much of their music rather than playing it from disc.”


February 21, 2019 § Leave a comment

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Sonically, the EL can be considered a baseline. It maintains that distinct level of clarity and simple detail in everything it does irregardless of the complexity thrown at it. It leans on the slightly warmer side of things (relatively) and pairs well with most amps and headphones I’ve used. For better or worse, just like its outer shell, the EL DAC is mostly free of any strong sonic characteristics save its penchant for a wider and more open sound stage.This can leave listeners say wanting more bass kick, or a thicker mid range, or a more intimate performance. The EL is smack dab in the middle and it likes it there.”

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