Chord Blu Mk II + DAVE – Review

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“Considering all that, the Blu transport, even in the new Mk II version, may seem like an addition to the “main” product, or even a redundant product. In fact, it is the Blu, the inconspicuous CD transport, that allows DAVE to achieve a new level. Pairing Dave with third party CD transports as well as with media players / file servers, worked really well, but it seems that the Blu Mk II + DAVE are the ultimate solution. As if there was an open slot waiting for the new Chord’s transport, which when finally closed executed an additional program.”

EMM Labs DA2 Reference Digital-to-Analog Converter Review

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“The main reason that Ed Meitner prefers single-bit to multibit DACs is that the former are inherently linear. In a single-bit converter, any value is made up by adding or subtracting the same small value many times. That value is set by a single resistor. In contrast, multibit converters build up values by adding different combinations of smaller values, those values set by combinations of resistors. No matter how close the manufacturing tolerances of those resistors, it’s impossible to get the multiple resistors in exact ratios to each other — the resulting signal level will always be just a bit off. Ed Meitner believes that the superior linearity of single-bit designs is audible. However, single-bit processing isn’t without challenges of its own”

Cary Audio AiOS INTEGRATED AMP/DAC $2,995 REVIEWS

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“If you spend more money than the Cary AiOS, and you spend that money on separate pieces of hi-fi and the cables you’ll need to connect everything (not to mention any connectivity and power supply upgrades and tweaks), you can get better sound. If you want one box that is truly all-in-one, meaning all one need do is connect it to your network and your speakers and serve and/or stream away, the Cary AiOS checks off all of the boxes.”

Grace Design m9XX DAC $799 Review

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“Sonically the Grace m9XX performed with flying colors when used as a DAC/pre. The well-controlled and extended bass that I heard through headphones was readily apparent when auditioned in a nearfield or room-based system. The m9XX’s unfatiguing upper-frequency presentation made listening through my all-solid-state and Class D amplification system a very natural and relaxed affair. My only quibble is that if you have built a system that is already soft and forgiving the m9XX might be too much of a good thing. However, if you want a neutral, revealing, but still listenable DAC, the m9XX checks all the right boxes.”

Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2v2 SE $3,799 REVIEW

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“Extensive soundstage portrayal is DAC 2v2SEs top strengths. Musical cues extended to the far left, right and rear of the speakers’ imaging limits give a convincing and layered presentation. Listening to albums like Silent Letters from Bliss, the rich soundstage created by the engineers demonstrates the DAC 2v2SE’s ability to ingest, process and share out the digital bits with aplomb, re-creating the subtle details contained within. Cymbal crashes generate a complexity of audio frequency ”

NAGRA CLASSIC DAC REVIEW

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But, that was just one part of the challenge. Nagra has chosen 100% ultra-low noise selected and avoided standard DSD chip with the implementation of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) circuit specially programmed for Nagra. Accuracy of the clocks and the absence of temporal drift and jitter as well as ultra high performance time correction algorithm was especially developed for this project.”

BorderPatrol Digital to Analogue Converter’s $1,350 Review

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” The BorderPatrol was changing the tonal balance, softening transients, sweetening the overall sound, but that’s sometimes a good thing. For instance, when I played the Rolling Stones’ horribly compressed and harsh 2016 album, “Blue & Lonesome,” I really enjoyed the music. That wasn’t possible with the Brooklyn converter — the music’s grit and glare came roaring back. Ah, but a great recording like Kraftwerk’s “Minimum- Maximum” live album on the BorderPatrol was a marvel. The BorderPatrol makes music — even electronic music — come alive.”

Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC $2,800 REVIEW

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“A big factor in a DAC’s sound is how well the USB interface is implemented. Some otherwise superb units are compromised by less-than-stellar performance when driven by a USB input. A good way to isolate the USB interface’s contribution to the DAC’s sound is to insert the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB converter in the digital signal path. The $1895 Alpha USB takes in USB from the source, reclocks it, isolates the output from noise at the input, and reformats the signal into AES/EBU or SPDIF (the latter on a BNC jack). The Alpha USB is the state of the art in such devices; I’ve heard it absolutely transform the sound quality of some DACs, turning mediocre performance into excellence. Significantly, with the Yggy the Alpha USB rendered the least improvement in sound quality of any DAC I’ve done this experiment on. In other words, the Yggy’s USB input is extremely well designed.”

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