In the CdF/Wilson Audio/VTL Audio room, the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Series 2 ($4,995) sat under their Alpha USB DAC ($5,095). The Series 2 DAC features 24/192 playback via AES/EBU, S/PDIF - BNC, Toslink, and "BADA encrypted RJ-45" which I'll have to look into to see what that's all about. The Alpha USB DAC offers up to 24/192 playback via its asynchronous USB input and includes AES/EBU and S/PDIF BNC inputs. A MacBook Air running Pure Music handled to musical selections which included a number of recordings from Peter Mc Grath of Wilson Audio which share the common quality of sounding simply wonderful.
In the CdF/Tone Imports/DeVore Fidelity room, the Acoustic Plan DigiMaster USB DAC ($4,750) sat there looking bountifully blue. Capable of 24/192 playback on all inputs including in-house developed asynchronous USB, I2S, and S/PDIF (Coax and Toslink), the DigiMaster also hosts a tube output stage and performs no up or over-sampling. Sitting next door is the matching DriveMaster transport ($4,750).
Montreal-based hi-fi dealer Coup de Foudre had a number of rooms at SSI 2012 and in the Joseph Audio room they were featuring the Wavelength Brick USB DAC v3 ($1,750). In a twist on tradition, Jeff Joseph who has become renown for his diagonal room setup had his speakers straight but rotated the room 90 degrees.
Fortune smiled upon me once again when I made it just in the nick of time to hear J River CEO Jim Hilleges final presentation on Sunday which covered "Computer Audio Demystified for Windows OS and J-River". This was also Jim's third presentation and it took place on Sunday afternoon just an hour before the end of the show and dangerously close to Jim's return home flight-time. So while there was only time for a few questions after Jim's informative presentation, I managed to sneak one in which related to a point he had touched on in his talk.
All eyes were on Steve Silberman of Audioquest as he demonstrated how to levitate
I was fortunate to be able to sit in on the the Audioquest-sponsored event, "Computer Audio Demystified and Computer Audio Setup for Apple" presented buy Steve Silberman of Audioquest and Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio. This presentation was geared towards people who've taken a bite of Apple and are, of course, curious and hungry for more information about computer audio.
I had to go back to the Bricasti room because I forgot to note what converter they were using to connect their laptop from USB to S/PDIF since the M1 DAC as reviewed in Stereophile (twice) did not have a USB input. Well, it does now.
I'd like to say that Montreal-based Fidelio Audio is an audiophile record label but these days I think we're better off saying that Fidelio Audio is a specialist record company that cares about the quality of their recordings. Or as they say on their website,
Fidelio is a young dynamic company specializing in quality acoustic recording. We aim to promote local and international talent in classical and jazz music.
Our efforts are focussed to promote the essential in all sound recordings: the music.
The Devialet D-Premier ($16,500) is not new but what is new about it is an integrated Wi-Fi board capable of 24-bit/192kHz transfer according to the Devialet representative I spoke to. But wait, what is the Devialet D-Premier and how the heck are they getting 24/192 over Wi-Fi? I can answer the latter but I'll have to defer the former to Devialet (although I plan to go back tomorrow and see if I can spend some more time on this very subject).
Yet another North American premier, the Lector Digicode S-192 DAC ($6,500) was sitting all dark and handsome in the Audio Arts room. Capable of 24-bit/192kHz playback on each of its five inputs that include 3 S/PDIF (Toslink, RCA and BNC), AES/EBU, and asynchronous USB. There's also a Word Clock input and the outputs include a pair of RCAs, balanced XLRs, and S/PDIF BNC. I hope you can at least make out that faint blue glow because behind it sit a pair of ECC-81/12AT7 vacuum tubes used in the output stage. That little brother to its left (our right) is the external power supply.