LATEST ADDITIONS

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2013 0 comments
The Esprit DAC ($899), digital preamp, and ADC from Alpha Design Labs otherwise known as ADL by Furutech offers up to 24/96 playback and recording resolution via USB and 24/192 playback resolution via S/PDIF. There are 2 line level RCA inputs, 1 Coax input, 1 Toslink input, and Toslink output (for USB source only) and USB Type B in/out. The Esprit DAC can also act as an analog to digital converter for doing things like ripping your vinyl or cassette tapes. Do you rip tape? There's a front-resident toggle switch to choose recording attenuation (0dB, 6 dB, or 12dB) and next door there's a headphone jack.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2013 0 comments
The Calyx Femto DAC ($7,000) offers "a new level of digital clock performance measured in femtoseconds (500 femtosecond accuracy) to reduce jitter to astonishingly low levels." The 24/192-capable Femto DAC utilizes the ESS9018 Sabre DAC (8 converters per channel) and can also act as your preamp with its internal volume control and included remote control and there are 3 digital filters to shape the sound to your liking. There's also phase control, balanced XLR and single-ended RCA outputs, 2 Coax inputs, 2 AES/EBU, 1 BNC, 2 Toslink, and 1 asynchronous USB.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2013 1 comments
Arcam was showing a number of new components from their rSeries including the irDAC (TBD but around $600) so named for its infra-red remote control. The irDAC uses the TI PCM1796 DAC and can handle up to 24/192 data. There are 6 digital inputs including asynchronous USB, Coax, Toslink, and iPod. The rBlink Bluetooth DAC ($249) can handle "near-CD-quality sound" music streamed from your Bluetooth device of choice, and the aptly named SonLink DAC ($350) that marries the Sonos Connect via coaxial SPDIF to what looks like a base but actually houses the 24/192-capable Arcam rLink DAC. The airDAC (TBD) is again aptly named as it is Airplay ready which means you can stream from your iPhones, iPads and iPods. There's also an Ethernet input so can stream to the airDAC via wires. The rLink ($249) is actually a 24/192-capabe S/PDIF DAC (Coax an Toslink) and the rPAC ($249) is a tiny asynchronous USB DAC that supports up to 24/96 data and includes RCA and headphone outputs. The drDock ($299) is what it sounds like and supports iPods, iPhones and iPads. There's an HDMI video output for connecting your iOS device to the big screen, Coax S/PDIF output, a USB port for charing, and a pair of RCAs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2013 1 comments
The M Series of products from NAD present some interesting options. The M50 Digital Music Player ($2,499) combines a CD Player/Ripper and Network Player and is built on a customized Linux software/hardware implementation. Supported file formats include FLAC, ALAC, WMA, MP3, AAC, and OGG up to 24/192. Inputs include USB Type B to connect to the M52 Digital Music Vault, 2 USB Type A for hard drive or flash drive, Ethernet, WiFi 802.11n/g 2.4G, and outputs include Coax S/PDIF, Toslink, HDMI 1.4 (Audio only), and Digital AES/EBU. When used in conjunction with the M52, an inserted CD can be played or automatically ripped to the Music Vault. The M52 Digital Music Vault ($1,999) includes three HDDs for 3TB of total storage in a RAID 5 array for 2TB of usable memory. Last but not least is the M2 Direct Digital Amplifier ($5,999) that combines a 24/192-capable DAC, preamplifier, and 250W/channel amplifier. Analog inputs include balanced and single ended RCAs, and on the digital side AES/EBU, Coaxial X 2, and Optical X 2.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2013 2 comments
NAD was showing off their new line of small form factor gear. From left to right the D 1050 USB DAC ($499), D 3020 Digital DAC/Amp ($399), and the D 7050 Digital Network Receiver ($899). The 1050 asynchronous USB DAC can handle up to 24/192 data through USB, and also includes Coax, Toslink and AES/EBU inputs, balanced and single-ended outputs, and headphone out with volume control. The D 3020 combines a 30W/channel amplifier with an asynchronous USB 24/96-capable DAC, aptX Bluetooth for streaming music from your smartphone, a headphone amp, subwoofer out, and a remote. The D 7050 UPnP Network Receiver offers a 50W/channel amp, asynchronous USB input, Airplay, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and aptX Bluetooth. Wow.

These small but feature-packade products will hit the market Q2 2012.

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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 10, 2013 0 comments
The new MicroStreamer from HRT ($189.95) is a small form factor 24/96-capable USB DAC and headphone amp with an analog volume control and fixed and variable outputs.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 09, 2013 0 comments
The new SOtM (Soul Of the Music) battery-powered sDP-1000 DAC Preamplifier ($TBD) supports up to 32-bit/192kHz and DSD via USB. The preamp section offers analog RCA inputs as well as balanced XLR and digital inputs include AES/EBU, BNC, asynchronous USB, Coax and Optical S/PDIF. There are two battery packs that run in tandem so that one automatically charges while the other provides the power and the switching between the two is also handled automatically so you always have power without having to think about it.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 09, 2013 0 comments
The SGR MusicKube ($4,995) is a purpose-built, from the ground up including the Orakle Ripping Engine, Media Server. SGR was responsible for the MusicKube's software while they relied on MSB Technology for the "digital hardware". The MusicKube comes with a digital volume control or optional analog analog volume control and can handle up to 32/384 data as well as DSD and "30-40" file formats. The interface is also an SGR developed browser-based application. Inputs include Coax, AES, USB, HDMI (for audio), MSB-link, Ethernet, and BNC for clock input. At present the MusicKube comes with 248GB SSD internal storage but SGR expects that to grow to 1TB within a few months. For people with larger libraries, a NAS is the recommended solution. The MusicKube will see its official launch at the Munich hi-fi show this May.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 09, 2013 1 comments
The Auralic Vega Digital Audio Processor ($3,500) can handle 64x and 128x DSD, DXD (32/352.8 and 32/384), and regular old PCM up to 24/192. The Vega upsamples all incoming PCM data to 32-bit/1.5MHz and its digital volume control allows the Vega to act as a digital preamp. Inputs incude 1 AES/EBU, 2 Coax, 1 Toslink, and 1 USB and there are pairs of XLR and RCA outputs. There are also six Auralic-developed digital filters including a linear phase filter, minimum phase filter, and a slow roll-off filter to contour the sound to your liking.
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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 09, 2013 5 comments
The Teac UD-501 offers 64x/128x DSD (via USB) and 32bit/384kHz PCM (via USB) with 7 user-selectable filters (3 for PCM and 4 for DSD). Inputs include 2 Toslink, 2 Coax S/PDIF, and 1 asynchronous USB and there are RCA and XLR outputs and a headphone amp with volume control all wrapped up in a rugged aluminum chassis. And Teac gives you all of that for $949.00. Nice.

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