Here's another all-in-one integrated amp/DAC/UPnP/DLNA Streamer from Germany's AVM, the Inspiration CS 2.2 (€4490). The CS 2.2 accepts MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG Vorbis, FLAC (192/32 via LAN), WAV (192/32 via LAN), AIFF (192/32 via LAN), and ALAC (96/24 via LAN) file formats and the 2.2 also supports vTuner Radio. The amp puts out 100W into 8 Ohms and there's a separate headphone amp for your cans.
Che bello. A pair of Electro Harmonix ECC88/6922 front a 70W per channel Class A/B Amp along with a headphone amp and a 24/192-capable DAC/Streamer for a lovely all-in-one package, the Pathos Classic Remix (€3000, non-DAC version €2500).
The Mark Levinson No 585 Integrated Amp/DAC (€14,000) houses an ESS Sabre 32-bit DAC capable of passing 32/192 PCM data and DSD. For low resolution files, the 585 borrows its Clari-Fi signal processing from parent company Harman which essentially is meant to make lossy files sound more like music.
According to Constellation Audio's Peter Madnick, VP Engineering, it's best to keep their Cygnus Digital file player/DAC ($35,000) off of the network and use USB storage instead. The 32/192-capable Cygnus is a two-box solution with a separate network player/power supply which "provides two separate power feeds: an analog circuit based on an R-core transformer to power the analog circuits, and another power supply circuit to feed the digital and control circuitry."
Chord unveiled their new flagship DAC DAVE (£7995) in Munich to a standing room only crowd. Pictured above are John Franks (left), Chord's Chief Executive/Senior Designer, and Robert Watts, "a digital design genius with 30 years' DAC technology development experience", who has collaborated on many of Chord's digital products since 1996. DAVE (Digital to Analog Veritas Extremus) replaces the Chord QBD76 HDSD DAC with technological advances and performance levels previously unavailable according to Chord.
The SOtM booth had on display a number of devices and cables meant to combat the noise that can infest our digital systems. Pictured above in-hand in-barn is the SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Isolator ($350) which is meant to remove any electrical noise traveling along our Ethernet cables.
AK380 shown sitting in the AK380 AMP with the AK380 Cradle charging station to the left
I reviewed the Astel & Kern AK240 for Stereophile (see review) and found it pretty fabulous with an equally fabulous price tag. The new AK380 ($3499) ups the price ante by a cool $1k while offering dual 32-bit AKM AK4490 DACs, 256GB [NAND] of internal memory and 1x microSD (Max 128GB), and "32bit/384kHz Bit to Bit Playback, Native DSD Playback, 20 Band EQ/0.1dB steps, VCXO Reference Clock (200 Femto Seconds), Extendible Docking connector, AK Connect App, and a Metal-touch sensor Home button."
dCS introduced its new series, Rossini, which replaces the Puccini in the dCS product lineup. Rossini comes in two versions – the £15,000 Rossini DAC and £18,000 Rossini Player. I'm most interested in the DAC (pictured above) since the Player adds a CD transport which falls outside my area of interest. The Rossini DAC is also a network player capable of serving music from your NAS as well as streaming services including Tidal, Spotify, and Deezer. Rossini has inherited its latest generation dCS Digital Processing Platform and the dCS Ring DACTM from the flagship Vivaldi which makes for a very good sound proposition.