The folks at Antelope Audio had the new Zodiac Platinum DSD DAC/Preamplifier ($5,500 includes Voltikus Power Supply and Remote control) on display. The Platinum houses a 64-bit DAC capable of handling up to 768kHz and 256x DSD formats and offers both analog and digital inputs including balanced analog XLRs, unbalanced analog RCAs, AES/EBU, 2x S/PDIF Coax, 2x Toslink, USB, and Atomic clock/Word Clock Input on BNC. Outputs include "De-jittered AES/EBU Output", "De-jittered 2x S/PDIF Outputs", as well as RCA and trimmable balanced XLRs. There are also dual front-mounted 1/4" headphone jacks and an analog volume control making for one full-featured preamp/DAC. I plan to get my hands on one asap. The Platinum DSD DAC is shown with its matching Voltikus Power Supply Unit.
T+A (Theory + Application) was showing their new 80wpc Amp 8 ($2,800) which is the perfect mate for their matching DAC 8 ($2,900). The DAC 8 is a 24-bit/384kHz capable DAC and its inputs include 4 RCA S/PDIF, 1 Toslink, 1 BNC, 1 AES/EBU, 1 Asynchronous USB, and for T+A system owners the "Control Link". Outputs include balanced and single-ended RCAs as well as RCA S/PDIF. The DAC 8 can also act as a preamp as it includes an analog volume control. There's also 4 digital and 2 analog filters so you can shape the sound to your liking and a front-mounted headphone jack. There's also a T+A app for iOS and Android devices.
Omaha, Nebraska-based retailer The Sound Environment was showing the Linux-based Trigon Chronolog ($9,500) which is a UPnP network player/CD/DVD player/DAC with 120GB of internal SSD storage. The Chronolog supports WAV, MP3, FLAC, CDDA, NSV, M4A, AAC, STRM, PLS, RM, MPA, WMA, OGG, MP2, M3U, MOD, AMF, 669, DMF, DSM, FAR, GDM, IMF, IT, M15, MED, OKT, S3M, STM, SFX, ULT, UNI, XM, SID, AC3, DTS, CUE, AIF, AIFF, WPL, APE, MAC, MPC, MP+, MPP, SHN, ZIP, RAR, WV, NSF, SPC, GYM, ADPLUG, ADX, DSP, ADP, YMF, AST, AFC, HPS, XSP, formats with resolutions up to 24/192. Inputs include the usual suspects including S/PDIF (Coax and Toslink), USB, and Ethernet while outputs include a pair of RCAs and XLRs as well as HDMI and DVI for DVD playback.
Importer Source Systems Ltd. of San Clemente, CA had a gaggle of audio gear including the intriguing Lumin Network Player ($7,200). The handsome machined aluminum Lumin can handle up to 32/384kHz files in FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, AAC, and MP3 formats, as well as single and double-rate DSD. Inputs includes Ethernet and USB while outputs include HDMI, BNC S/PDIF, unbalanced RCAs and balanced XLRs. The Lumin supports UPnP and gapless playback as well as on-device playlists while you need an iPad for remote control.
Rob Robinson of Channel D, designer of the popular Pure Music media player software and Pure Vinyl ripping software for the Mac, had his new battery powered Seta Piccolo DAC Buffer ($1,599) on display. The DAC Buffer is essentially a match maker for people looking to drive their power amp directly with their DAC and it works its match-making XLR input/output magic by optimizing your system gain in 6 dB steps from -6 to -30 dB all in the analog domain. This allows you to run your computer or DAC's digital volume control at its optimum level. Rob Robinson said, "The new Seta Piccola DAC Buffer solves a critical signal quality bottleneck problem for audiophiles who wish to connect their computer audio playback systems directly to their power amplifiers for a minimum signal path approach, while enjoying the
convenience and performance of a digital volume control without compromising sound quality."
Along with a number of headphone listening setups, Woo Audio was showing their handsome WDS-1 Digital-to-Analog Converter ($1,199). The WDS-1 handles up to 24/192 playback from its asynchronous USB2.0, Toslink, AES/EBU, and Coax S/PDIF inputs. Outs include unbalanced RCAs and balanced XLRs. The WDS-1 also offers a digital volume control and user selectable sharp and slow digital filters.
April Music set up a simple and to my ears relaxed sounding enjoyment inducing system consisting of the Eximus DP1 24/192 DAC/Preamplifier ($3,250) connected to their Stello S100 50wpc amplifier ($1,200) driving a pair of Solus Entre H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) speakers.
Core Audio Technology had their new Datasat RS20i Home Theater Processor ($18,885), Kratos MKII Fully Digital Amplifier ($2,500), their modified Mac Mini ($2,885) and associated Kora power supply ($599) on display. The 100WPC Kratos MKII amp offers 4 S/PDIF inputs (2x Coax, 2x Toslink) and a pair of speaker output terminals. Your digital musical signal enters the Kratos and remains digital right up until the speaker terminals: