Manufacturer's Comment

Dear Mr. Lavorgna,

Thanks for the nice review of the Comet. We're glad you enjoyed it.—Jeff Haagenstad, CEO, Exogal, LLC


DH's picture

Very interesting that you liked the preamp. You haven't said that about all the DACs you've reviewed. If the preamp function is on a level that allows users to forego a preamp, that makes this DAC a pretty good buy.

netchord's picture

Michael- thanks for the review; did you test the analog inputs? presumably, they're digitized, but couldn't tell from the review.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Unfortunately I did not try the analog input but it is converted to digital in the Comet.
bpw's picture

Jeff Haagenstad and Jim Kinne of Exogal will be in our room (554) to answe questions and will give some presentations. We will have the Comet DAC on demonstration, and they also plan to introduce the Ion digital amplifier, which is said to be available soon after the show.

Brian Walsh
Essential Audio

mlgrado's picture

I agree with you about the implementation being key. I also think if it sounds good, enjoy it. That said, though, I am of the opinion after considerable research and way too much listening that the benefit that DSD offers is in the lack of PCM brick wall filtering and the associated ringing and time artifacts. Strike against the Comet DAC.

Now, what could swing things back in its favor is how it converts the resultant PCM file to analog. If a simple process is used, with minimal DSP, for instance an old fashioned true PCM ladder DAC, quite a bit can be gained back, especially when compared to DACs like ESS. An ESS or similar DAC may avoid brick wall filtering, but there is so much DSP and conversion steps one has to wonder how the resultant audio bears any resemblance to the original DSD stream.

So it is all about picking the best compromises in the end. Well, unless you just want to convert DSD with an analog low pass filter and be done with it. Seems like that may be too simple. If it isn't complicated it mustn't be good. Or so it seems we think.

Now, the "master" who taught me so much of this has a nice interview up here somewhere on Audiostream. Everyone should check it out...

saisunil's picture

In my experience, the real strength of Exogal is its Upgraded Power Supply. Too bad, the review was done without it! In high end audio, it is all about Power Supply. Naim is known for upgrading their components just by upgrading power supply. For $500-$600 - this is the cheapest upgrade I have heard.

Would love to see the review done with the supplied Upgraded power supply.


Antoine_T's picture

Thanks for the great review.

Can I skip preamp with this Exogal Comet and connect it directly to a power amp?

Will it be a good match with the power amp Audio Research VS115?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...but, it's been my experience that having a preamp in the loop or not comes down to personal preference. I'd recommend trying the Exogal direct into your amp and see what you think. You can always add a preamp down the line.