Rockna Audio

The Rockna Wavedream DAC SE ($5,700) was new to me but not so for Part-Time Audiophile's Scot Hull who dragged, nay pushed, me into the Rockna room for a listen. The Wavestream DAC is FPGA-based, look ma no off-the-shelf solution, which means it can be upgraded and improved over time via software updates akin to PS Audio's DirectStream, among others.

The Wavestream DAC upsamples all incoming data 16x (to 768Khz or 705.6Khz depending on the original sample rate) and employs custom filters all of which takes place in that FPGA prior to being sent to a series of hybrid ladder DAC modules that have their own FPGA. The Wavestream handles PCM resolutions up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB (S/PDIF and AES max out at 192kHz) and DSD256 also via USB (S/PDIF and AES max out at DSD64). There are also two HD-Links (LVDS) which match the USB input's capabilities. There are both single-ended RCA and balanced WLR outputs.

Also on display and in use was the Rockna Wavedream NET (Network Enhanced Transport) (starting at £6,000). The NET combines a CD/SACD/Blueray disc transport with USB and Ethernet inputs for network streaming. Outputs include HD-Link (32-bit/384kHz, 1 bit – 11.28 MHz DSD), AES/EBU (24-bit/384kHz, 1 bit 5.6 MHz DoP), S/PDIF (24-bit/192kHz PCM, 1 bit 5.6 MHz DoP), BNC (24-bit/192kHz, 1 bit 5.6 MHz DoP) and VGA.

The rather fascinating-looking and sounding system was comprised of the Tune Audio ANIMA speakers (€32,000/pair) & KION folded horn subwoofer towers (€6,600/each) driven by a pair of Trafomatic Elysium monoblocks (€120,000/pair). I went back on the last day of the show with Part-Time Audiophile's Panagiotis Karavitis and enjoyed this system for a second time. Rockna has US distribution through Audio Prana and I'll be checking in with Fred Crane for a review sample soon.

Part-Time Audiophile's picture

That was a great room. A spectacle for the eyes and ears.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
..for the push!