Tuesday, July 25, 2017
High End 2017
in Munich
Brand New
Video Series
NAD C 368
DAC-Integrated
New Integrated
Anthem STR
Vandersteen
Model Seven Mk.II
Ayre Acoustics
QX-5 DAC
Paradigm's Flagship
Persona 9H
Newsflash:
Merging NADAC ST-2 on SoundStage! Ultra ... Read the review
Onkyo's A-9010 on SoundStage! Access ... Read the review

Sponsors

Arcam airDACPrice: $699

Website: www.arcam.co.uk

Oliver said: The airDAC is a music maker through and through -- one that offers a huge slice of audiophile sound at a real-world price. It does so without playing favorites in terms of musical genre or listener preference, delivering the musical goods in the most engaging way it can.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Who says an AirPlay-equipped DAC can’t be high end?

Aurender W20Price: $17,200

Website: www.aurender.com

Pete said: For the well-heeled, obsessive-compulsive audiophile, and/or all who have invested in statement-level digital gear and strive to eliminate from their systems any compromises, the W20 should fit the bill.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Probably the best music server.

Aurender X100LPrice: $3490

Website: www.aurender.com

Jeff said: If you’ve wanted an Aurender S10, but were put off by its price and don’t need its myriad connection options, then I see nothing that should hold you back from the X100L. It’s a killer little product.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Excellent choice for a plug’n’play music server.

Bel Canto Design eOne uLinkPrice: $675

Website: www.belcantodesign.com

Sathyan said: For those who like to play digital music files on computers, Bel Canto Design’s e.One uLink is a worthwhile upgrade, allowing bit-perfect reproduction of tracks sampled above 96kHz. For those with DACs lacking USB inputs, the uLink provides an easy and musical way of adding computer-based audio to a system.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Make your old DAC new again with great-sounding USB connectivity.

Luxman DA-06Price: $4990

Website: www.luxman.co.jp/global/

Vade said: The DA-06’s vivid, colorful sound enhanced whatever recordings I played through it, from DSD64 to “Red Book” -- just for old times’ sake, I spun a couple of CDs through the Luxman, and they, too, sounded great. The DA-06’s wide assortment of digital inputs make it compatible with just about any digital source device, and with all commercially available digital file formats in use as of the end of 2013. I understand that Luxman plans to release DAC models at prices lower and higher than the DA-06’s $4990, but for me, for now, the DA-06 represents a peak on the value scale.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: An exceptionally versatile, solid-performing DAC from one of the most-respected names in hi-fi.

M2Tech Young DSDPrice: $1699

Website: www.m2tech.biz

Jeff said: Ultimately, the Young DSD made me want to listen to music. That’s what this hobby is all about. It’s a good component worth the 1699 bills, which means it's fairly priced. Considering that, I’ve got no complaints.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Good in all areas when considering its competitive price point.

Meridian ExplorerPrice: $299

Website: www.meridian-audio.com 

Doug said: The Explorer clearly sounded better, overall, than the DragonFly v1.0. But it’s surprising that the Wavelength Proton, a very good DAC that costs three times as much as the Meridian, wasn’t obviously superior in sound. That’s what makes the Explorer a bona-fide high-end bargain. Highly recommended.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Who knew a $300 DAC could sound this good?

Musical Fidelity V90-DACPrice: $299.99

Website: www.musicalfidelity.com

Thom said: If you’re looking for a good, solid, reasonably priced, well-designed and -engineered, high-performance outboard digital-to-analog converter, I can’t think of a better buy.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Couldn’t get this digital performance for three bills even five years ago.

NAD D 1050Price: $499

Website: www.nadelectronics.com 

Sathyan said: Overall, the NAD D 1050 is a remarkable value that harks back to NAD’s traditional combination of performance, value, and simplicity.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Lots of DAC connectivity for the money.

Prism Sound Lyra 2Price: $3225

Website: www.prismsound.com

Wes said: The Lyra 2 just played everything I threw at it. This level of simplicity is very welcome. The fact that it solves so many problems while providing such clean, effortless sound makes it a no-brainer recommendation.

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Pro-sound-based DAC that is feature-rich and sounds great to boot.

Resonessence Labs Invicta MirusPrice: $4995

Website: www.resonessence.com

Jeff said: Unless you’re the type of audiophile who needs a huge, gleaming chassis in your system -- or several of them -- look no further than this little puppy for all your digital needs. Regardless of the pedigree of the rest of your gear, the Resonessence Invicta Mirus will fit in just fine.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Miniature in size, but certainly not in sound quality.

Simaudio Moon 180 MiNDPrice: $1300

Website: www.simaudio.com

Aron said: Simaudio’s 180 MiND has opened my ears to the small but compelling market of austere streamers, and is proof that Simaudio is evolving with the times. The control app Simaudio has developed is ingenious in layout, intuitive to use, and graphically stimulating enough that it easily competes with other streamers costing several times the MiND’s $1300 price.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Add a streamer to your list of Simaudio source components.

Sony HAP-Z1ESPrice: $1999.99

Website: www.sony.com

Vade said: The Sony HAP-Z1ES is not the only all-in-one high-resolution music player in existence, but it’s a thoughtful design that offers excellent value. While it’s possible to get better sound, chances are it will cost you lots more money.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Solid value in a hi-rez music server.

T+A DAC 8Price: $3250

Website: www.taelektroakustik.de

Garrett said: If you’re in the market for a desktop or console-top DAC, I strongly recommend checking out the T+A DAC 8. It can be the solo source for a superb three-piece system of DAC-preamp, power amp, and speakers. And as the hub of a digital system it’s completely flexible, accepting USB from a computer, S/PDIF and optical systems from other digital sources, and works terrifically with most any headphone out there. I loved it.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Highly configurable DAC is a product of fine German engineering.

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