Sponsors

(2018) Stereo Digital Source Components

Price: $49.99

Website: www.benjie-tx.com

Rad said: It’s a perfect entry-level music player, and its small size, solid construction, and ease of operation are big pluses that make it a perfect gym buddy -- you can toss it in your bag without fear of injuring it. All of that, and it plays hi-rez files! What’s not to like?

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Cheapest decent portable Rad has experienced.

Price: AU$2400

Website: www.chordelectronics.co.uk

Barry said: Sonically, the Qutest is further confirmation of Rob Watts’ prowess as one of the preeminent digital audio designers on the planet today. Aesthetically, it’s the sort of device I would want to put in a prominent position within my equipment rack.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Beat his Perreaux hands down.

Price: $26,000

Website: www.esoteric-usa.com

Howard said: Spend some time with the Esoteric Grandioso G1 master clock generator and you’ll likely never go back. It not only uncovers in recordings of music levels of detail, precision, and tonal richness previously unsuspected, it also reveals aspects of performances, including those of the recording venue itself, that are missed by less accurate digital pendulums.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: If you’ve got the money to spend . . .

Price: AU$5990

Website: www.luminmusic.com

Barry said: Investing $6000 in a source component is a substantial commitment, however considering the simplicity and the level of performance the T1 delivers, in my opinion it’s one that is easily justified.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Network playing made easy.

Price: AU$990 each

Website: www.redgumaudio.com

Edgar said: For an easy to set-up just-about-all-in-one solution that performs very well both technically and sonically, the RGDAC8 DAC and RGMP8 Music Player ‘Aggregata Stack’ is highly recommended.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: One-stop file-based sound from Down Under.

Price: $2399; Analog 2 upgrade for original Yggdrasil, $550

Website: www.schiit.com

Erich said: The Yggdrasil provided beautiful, musical sound even when fed challenging recordings from digital’s early days. Clear imaging, large and solid soundstaging, linear frequency response, and a particularly fabulous midrange all make the Schiit Yggdrasil an excellent DAC at any price.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Uncommon DAC architecture produces sound that belies the low price.

Price: $2399; Analog 2 upgrade for original Yggdrasil, $550

Website: www.schiit.com

Erich said: In its Analog 2 version, the Yggdrasil DAC marries affordability to exceptional sound quality courtesy a bespoke DAC architecture from one of hi-fi’s most pioneering digital designers.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Uncommon DAC architecture produces sound that belies the low price.

Price: $4450

Website: www.ta-hifi.de

Erich said: T+A Elektroakustik’s philosophy of high science and engineering, as evidenced in their most reasonably priced DAC, has resulted in a highly capable and flexible audio component built to an exacting standard. With its excellent soundstaging, clear imaging, and neutral overall sound, the DAC 8 DSD is an accomplished modern DAC.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Highly competent German DAC in a small form factor.

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