The Big Venture

Given that my assigned "territory" for CES included new cables, power products, and accessories, I was able to indulge in a few of the big system rooms on the Venetian's 34th and 35th floors. These are the systems that many of the sightseers who came to CES for other reasons came up to marvel at. As did I.

I'm so glad that Venture of Belgium and Singapore has a new line of cabling, because it gave me an excuse to hear Reference Recordings' "Pie Jesu" from the Rutter Requiem as I've never heard it before. I was blown away by the huge dynamics, room fixture-shaking bass, mind-boggling clarity of the massed voices, and sheer beauty of the sound. Gorgeous.

The cabling, initially manufactured as internal wiring for the Venture Grand Reference Ultimate Mk.II loudspeakers ($98,000/pair), is not cheap. The Grand Reference Diamond interconnect runs $12,000/1m pair, and is, as best as I can decipher my notes, a microwave cable with a coaxial design. The balanced version ($15,000/pair) runs four lines rather than two. There is even a Grand Reference power cable ($15,000/1.8m). The bottom of Venture's line is the Black Reference III, whose RCA interconnects are $4000/1m pair.

The rest of this system, some of which appears in this photo with Venture's Hong Kong (Didi) Njoo, included Venture's V200A monoblocks ($120,000/pair) and VP100L preamplifier ($36,400). The digital front end at the time I listened was a Windows 7 laptop playing XXHighend software player in hog mode ($99), feeding the Phasure NOS1 USB upsampling DAC ($4500). The DAC upsamples to 24/768k).

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Comments
xp9433's picture
Phasure NOS1 24/768k USB DAC and XXHighEnd player software

Jason, Just a couple of observations on your exciting report.

Firstly, the Phasure is a "non over sampling" DAC, therefore it will accept all sample rates up to 768kHz, but it does not upsample. The upsampling is done by the XXHighEnd software in the computer before feeding the Phasure DAC.

Secondly, You say, "I'm so glad that Venture of Belgium and Singapore has a new line of cabling, because it gave me an excuse to hear Reference Recordings' "Pie Jesu" from the Rutter Requiem as I've never heard it before. I was blown away by the huge dynamics, room fixture-shaking bass, mind-boggling clarity of the massed voices, and sheer beauty of the sound. Gorgeous"

You were clearly impressed. What you may not have realised is (I believe) that Reference Recording is CD resolution only (not hi-res).

When you consider that the "source" is a laptop with XXhighEnd software and Phasure NOS1 DAC costing less than half the cheapest cable in that system you might ask:

1. Why would Venture use/trust a $4,500 DAC in a $300,000 audio equipment demonstration playing CD quality ripped files?

2. How much do you consider any system, no matter how competent/expensive, relies on the "source" quality for the final result?

3. Could the XXHighEnd software and Phasure DAC be a candidate for the biggest bargain available today in quality high-end digital-audio reproduction?

Cheers

Frank

PS I understand the sound quality is better still when using a dedicated PC, rather than a laptop, and the latest XXHighEnd software upgrades.

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