Excitement from JansZen and exaSound
My first opportunity to hear the exaSound e20 DSD/DXD/PCM DAC ($2500) did not disappoint. The company that self-effacingly identifies itself as "exaSound," with a small "e," played along with surprisingly extended Janszen 2A2.1 electrostatic loudspeakers ($7495/pair),, which are reputedly flat to 40Hz, and the Bryston Power Pac 250 amp ($2350) to deliver a beautiful smooth, wide soundstage on a DSD recording from Channel Classics.
MA Recordings' double-DSD version of the theme from Bach's Goldberg Variations recorded by Todd Garfinkle on a Korg, exhibited beautiful warmth in the midrange and a just right, natural ring to notes on the piano. Cymbals, which can shatter to bits on some systems, sounded great on someone's performance of "Autumn Leaves" where, once again, the warmth of the midrange won me over. This is one speaker/DAC combination I would love to explore further.
FYI, when it comes to DSD playback, exaSound's George Klissarov prefers JRiver with PC and Audirvana with Mac.