Jon Iverson

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
I was mightily impressed by the Cambridge Audio 851D Preamp/DAC when it was in my system last year, especially at its price point of $1,695! So seeing a new flagship streaming/preamp/DAC product piqued my interest.

A Cambridge rep explained that the new 851N is essentially a CXN and 851D put together, which is surprising since the price only jumps one C-note to $1,799 when it becomes available in March. See details on the 851D in my review and check out the CXN in the post below.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
The first thing you notice is the ginourmous display on the front, which you're tempted to tap like an iPad. But it's just a display and apparently very popular in some overseas (read Japan) markets. There are buttons on both sides of the screen however, so you can operate the 2120 with those or with an iPad. (Though it may be hard to tell from this photo, this is a large product, and that display is larger than an iPad mini.)

The 2120 is a UPnP streamer and should be available in a couple months for around $55-60k. It will support up to 32/384 PCM and DSD and there is a complete set of inputs on the back. Under the main box in the photo is the power supply.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments
If you still have a pile of CDs but want to move firmly towards the modern age, this may be the Cary Audio product for you. In addition to the disc spinner, the DMC 600se can stream via USB or aptX Bluetooth and you can also connect other digital sources via the various inputs on the back.

Like the DAC 200ts, there is DSD 64/128/256 and PCM up to 32/384 and the company's Trubit Upsampling, allowing you to choose between seven upsamping rates as well as a switch on the front panel for choosing between the tube or solo state output stages on the se version for $7,995. There is also a non-se version of the DMC 600 that omits the tube switching feature for $5,995. Both available now.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Another portable player in the $1k range is Sony's latest offering which includes the proprietary DSEE HX process to "upscale" music while streaming. Files up to 24/192 and DSD are supported and there is 128GB of built-in memory, as well as micro SD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and about 30 hours of HD playback per battery charge.

The NW-ZX2 will be available shortly for $1,199.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
In the back room, O'Hanlon was running a demo with the Luxman D-06a playing his show mix CD. The Luxman retails for $9,900 and employs a pair of BurrBrown PCM1792A chips in a dual-mono setup. The USB input on back accepts PCM up to 32/384 and DSD to 5.6MHz, while SPDIF and optical accepts up to 24/192 PCM. Both balanced and unbalanced analog audio and SPDIF and optical digital out on the back.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 1 comments
Here is a tentative newcomer to the US from Madrid, Spain and parent company Wadax, and I'm hedging because the potential distributor said they were showing these to "probe the market" for a possible mid-2015 launch. The Mizik system comprises three modules, at $3,500 each, that stack either vertically or horizontally to form a complete system. The styling is obviously unique and the displays auto-rotate depending on which direction you stack them.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
The Cary spokesperson suggested I think of the TL300d as a standard tube preamp with a digital section added. There are four analog inputs and five digital inputs including aptX Bluetooth capability and streaming on the USB input. Like Cary Audio's new DAC 200ts, there is DSD 64/128/256 and PCM up to 32/384 and the company's Trubit Upsampling, allowing you to choose between seven upsamping rates.

Due sometime in April for around $8-9k.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Aimed at the power portable user, the new Shift should be appearing in April for approx. $399 and features a luxurious leather covering on the case that attaches it to your portable. Can be used with a PC or phone, and can even charge an iOS device if needed.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Replacing the HM901, the new s version has a redesigned aluminum body, tweaked analog section and quicker power up and down cycles. This is another premium player in the $1k price range and like the others, handles both PCM and DSD and features nice build quality. There is an SD card slot for up to 256GB of storage and stepped volume control on top. The new model should be appearing in the second quarter of 2015.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 16, 2015 0 comments
Last year Bruno Putzeys simply held up a layered stack of circuit boards when describing his new DAC, but this year we were able to hear the DAC in Philip O'Hanlon's On a Higher Note room, shown above in the Makua preamp, with the bottom cover off and LEDs all aglow.

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