Jon Iverson

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2014 0 comments
Though they didn't have the product on hand, I convinced Accuphase representative Kohei Nishigawa to hold up the brochure. The new player will be here in February for $27,000 and features the company's obsessive build quality.

Inside, eight 32bit ESS "Hyperstream" DAC chips are run in parallel, which Accuphase calls "Multiple Double Speed DSD". In addition to playing discs, there are HS-Link (for DSD), coax, optical and USB inputs.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2014 1 comments
Yes, DACs can be bought as monoblocks just like amps. The D1 retails for $22k each (so that's $44k for a stereo pair) and includes Esoteric's proprietary ES-LINK4 connection allowing DSD transfer from the companion P1 transport as well as 48/352.8 PCM, both via an HDMI cable.

Both the P1 and its D1a can be connected by a BNC cable for clock sync, and the company says that the D1 employs a 36bit digital to analog processing algorithm for PCM. In addition to accepting the P1 signal via HDMI, the D1 has six more inputs including USB, AES/EBU, SPDIF (x2), optical and i.LINK.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 09, 2014 0 comments
When I reviewed the Romulus DAC/CD player last year, a reader quickly noted in the online comments "Can't play pure DSD files. That seems absurd for a player targeted at the audiophile market. Pity - I like the design."

Ask and ye shall receive. The Company's Jim White has updated the product with the ability to accept and process both DSD64 and 128 natively over USB. In fact, the entire DSP processing section has been updated with an Xilinx gate-array to allow for the pure DSD.

Customers with current Romulus or Pandora DACs can also upgrade their products at the factory starting mid January. In addition to DSD, the upgrade also adds a new analog board, Vishay Z-Foil resistors, and Dynamicaps.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2014 2 comments
After last year's shipping mishap, I thought it would be appropriate to provide a shot of the actual product since it finally arrived in Vegas.

From last year's post: The $40k Rubicon features a built-in analog to digital converter that can be driven from an internal phono preamp, several sets of regular line level RCA jacks, or balanced XLRs. Digital inputs include 2 SPDIF, 2 Toslink and AES/EBU. Analog and digital outputs are also available. The Atomic part of the product's name refers to the 10MHz rubiduim atomic clock driving its 384kH converters.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
While some companies have been focusing on using Bluetooth or Wifi to stream music around a room, HRT decided to use RF as their method.

Unfortunately, HRT's Kevin Halverson was in a bicycle accident a couple months back, so was holding forth from his wheelchair (he should make an almost complete recovery). Halverson said that the system will comprise two parts: a Wireless Master which sends the signal from your source (the smaller device in the photo) and the larger Airstreamer (seen in a photo mockup).

The RF signal can cover a distance of up to 15 meters and send 24/48 PCM. The system will cost $249 and should be shipping around March 15th. Hopefully Kevin will be walking around a bit by then.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
New for Antelope Audio this year is the Zodiac Platinum DAC at $5,500, which in addition to the normal PCM stuff, handles DSD 64, 128 and has the ability to upsample these to DSD256. The spec sheet also lists "64 bit precision 8x linear phase PCM upsampling" with the onboard FPGA, quad DAC architecture, and for extra precision there is an input for Antelope's 10M Rubidium atomic clock.

There are two headphone jacks on the front, volume control, and input switching for a wide variety of digital inputs. There are also 2 "de-jittered" SPDIF outputs for up to 24/192 PCM. The Zodiac Platinum is available now.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2014 1 comments
Axiss Distribution was on hand to display new products from Olasonic including a CD transport and DAC (shown in photo). Axiss' Arturo Manzano explained that Olasonic is a Japanese company comprised of ex-Sony engineers who had worked on SACD development. The products are made in China and come in white or black finishes while retailing for $800 each.
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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
Having had a Meridian Sooloos in my system for the last few years, I'm a sucker for a nice big touch screen for controlling a music collection. Done right, there's nothing like it. So I made a beeline to the $9,995 Pathos Musiteca, which I first observed in prototype form at a previous CES.

Very similar in features to Meridian's Control 15, with built in 1TB drive, CD slot for ripping discs and network connection for gathering metadata, the Musiteca also has a built in tube DAC based on the design for the company's Endorphin CD player.

The Musiteca has beautiful styling, however when I started tapping the screen and calling up music, I found it a bit pokey in the speed department. Also, there is currently no method for adding more hard drive space in case you exceed the roughly 2,000 CD storage capacity.

Still, it looks gorgeous sitting there and should be available in April.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
AMR's iFi line starts dinky with the iDSD Nano, gets slightly larger with the iDAC line and then tops out (as far as size goes) with the new iFi iDSD Mini DAC.

Still not large by normal component standards, the Mini, which was shown in prototype form at the show, handles a wide range of digital sources including up to 24/384 PCM, DSD, Double DSD and DXD. Also included on the back is a full range of input jacks, with a volume control and headphone jack on the front.

Inside, there is aptX Bluetooth streaming, 4 Burr Brown DACs, and 4 filters set by the user. Retail price will be under $1,000 and it should arrive sometime this quarter according to the distributor, Avatar Acoustics.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Jan 07, 2014 0 comments
Another petite USB DAC which includes asynchronous USB interface, and up to 24/192 streaming. The Chinese built USBStreamer is available only online for $115. The company also offers OEM versions of the DAC for the DIY crowd.

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