If you only need to add networking functionality to your system, the CXN will provide wired UPnP, wi-fi, USB Audio, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, aptX Bluetooth, and internet radio which is sent to either a digital out for your DAC or through its own dual Wolfson 24 bit DAC section. It will handle both PCM and DSD sources and upsamples all inputs to 24/384 for digital filtering if using the built-in DAC.
Both DSD 64/128/256 and PCM up to 32/384 are covered in the new DAC 200ts as well as aptX Bluetooth. There are five digital inputs on the back and both balanced and unbalanced analog outs. But what I found intriguing was a switch on the front that lets the listener choose between tube and solid state output stages.
The DAC 200ts should be available in February for $3,995.
Peachtree has several new digital products of note this year, one being the sanaDAC which will retail somewhere south of $1,500. It features native 36 bit architecture to process both PCM and DSD and has both balanced and unbalanced analog outputs on the back. There are a complete set of five digital inputs on the back as well as 1/4 inch headphone jack on the front backed by a 800mW (8 ohms) amp.
There will be more products in the series, such as a sanaAMP around the $1k range.
Sporting beautiful casework for relatively modest pricing, Burson's Conductor Virtuoso will be shipping in two versions: one with a Sabre ESS9018 DAC chip for $1,995 and the other with the BurrBrown PCM1793 for $1,495. Inside is a 4 watt headphone amp section along with PCM processing up to 24/192.
On the back are digital inputs for USB, SPDIF and optical and also analog RCA jacks. Also on the back are the digital and analog outputs
and on the front a 100-step volume control and 1/4 inch headphone jack. Remote control is included.
Ayre has been getting major exposure for their work with Pono, but have also been working on their own breakthrough device which grew out of that project, the Codex. Due to hit retailers in March for $1,500, inside will be an ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC chip that will handle PCM up to 32/384 and DSD128.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the demise of the iPod, the number of high quality portable players has jumped. Case in point are these two new players from Questyle. Both play DSD and Double DSD files along with about a dozen PCM formats up to 24/192. The players also feature the company's unique "current mode" headphone amplification.