Added to the Archives This Week

Back in 1997, DVD-Audio was still miles away—and it may still be! But, as John Atkinson writes, "After a decade of stability, with slow but steady improvement in the quality of 16-bit/44.1kHz audio, the cry among audio engineers is now '24/96!'—meaning 24-bit data sampled at 96kHz. Not coincidentally, DVD offers audiophiles a medium with the potential for playing back music encoded at this new mastering standard." The dCS Elgar D/A processor was one of the first consumer units able to decode 24/96, and still stands as a benchmark product. JA gives the details.

More recently, dCS released the 972 D/D converter. Jonathan Scull puts the 972 in perspective this way: "The possibilities are tantalizing. If the dCS 972/Elgar combo works as advertised, all of your collected CDs will be given, in one fell swoop, a new lease on life, not only extending their usefulness in these turgid digital times, but protecting your investment and improving the sound to boot!" The results of J-10's analysis of dCS's "Swiss Army Knife" Digital to Digital Converter are ready for you to read online.

This week's bonus article: Wes Phillips puts his ear to the HeadRoom Max headphone amplifier. As WP writes, "Like most audiophiles, I was not aware that HeadRoom even wanted to assault the state of the art until I visited their booth at HI-FI '96 last June . . . I listened to a few pieces of music and damn near voted the Max HeadRoom 'Best Sound of Show' on the spot." WP's final verdict awaits your perusal.