Audio Alchemy Digital Decoding Engine v1.0 Review System

Sidebar: Review System

I auditioned the Audio Alchemy DDE with my usual reference system: Hales System Two Signatures driven by VTL 225W Deluxe monoblock tube amplifiers, and Muse Model 18 active subwoofer. The preamp was either an Audio Research SP11 Mk.2 or the passive Electronic Visionary Systems Stepped Attenuator.

3' runs of bi-wired AudioQuest Clear/Dragon connected the VTLs to the Hales, and interconnect was AudioQuest Lapis and Diamond. Other processors on hand for comparison included the Meridian 203 ($990) and PS Audio SuperLink ($1195, footnote 1). Both these processors offer an exceptional level of performance for their respective prices, yet are very different musically. A Wadia WT-3200 was the CD source during auditioning, driving the processors through Aural Symphonics Digital Standard interconnect. Levels were matched between processors to within 0.2dB.—Robert Harley

Footnote 1: I haven't auditioned the $799 PS Audio DigiLink II, but plan a full review in the next few months.
Audio Alchemy, Inc.
Company no longer in existence (2014)