Music in the Round #90: Merging+Player PL8 Contacts

Sidebar 1: Contacts

Merging Technologies, Le Verney 1070, Puidoux, Switzerland. Tel: (41) 21-946-04-44. Fax: (41) 21-946-04-45. Web: US distributor: Independent Audio Inc., 82 Gilman Street, Portland, ME 04102-3034. Tel. 207 773 2424. Web:

Revelation Audio Labs, Inc., 2 Pine Cone Drive #354061, Palm Coast, FL 32137. Tel: (386) 627-8630. Web:

Signal HiFi Inc., PO Box 38, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577-0038. Tel: (917) 957-8508. Web:

Aqvox Audio Devices, Steilshooper Strasse 118, 22305 Hamburg, Germany. Tel: (49) (0)40-410-068-90. Fax: (49) (0)40-467-797-14. Web:

supamark's picture

I agree they should include at least a 1 year (and seriously, for this kind of money, lifetime subscription - it's only $500 retail) since the box won't work without Roon. I'm sure they could get it cheaper than retail and fold it in to the price if their margins are so slim.

The other problem with this approach (which would disqualify it were I in the market for this sort of thing) is that you're buying a $14k (w/ tax) piece of equipment that requires software from a third party to operate. When buying high end audio you're always gambling that the company will stay in business and support the thing, but now you've got to hope *two* separate companies stay in business and support their things (just because a company is still around doesn't mean they support all of their products).

Kal Rubinson's picture

There's no assurance that any company will outlive you but the NADAC Player does not become a doorstop if Roon goes belly-up.

First, Roon has stated that, in the event that they close-down, they have a policy of maintaining a download version that will allow the user to continue using Roon forever without needing access to them.

Second, the NADAC Player can, without Roon, still operate as a network endpoint/DAC from any server.

Rlotzkar's picture

Nice series! I've been researching Network Renderers and almost went for NADAC style to avoid USB cables. I chose a different route (Bricasti M5 > Legacy Wavelet & HDPlex 200). So now I need to reconsider USB cables because only 1 of these devices uses a "normal" USB plug (Wavelet uses MicroB & HDPlex uses Type C). So the question arises, do USB cables make a difference...

I've used split cables (have 2 LHL 2G split cables) and can hear the difference vs decent quality straight cables. Now that I'm looking for a custom cable I'm curious about your experience with USB Cables. It seems to be a recipe for flame wars on various audio forums. Bits are bits and don't have sound...

So how did the AQ Coffee stack up against that RAL fire hose?

Thanks for the power cord referral, another one I'm looking for!

Kal Rubinson's picture

I am not particularly interested in comparing cables and only do so if there is a particular feature that seems to warrant attention. I tried the RAL because of it's split config. As I said, it was appreciated with the plain-Jane motherboard USB outputs but offered no advantage over the AQ when used with the externally-powered SOtM tX-USBhubIn.

adrianwu's picture

I have been experimenting with the Microrendu, which allows music data to be streamed over an ethernet based network to be converted to feed an USB-based DAC. The beauty of this gadget is that it allows a direct connection without the need of a USB cable. We have tried different Ethernet cables going from the switch to the Microrendu, and the difference is quite marked. We used a long cable (10 M) so the difference could have been more exaggerated than say a 1M cable. A shielded cable (Cat6a or Cat7) is certain preferable, with noticeable tightening of the bass impact and better imaging. The PS for the Microrendu also matters, and a DIY regulated linear supply gave a darker background and more relaxed, more musical presentation than the ifi wall wart.
We also had the 2 channel NADAC on loan for audition during several sessions over a week. Not impressed at all. Compared to the Lampizator Golden Atlantic/Microrendu, the NADAC sounded clinical, unmusical and uninvolved. This could just be our taste in music reproduction, but the Lampizator was better at expressing the microdynamics and the sound was fuller and had more nuance. Impossible to say which was more "accurate", but for enjoyment, we much preferred the Lampizator.

otaku's picture

Hi, I just bought a Signal MagicPower cable, basing my decision at least partly on this review. To my ears, my Bel Canto C7R sounds a lot better with this cord, which is surprising since the Bel Canto contains circuitry similar to their Virtual Battery Supply. What I am thinking is that rather than improving the sound of the receiver, the MagicPower cuts down on 60 cycle hum radiated from the power cord into the nearby speaker cables and interconnects, particularly the phono interconnects.