DAC Reviews

streamer DAC & integrated amplifier
Jan 2020
A friend has described (on more than one occasion) the times he lay on his teenage bed playing Close to the Edge through headphones and feeling like he was levitating, such was the potency of that classic Yes album. I didn’t...
streamer DAC
Jan 2020
I reviewed an Auralic Altair back in May 2017 but that was a rather different beast to the Altair G1 you see on this page. Auralic’s early products were a bit piecemeal when it came to casework with the small curvy Aries...
network streamer
Nov 2019
In a previous review I wrote about the Naim Supernait 3 integrated amplifier, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While it was here I was also lucky enough to have the latest version of Naim’s entry level streamer here as well. I...
digital to analogue converter
Nov 2019
The Mola Mola or ocean sunfish is quite a substantial beast that can weigh up to a tonne and looks a bit odd. A Tambaqui is a large freshwater fish: clearly something aquatic is afoot. What is also clear is that designer...
DAC/headphone/preamp
Sep 2019
Hugo TT 2 is Chord Electronics’ next-generation table-top (TT) DAC/headphone amplifier, the 2 indicating it that has undergone extensive upgrades to bring it within touching distance of the company’s flagship DAVE DAC at a ...
Integrated amplifier
Aug 2019
One of my very first reviews for the Ear, almost a year ago, was of the YBA Passion IA350 integrated amplifier and the matching CD430 disc player. I was very impressed with them and so when the UK distributor asked if I...
Digital Analogue Converter DAC
Aug 2019
With the rise of online music services, the demand for high-quality digital to analogue converters is increasing. The use of Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify streaming services as an addition to home music collections has become...
integrated amplifier
Jul 2019
To describe the Norwegian-conceived Hegel H190 as merely an integrated amplifier does it a disservice. Successor to the award-winning H160 it benefits from company founder Bent Holter’s refined SoundEngine2, first seen in...
Integrated amplifier
Jun 2019
Recently I seem to have had a lot of contact with Italian audio components and the latest to grace my equipment rack is the Norma HS-IPA1. Packed into its diminutive case work there is a solid state amplifier, a phono stage...
digital to analogue converter
Apr 2019
BorderPatrol is a small company whose proprietor Gary Dews started out working with Audio Innovations (which became Audio Note UK), so you won’t be surprised to learn that its speciality is tube electronics. Gary was...
Digital to analogue converter
Apr 2019
It’s been a while since I lived with an MSB DAC, but I have very happy memories of those occasions when one was left in my care in the past. The company has always been at the leading edge of digital technology with several...
SACD/CD player and DAC
Feb 2019
It’s been more than 20 years since I last had the pleasure of unpacking a new piece of hi-fi kit for review. And a lot has changed during that time. For instance, even the actual act of unboxing seems to have become an...

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