Category Archives: DACs

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Sony NW-A45

Since smartphones took over our lives, five or so years ago, there has been relatively little interest in something that once – just ten years before that – seemed the very future of technology itself. Apple’s iPod was once thought

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Sony NW-A45

Since smartphones took over our lives, five or so years ago, there has been relatively little interest in something that once – just ten years before that – seemed the very future of technology itself. Apple’s iPod was once thought

/ DACs

Chord Hugo 2

When Chord Electronics’ first Hugo portable DAC/headphone amplifier was launched at CES in January 2014, the world knew it was special – it was so good that many bought it to use as their main digital converter, rather than a

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Chord Hugo 2

When Chord Electronics’ first Hugo portable DAC/headphone amplifier was launched at CES in January 2014, the world knew it was special – it was so good that many bought it to use as their main digital converter, rather than a

/ DACs

Weiss DAC202

Daniel Weiss cut his engineering teeth working for Studer-Revox, specialising in the design of sampling frequency convertors. He left to form Weiss Engineering Ltd in 1985. His company is certainly better known in pro circles than domestic hi-fi, with clients

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Weiss DAC202

Daniel Weiss cut his engineering teeth working for Studer-Revox, specialising in the design of sampling frequency convertors. He left to form Weiss Engineering Ltd in 1985. His company is certainly better known in pro circles than domestic hi-fi, with clients

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ARCAM airDAC

If you’re an audiophile fed up with all those pesky wires, or a normal human being put off by the prospect of them in the first place, then this is for you. Essentially it’s a high quality digital-to-analogue converter which

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ARCAM airDAC

If you’re an audiophile fed up with all those pesky wires, or a normal human being put off by the prospect of them in the first place, then this is for you. Essentially it’s a high quality digital-to-analogue converter which

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Naim DAC

Released at the end of the first decade of the new millennium, eyebrows were raised when Naim Audio gave us its first ever standalone digital-to-analogue converter. The company said it wasn’t worth doing one until it could make something that

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Naim DAC

Released at the end of the first decade of the new millennium, eyebrows were raised when Naim Audio gave us its first ever standalone digital-to-analogue converter. The company said it wasn’t worth doing one until it could make something that

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Audiolab Q-DAC

Launched in 2013, the £400 Q-DAC was designed to capitalise on the success of the award-winning M-DAC of a year or so earlier. It’s effectively a ‘low calorie’ M-DAC, with much of the same good stuff under the hood, but cost-cut

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Audiolab Q-DAC

Launched in 2013, the £400 Q-DAC was designed to capitalise on the success of the award-winning M-DAC of a year or so earlier. It’s effectively a ‘low calorie’ M-DAC, with much of the same good stuff under the hood, but cost-cut

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Chord Chordette 2Qute

Four years ago, Chord Electronics announced a new portable DAC going under the quirky name of Hugo. This market sector was – and still is – bristling with such products – with everyone from Cambridge Audio to Oppo doing the

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Chord Chordette 2Qute

Four years ago, Chord Electronics announced a new portable DAC going under the quirky name of Hugo. This market sector was – and still is – bristling with such products – with everyone from Cambridge Audio to Oppo doing the

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dCS Elgar

The nineteen nineties was arguably just as important for digital audio as the decade that proceeded it – because it saw the introduction of high resolution recording and playback for the first time. Whereas Compact Disc offered a ceiling of

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dCS Elgar

The nineteen nineties was arguably just as important for digital audio as the decade that proceeded it – because it saw the introduction of high resolution recording and playback for the first time. Whereas Compact Disc offered a ceiling of

Marantz SA-10/PM-10

Launched on December 1st, 2016, the new Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC and PM-10 amplifier are technologically the boldest products the Eindhoven-based company has done in many years. The silver disc spinner replaces the SA-7, and sports a bespoke, newly designed optical disc

Marantz SA-10/PM-10

Launched on December 1st, 2016, the new Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC and PM-10 amplifier are technologically the boldest products the Eindhoven-based company has done in many years. The silver disc spinner replaces the SA-7, and sports a bespoke, newly designed optical disc

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Cambridge Audio DACMagic

One of the last ever digital-to-analogue convertors of the first era of DACs, the DACMagic spent a good part of the nineteen nineties being one of the few such products on sale. Had it been launched five years earlier than its 1995 debut,

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Cambridge Audio DACMagic

One of the last ever digital-to-analogue convertors of the first era of DACs, the DACMagic spent a good part of the nineteen nineties being one of the few such products on sale. Had it been launched five years earlier than its 1995 debut,

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Stello DA100 Signature

We’ve all heard of Samsung, LG, Kia and Hyundai now – South Korea is a growing South East Asian economic power with a thriving technology sector. It also has an audiophile scene too – and one of its greatest exponents is April Music. A

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Stello DA100 Signature

We’ve all heard of Samsung, LG, Kia and Hyundai now – South Korea is a growing South East Asian economic power with a thriving technology sector. It also has an audiophile scene too – and one of its greatest exponents is April Music. A

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Cambridge Audio Azur 851D

Packed with most of the features and functionality that has popped up over the past decade or so, Cambridge Audio’s new flagship DAC is a veritable ‘greatest hits of digital’ in one convenient package. It’s certainly big and heavy for a

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Cambridge Audio Azur 851D

Packed with most of the features and functionality that has popped up over the past decade or so, Cambridge Audio’s new flagship DAC is a veritable ‘greatest hits of digital’ in one convenient package. It’s certainly big and heavy for a

Arcam Delta 70/Black Box

The company’s first product, the A&R Cambridge A60 integrated amplifier, was a fine, worthy design with broad appeal to well healed, middle class audiophiles. Launched in 1976, it sold in huge quantities for a specialist British product, but after ten

Arcam Delta 70/Black Box

The company’s first product, the A&R Cambridge A60 integrated amplifier, was a fine, worthy design with broad appeal to well healed, middle class audiophiles. Launched in 1976, it sold in huge quantities for a specialist British product, but after ten

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Naim DAC-V1

2013 saw the launch of Naim’s DAC-V1/NAP 100 DAC/preamplifier/power amplifier combination. The £1,250 DAC-V1 was arguably the more interesting of the two half-size boxes, as well as being the Salisbury company’s second ever digital converter. It was a neat piece of design,

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Naim DAC-V1

2013 saw the launch of Naim’s DAC-V1/NAP 100 DAC/preamplifier/power amplifier combination. The £1,250 DAC-V1 was arguably the more interesting of the two half-size boxes, as well as being the Salisbury company’s second ever digital converter. It was a neat piece of design,

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Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus

When Cambridge Audio’s first ever DACMagic was launched in 1995, it surprised the world. John Westlake – of Pink Triangle DaCapo and Audiolab M-DAC fame – designed it and put the brand on the map for seriously good, affordable digital converters. In 2009, the company launched

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Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus

When Cambridge Audio’s first ever DACMagic was launched in 1995, it surprised the world. John Westlake – of Pink Triangle DaCapo and Audiolab M-DAC fame – designed it and put the brand on the map for seriously good, affordable digital converters. In 2009, the company launched

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April Music Stello DP200

April Music founder Simon Lee is an enthusiast who loved hi-fi so much that he abandoned a stable job to import esoteric foreign brands into his native South Korea; he then subsequently decided to start making his own designs too. Some interesting products

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April Music Stello DP200

April Music founder Simon Lee is an enthusiast who loved hi-fi so much that he abandoned a stable job to import esoteric foreign brands into his native South Korea; he then subsequently decided to start making his own designs too. Some interesting products

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Chord DAC64

Launched at the 2001 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, this was a sensation. It wasn’t just the company’s first ever digital-to-analogue converter, it was the result of a chance encounter between Rob Watts and John Franks. The former is a brilliant

/ DACs

Chord DAC64

Launched at the 2001 Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, this was a sensation. It wasn’t just the company’s first ever digital-to-analogue converter, it was the result of a chance encounter between Rob Watts and John Franks. The former is a brilliant

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Chord Hugo

Rob Watts has come a long way since he “foolishly decided to get involved with manufacturing hi-fi”. After leaving Cardiff university in 1984 he cofounded Deltec Precision Audio and made a name for himself as a gifted electronics engineer. Then

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Chord Hugo

Rob Watts has come a long way since he “foolishly decided to get involved with manufacturing hi-fi”. After leaving Cardiff university in 1984 he cofounded Deltec Precision Audio and made a name for himself as a gifted electronics engineer. Then

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Audiolab M-DAC

If there is one product that has captured the public imagination in recent years, it is this. Like the Dual CS505 turntable, NAD 3020 integrated amplifier and Mission 760 loudspeakers before it, here is an ‘affordable audiophile’ product that sounds

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Audiolab M-DAC

If there is one product that has captured the public imagination in recent years, it is this. Like the Dual CS505 turntable, NAD 3020 integrated amplifier and Mission 760 loudspeakers before it, here is an ‘affordable audiophile’ product that sounds

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dCS Debussy

The flagship four-box dCS Vivaldi system – with its transport, DAC, clock and upsampler – is a glorious thing. Yet it’s also crazily expensive and complex to set up, and demands large amounts of house room. The entry-level Debussy – which shares much of its

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dCS Debussy

The flagship four-box dCS Vivaldi system – with its transport, DAC, clock and upsampler – is a glorious thing. Yet it’s also crazily expensive and complex to set up, and demands large amounts of house room. The entry-level Debussy – which shares much of its