StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: dac

Leema Acoustics Pulse IV

Leema Acoustics' new Pulse IV amplifier is the ideal hub for contemporary music-listening with its turntable connectivity, Bluetooth playback and seven digital inputs enabling a huge range of devices to connect. The Pulse IV is a highly versatile and powerful integrated amplifier that enables a world of music to be enjoyed with Leema Acoustics' sound quality thanks to a huge connectivity suite bringing together music playback in all its forms, whether on vinyl, streamed from smartphones and tablets via aptX Bluetooth, or stored on computers, laptops and more.

Astell&Kern ACRO L1000

Astell&Kern introduces a new sub-brand of desktop audio products called ACRO. Astell&Kern has taken their expertise in designing best-selling, world-class portable audio devices and put that knowledge into the first desktop audio product, the ACRO L1000 - the first desktop headphone amplifier from Astell&Kern.

Rotel RAP-1580

Rotel Electronics introduced the RAP-1580 home theater surround amplified processor. The RAP-1580 is the ideal home theater solution for those who don't have space for separate components, yet still desire uncompromising performance. Sporting the latest HDMI2.0a hardware and Dolby Atmos and DTS-X 7.1.4 processing, its amplifier section is built upon a powerful class A/B design with 7 x 100 watts per channel, all channels driven into 8 ohms, anchored by a massive Rotel-made toroidal transformer.

Eryk S Concept Red King Premium

Companies making audio equipment can be divided into those big ones, which produce relatively considerable amounts of generally likeable equipment and smaller ones - usually very specialized workshops whose products are often more original, distinctive and individual. Those smaller factories are the ones who create advanced amplifiers in individualized enclosures, speakers using extraordinary drivers or turntables shaped like works of art. Inventions like that are made for the music enthusiasts and connoisseurs. They are not mass-produced in giant factories. These items are made for those who generally appreciate such a sophisticated equipment, and sometimes they are personalized just for one client, who ordered speakers in a specific colour or with some modifications applied just in this one instance. Eryk S Concept is one of these manufacturers. Here, every device is unconventional, and almost every element of an amplifier or speaker deserves our attention. Is the new Red King Premium going to sound as well as it looks?

iFi Audio iDAC2 Micro Unboxing

iFi Audio is one of those brands which came up with the right products at exactly the right time. It all started with just a few devices in small metal boxes, each designed to do one thing - a phono stage, headphone amplifier or a D/A converter. Then the catalogue expanded and another product line was launched. Now iFi Audio also makes small hi-fi systems with their own speakers, but the Micro series will always be a bit special.

John Franks - Chord Electronics

Just as we were finishing the review of two DACs by Chord Electronics, we had an opportunity to meet the founder of the company and ask him some questions about the technology used in the latest devices and his idea of a perfect sound reproduction so to speak. John Franks is not a musician or self-taught electronical engineer as it often happens, but an avionics engineer who knows his trade very well. This job and everything that goes with it, has been translated into the world of high-end audio equipment. The company was founded in 1989 and since then it has been associated with technical innovation and brilliant design. Chord's sources and amplifiers are not only intriguing to look at, but also full of stuff you won't find anywhere else.

Chord Hugo & Hugo TT

Mission, B&W, KEF, Castle, Celestion, Rogers, NAD, Acoustic Energy, Naim, Spendor, Harbeth or ProAc are only a few companies whose names all audiophiles should associate with what might be called the British school of sound. Absolutely, this does not mean that the products of all these brands sound the same. You can distinguish here, at least, a couple of trends, but there is no denying that in this part of the world a lot of audiophile legends were created. Recently, another British company reminded us about itself. So far Chord Electronics were mainly engaged in hi-end gear for home use, but thanks to a small, functional headphone DAC everyone heard about it. This DAC was of course the Hugo. Hugo TT is its bigger brother - a typical desktop model, with an expanded functionality. Since we didn't have a chance to review any of them, we took both and decided to compare them.

Hegel HD30

When the D/A converters conquered the market, some saw it only as evolutionary dead end. For traditionalists, a DAC could only be a part of a CD player. However, people who ten years ago saw the future in combining the hi-fi with music files stored on a computer, were also not convinced that DACs are a final solution. Some time later, the servers playing music from built-in hard drive or external memory sticks were born, and then the first streamers appeared. Today, the situation is quite predictable. DACs are on the rise - they are better, bigger and more advanced. Hegel is one of the companies that knows the world of DACs very well. The Norwegians produced them when the market was not so big, and since then they have been constantly developing their products in this segment. I had a chance to review most of them - the HD2, HD11, HD 12, HD20 and HD25. Now the company has decided to reach even further with the new flagship model - the HD30.

Lumin D1

The name Lumin should be familiar for audiophiles and music lovers. While the company started its business not so long ago (the first product was launched in 2012), it quickly gained the worldwide brand recognition. The beginnings of Lumin were controversial because the first streamer was very similar to another product in this category, manufactured by Linn. However, it soon became clear that despite some external similarities, Lumin is a completely different device in terms of sound and its possibilities. From the very beginning Lumin's streamer had the ability to play DSD files and music from USB drives connected directly to it. These options weren't offered by the competition.

PS Audio Sprout

PS Audio is an American company, specialising mainly in the production of the high-end power components and accessories. Especially its regenerating power stations enjoy good reputation. They convert energy from the wall socket to the DC, and then rebuild it as an ideal sine wave, thus creating a perfect electricity to supply the best audio devices, which are extremely sensitive to power quality, such as analogue and digital sources or preamplifiers. A few years ago a completely new series of components appeared in the catalogue - things like digital-to-analog converters and phono preamplifiers. Here the Americans focused on modern functionality and sound quality, so that this line has grown to five devices and two extra boards. Some time ago we saw an information about the planned launch of an integrated amplifier equipped with a full DAC, phono stage for MM cartridges, headphoneoutput and Bluetooth connectivity - all in an elegant, modern box and at an extremely attractive price.