Shown here with a stack of DSD-ready DACs, including offerings from dCS, EMM Labs and Mytek.
This room, and this display of DACs, marked the digital footprint of CES this year — it was DSD, all the time, and everywhere. While I’m not sold on the “value” of this particular format (as opposed to PCM) — I’m agnostic, if you will — I do like to see enthusiasm for computer-based audio. For whatever reason, DSD seems to be catching the imagination — at least for now. The most heard question at the show, for me at least, was: is this DDS-compatible? I think a lot of manufacturers were taken aback. Fun to hear, here, the Sony crew taking advantage of their rather large Sony Classics Library — the bulk of which is stored digitally as … you guessed it … DSD files. And here I was wondering why Sony kept showing up at audio shows with Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records, talking up DSD … and now I know.
Other Sony rooms had a more fulsome sound, but the little NA2ES “fit” this room to a “T”, and as I said above, the bass at least seemed quite a bit more robust than their numbers suggest.
All in all, one of the best sounds at CES, in my book. Which surprised me. I mean, you know, it’s … Sony … who knew?