RMAF 2013: Resonessence Labs


It was good to see Resonessence Labs at RMAF this year — given John Grandberg’s recent Part-Time Audiophile review of the Concero HD, I was really curious to see what else these folks were up to.

Turns out, there were a couple of things that caught my eye. First up was the new $350 Herus, a headphone DAC/amp based on ES9010-2m chip from ESS (where the Resonessence team actually came from). The Herus supports all the latest and greatest, including DSD64 and DSD128, DXD, and PCM up to 24bit/384kHz, all over asynchronous USB Audio 2.0. With 2.4v RMS output, 100dB+ SNR and a THD of .003%, I was more than a little interested to get my ears on. I’m glad I did — so glad, in fact, that I have one now with me for a more formal write up. First thoughts? It kicks ass. More soon.

Also in the room was an Invictus Mirus, which was new-to-me. The $4,995 DAC is essentially the same as the Invicta DAC (also $4,995) that won all the awards and justifiable attention — minus the headphone elements. In the Mirus, that space was given over to dual ES9018 chips … and … wait for it … there are …. eight pairs per channel. Yes, that’s 32 DAC chips in the Mirus. This gives a bit of a bump in performance (ahem), moving the Mirus to 130dB of SNR, and 0.0002% THD. Yeah. Holy guacamole, Batman.

Another interesting bit was the prototype “Projecta” amplifier. This stereo amp is still a year out and pretty much everything is still TBD, but it’s illustrative of where this group is heading.





About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

1 Comment

  1. Scot,
    Res. Labs was kitty corner from us at RMAF. I made the unfortunate mistake of borrowing their $5k DAC, driven by a lowly CD spinning in my early-mid 00s Sony DVP-NS900V SACD player modded by TRL (Paul Weitzel). I’m more than a little familiar with the disc, Frank Vignola playing a Thorell arch top built by Ryan Thorell about ten minutes S of my home (I’m a broker for Thorell).

    To say this DAC ruined me for every prior CD playback is a major understatement. It’s been about eight years since I heard dCs’ multi-piece top tier rig (external clock, etc), but I estimate this new Invicta at less than 1/10th the cost is as good or better.

    Yikes, time to add papers to my paper route!

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