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RMAF 2013: Resonessence Labs

KEF R Series

CT6A1212 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.

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About Scot Hull (996 Articles)
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.

1 Comment on RMAF 2013: Resonessence Labs

  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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