High End 2014: dCS, D’Agostino, Wilson and Transparent and a Breguet watch
By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis
Digital Conversion Systems aka dCS brought their latest digital playback system, the Vivaldi DAC complete with CD/SACD transport, upsampler and master clock for a total price somewhere north of $100.000. They also brought, directly from their facilities the rest of the system, a pair of Wilson Audio Alexias and D’Agostino’s gorgeous Momentum monos. These are among the few amplifiers that manage to output serious amounts of power (300W/8Ohms) while keeping a low profile thanks to the copper heatsinks with cooling venturis. And they also sport a Brequet-inspired power indicator that is a true touch of beauty.
Cables were from Transparent Opus series. The speaker cable had a nice hi-tech, carbon fiber BBQ grill attached to it; I left my foot in the pic so you get the idea of how big it was. Sooner or later we will have cables bigger than power amps (probably more expensive too) and I asked myself more than once if all this is necessary.
Anyway, I must make a confession, I never got to connect with the Alexias in the past. More than once I felt like something was missing between the integration of the tweeter with the rest of the drivers. Not this time. Maybe the Momentums, maybe Vivaldi himself, the end result was very, very good. The guys from dCS brought a selection of music called “The spirit of turtle” and the overall sound was extremely refined with a sense of harmonious flow distant from the stereotyped digital sound. Soundstage was wide, background was perfectly black and music was popping out of nowhere.