Texas based Believe High Fidelity has been hittin’ the gym recently. They were pumping some iron, as they loaded the beautiful Aries Cerat Kassandra MK II Dac (60kg), Aries Cerat Diana Forte Stereo amp (132kg) and Aries Cerat Incito Pre-amp (30kg), and a pair of Vandersteen 5A speakers (160kg) wired with Vermouth cables into room 319 @ T.H.E. Newport Show.
2 minutes into listening, it was clear to me… they don’t mess around in Texas, the room packed a wallop!
I’m long been a fan of the Vandersteen 7 speakers. Although I’ve heard their little brother, the Vandersteen 5 at various times, at Newport I gained a new respect for what the Vandersteen 5A can do, when backed with top notch electronics and cabling.
Providing wonderful source music for Vandersteen 5As was the new Aries Cerat Kassandra MK II Dac. It’s officially the largest, heaviest DAC I have seen to date. Bigger is better when it comes to Aries Cerat, and I encourage you to give it a listen to.
My experience was similar to the Meridian Ultra DAC and MSB Select II DAC demos at Newport, where they elevated digital music reproduction. Why? It produced music, engaging music. Lots of detail, but not too much, beautiful midrange, fast dynamics, all with the just the right pace.
Believe High Fidelity executed a simple and elegant setup. No mess, no fuss, no fancy racks, no tweaks, no room conditioning or voodoo accessories required. Nothing. Heck, the even left the gear all sitting on the ground, on that not so lovely hotel carpet.
On my short list for fabulous rooms at Newport, and one that I would have returned to if I had more time.
Aries Cerat Specifications provided in the room
Aries Cerat Kassandra Mk II DAC:
- USB input up to 24/384KHz
- New converter system
- PCM 384K/24bit
- DSD playback (using DOP)
- 16 Ladder Dacs per channel
- E280F Supertubes
- 10V output
- Internal Superclocker/Reclocker
Aries Cerat – Diana Series – Forte SET Stereo Amplifier
- 60W RMS, Class A
- DHT 813/814 Tubes
- AC Link Technology
- Noise Floor 100db
- Bandwidth 15hz to 110 khz,
- 6 triple filtered PSU
Full equipment List:
- Speakers: Vandersteen 5A speakers ($29.5k)
- DAC: Aries Cerat Kassandra Reference MK II DAC ($35k)
- Pre-amp: Aries Cerat Incito pre-amplifier ($12k)
- Amplifier: Aries Cerat Diana Forte SET power amplifier ($27.5k)
- Cables: Vermouth cables