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dCS Bartok DAC, Part One | Review

by Lee Scoggins in Digital

Every once and a while, a product will turn up at the house for review that is so special, it changes what I understand to be possible for an audio component. And let’s face it; most of us don’t have anything resembling “unlimited budgets”, so finding something magical at a price you might (barely/one day/maybe-possibly) afford can make for a great day. For me, I found the dCS Bartok DAC to be just such an animal. I started reviewing DACs in the headphone space many [...]

4 Comments

  • Sparkler Audio Spiral, Ether | Review

    August 11, 2019 // 8 Comments

    A Box of Sparklers My introduction to the wares of Sparkler Audio (website) was through the 2017 and 2018 Capital Audiofest shows. There, I’d made note of Sparker’s quirky Spiral compact disc player, which had been featured in both the Charney Audio and VK Music rooms. Given that I had really enjoyed the sound in these rooms at both shows, I was determined to put Sparker Audio on my “to do” radar. That little CD player just kept tugging at me, as I had been considering getting a disc [...]
  • TotalDAC USB Gigafilter

    TotalDAC USB Gigafilter | Review

    August 4, 2019 // 2 Comments

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    March 22, 2019 // 7 Comments

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  • Audio Fur and the Border Patrol DAC

    January 6, 2019 // 17 Comments

    The Dissenting Opinion Stereophile’s Herb Reichert posted a letter on the web version of an “As We See It” column written by his colleague Jon Iverson. I’m reposting it here (with linking and attribution) for several reasons, but mainly because I want to use it as a map to work out my … feelings. The TL;DR of this (rather long) post is summarized pretty much entirely by Mr. Reichert’s comments. I have taken the liberty of then beating said horse past [...]
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    September 16, 2018 // 8 Comments

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  • Audio Note UK DAC 2.1x Signature Review

    July 7, 2018 // 3 Comments

    Unexpected Pleasures I wanted to share a few notes about the Audio Note UK (website) DAC 2.1x Signature that Mr. Q sent along with the CDT-Two/II transport that I so greatly admired. The US price for the DAC2.1x Signature is $4,900. Like the transport, this DAC sits about mid-way through their “levels” of digital converter products. It includes the expected Audio Note “secret sauce” componentry, including Black Gate caps, Tantalum resistors, a choke-regulated and tube [...]
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    March 25, 2018 // 9 Comments

    There is this one kind of reviews I don’t want to take, the ones I am not sure I will enjoy. I prefer analog to digital sources and if I must spent some time listening to zeros and ones, I prefer them comin’ out of a ladder DAC and not some ΔΣ of the shelf chip. But I am open to suggestions, new ideas and I have several friends always asking me for relatively affordable components, and those usually come with an Asahi Kasei or ESS chip inside. Mytek, known for being among the [...]
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  • KEF LS50 Wireless loudspeakers, Shinola Runwell turntable, Roon Labs, TIDAL and Spotify -- all in one system. [...]
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  • Review: Clones Audio HOST Music Server

    April 30, 2017 // 4 Comments

    by John Grandberg “It’s hard when you’re stuck upon the shelf.” So sang Eddie Vedder on “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, circa 1993. While I’m reasonably confident he wasn’t referring to audio gear, the idea does seem to apply to one poor component in my setup – the little PC I built to handle Roon Server duties. Since I now base nearly all of my listening around Roon, this particular device is a critical link in my chain. [...]
  • Border Patrol SE DAC Review | Zero Frippery

    April 16, 2017 // 19 Comments

    Looking at the Border Patrol SE DAC, you have to smile. It’s cute! Can you even say that about at kick-ass piece of audio gear? Maybe it’s disrespectful. Too bad — because everybody knows that good things come in small packages. To be fair, good things come in big packages too. The common denominator is “packages” and I sure like packages. Sometimes, I’ll order something silly (like a pack of pens) from Amazon just so a package will come. Because [...]
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