Tuesday, June 27, 2017
High End 2017
in Munich
Brand New
Video Series
NAD C 368
DAC-Integrated
New Integrated
Anthem STR
Vandersteen
Model Seven Mk.II
Ayre Acoustics
QX-5 DAC
Paradigm's Flagship
Persona 9H
Newsflash:
Merging NADAC ST-2 on SoundStage! Ultra ... Read the review
Onkyo's A-9010 on SoundStage! Access ... Read the review

Sponsors

Price: $1199

Website: www.acousticresearch-hifi.com

Rad said: If you don’t carry your music player in your pocket, but use it primarily at home or on long commutes, the AR-M2 should add a lot of quality to your life as a traveling audiophile.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: AR is back with a bang!

Price: $1399

Website: www.furutech.com

Oliver said: The ADL Stratos is a fine example of what a well-designed control center should be, and it offers terrific value for the level of sound quality and features offered. If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced, preamp-style interface for your sources and headphones, take the ADL Stratos for a spin: you just might find that it’s all the preamp you need.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Cool little digital preamp with tons of functionality.

Price: www.arcam.co.uk

Website: $799

Roger said: Whether used as a conventional DAC or as a DAC-preamp, Arcam’s irDAC-II consistently provided a level of sound quality that exceeded my expectations for something so inexpensive.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: High-value little DAC from longstanding British electronics company.

Price: $3499

Website: www.AstellnKern.com

Rad said: Is the AK380 worth $3499? Is a Jaguar or a Cadillac worth its high price? Yes and no. There’s no question that the A&K is the best portable media player around, but as for how much the best should cost, you’ll have to decide. But I seriously doubt that the AK380 will disappoint anyone, even at $3499.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Pricey, but maybe the best portable out there.

Prices: $199 (Red), $99 (Black)

Website: www.audioquest.com

Al said: AudioQuest’s new Red and Black DragonFly DACs represent solid advances in sound quality over the original DragonFly, and provide the further benefit of compatibility with iOS and Android devices. At $199, the Red is a great value. But if you’re strapped for cash, or don’t expect to experiment with exotic headphones any time soon, you’ll be well served by the $99 Black.

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: High-end sound in the littlest packages.

Price: $2699

Website: www.aurender.com

Vade said: Aurender’s N100H, like their S10 server I reviewed several years ago, sounds terrific. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a music server that sounds better, and maybe none as good.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Aurender quality and convenience at a more affordable price than before.

Price: $499

Website: www.bluesound.com

Kevin said: I have seldom enjoyed listening to a single audio component as much as I have to the variety and versatility of the Bluesound medley of models. Imagine -- you can hear any file in your entire music collection in any room simply by dialing it up on the Bluesound app. How cool is that?

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Streaming is where it’s at and this will get you there.

Price: $499

Website: www.bluesound.com

Kevin said: I have seldom enjoyed listening to a single audio component as much as I have to the variety and versatility of the Bluesound medley of models. Imagine -- you can hear any file in your entire music collection in any room simply by dialing it up on the Bluesound app. How cool is that?

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Paul Barton’s little all-in-one speaker.

Price: $1199

Website: www.bluesound.com

Kevin said: I have seldom enjoyed listening to a single audio component as much as I have to the variety and versatility of the Bluesound medley of models. Imagine -- you can hear any file in your entire music collection in any room simply by dialing it up on the Bluesound app. How cool is that?

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: A big improvement over the original.

Price: $3495

Website: www.bryston.com

Philip said: I’m certain that its many strengths, both sonic and functional, will find it lasting homes in the systems of many music lovers, and I don’t think it needs any stronger endorsement than that.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Incremental improvement in the Bryston DAC platform.

Price: $6000

Website: www.esoteric-usa.com

Tom said: The price of admission to Club Esoteric may be steep, but you get what you pay for. The K-07X is a perfect fusion of ravishing industrial design and extraordinary engineering that resulted, for me, in amazing listening experiences.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Entry-level Esoteric player is no lightweight.

Price: $10,500

Website: www.nadac.merging.com

Jeff said: In terms of value, functionality, and sound quality, this Swiss-made DAC will win many fans. I predict that it will enjoy a long run in a product category that seems to change daily.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Forward-thinking Swiss DAC for all your computer-based sources.

Price: $15,000

Website: www.simaudio.com

Aron said: To say that I like Simaudio’s Moon Evolution 780D would be a gross understatement. I’m enchanted by it. It’s the best-sounding DAC I’ve heard in my system, and quite possibly the best-sounding DAC I have heard, period.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Simaudio’s best DAC is the best Aron has heard.

Price: $3999

Website: www.psaudio.com

Philip said: The DSJ is an incredibly detailed- and wonderfully transparent-sounding component whose fluid, natural sound is musical and highly addictive. During my time with it, I enjoyed revisiting many discs and files, simply to hear how they’d sound through the DSJ. It never failed to impress. If you’re in the market for a new DAC and want topflight sound, it would be a mistake not to hear it.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Excellent follow-up to the well-regarded DirectStream DAC.

Price: $3000

Website: www.sotm-audio.com

Vade said: I really liked the SOtM sMS-1000SQ server and sPS-1000 power supply. They’re gorgeous to look at, even better (if only slightly) to listen to than my computer-based server, and easy to use with the very attractive iPeng 8 remote-control app. Highly recommended.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Computer doubling as a nice hi-fi component.

Price: $35,000

Website: www.soulution-audio.com

Jeff said: Overall, the 560 easily produced the best sound I’ve heard in my system. It made me forget the debate of analog vs. digital, and encouraged me to just explore my music collection and forge ahead to discover new music.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Ultra-expensive DAC to round out your SOTA Soulution system.

Price: $8500

Website: www.taelektroakustik.de

Hans said: T+A Elektroakustik’s MP 2000 R is a fine example of what a top-flight, modern digital front end should look, feel, and sound like.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: If it’s digital, this thing will play it, and play it well.

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