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Music servers and other computer based digital audio technologies.

Those 9 things...

"Holy crap! I'd plugged in nine devices just to get my file to the DAC. But I had to admit that the sound and musical connection this Rube Goldberg playback chain provided was immensely better than what was possible with a laptop or even most dedicated servers connected directly to the DAC."

Interesting review. Sounds like this could be a good DAC although I'm not sure how "transformational" it is. Good to have acknowledgement that "hi-res" is not all that it's sold to be over the years.

Now as for the "9 devices". I wonder what the designer thinks about this. Regardless of whether those devices do anything of benefit, I don't see why the company and the designer of the DAC would be impressed with reviews that attached all that stuff in front of it.

If the review is positive, the readership might be put off because there's the impression that those doohickeys may be "needed" to make it sound good, and that perhaps the DAC's digital input is somehow not good enough to be linked up directly.

If the review has negative comments, then the astute readership again doesn't know if maybe there could be incompatibilities with that "Rube Goldberg Machine". Alternatively the negative comments could be construed directly as evidence that the DAC is poor; but what if it really was because of the reviewer's bizarre set-up?

IMO, unless there is evidence that putting ANYTHING in front of a DAC makes a difference and can be accounted for (or if the manufacturer believes a specific device is recommended), I see no benefit for reviewers to get fancy. Putting too many variables into the mix simply weakens the opinion; especially when just based on subjective opinions with no clear objective context.

Archimago's Musings: A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

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