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AQVOX USB DAC : Initial impressions...

Hi Gang!

I've been toying around for a couple of days now with a brand new AQVOX USB DAC (made in Germany). It also has Coax-S/PDIF, AES/EBU and Toslink.
It's a fully balanced design, with both XLR & RCA outputs, does upsampling to 24/192, is reasonably well built with audiophile quality components, a discrete single-ended Class A output stage and many other nice features ( for full details please check the link below - I'm NOT a dealer for them, just an initially VERY impressed user ).

I only have about 20 or so hours on this unit but the sound quality is amazing considering the 950 Euros asking price. This is a true audiophile sounding unit which seriously trounced a stock Benchmark that I also auditionned, by a very wide margin.

I listened using it as my 'sound card' usb direct from my laptop and also thru a Trends Audio UD-10.1 as the 'sound card' going to the DAC with a Coax. I preferred the latter more.

Compared to my Assemblage DAC 3.1 Platinum/D2D-1 De-Jitter-upsampler, the AQVOX has more air, a deeper and better defined soundstage, better decay of notes and a tad more laid back presentation with a DEAD SILENT black background. So far, the Assemblage Combo outclasses the AQVOX in sonic weight, soundstage width, height and a fuller bodied presentation.

I haven't tried any upsampling modes yet. Waiting till the unit is fully broken-in.

The company has a very nice, audiophile sounding USB cable but at an extra cost (150 Euros for 1.7 metre). It's very well constructed, details on the website too. I'm using that cable too with excellent sonic results.

I hope with more break-in, the sound will become fuller and more mature. Im hoping it will be very close to the Assemblage units, if not exactly similar, in that regard.

Otherwise, this is a serious piece of gear to consider and I feel its a real audiophile steal for the asking price.

Set-Up : Cary SlAM-100 (6550/6sn7 russian tubes) Monoblocks, Plinius M-8 Preamp, Paradigm Studio Monitor 60 V4, Trends Audio UD-10.1, Acer Aspire 4315 laptop w/2GB Ram, Vista Ultimate, Foobar (latest Beta) w/ASIO4ALL. All cables by Slinkylinks, Power Cords by Acoustic Zen (El Nino).

More to come...

AP



# The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men # Jules Winnfield(Ezekiel 25:17)>Pulp Fiction<



Edits: 02/25/08 02/25/08

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Topic - AQVOX USB DAC : Initial impressions... - Audio Pharaoh 16:26:14 02/25/08 (18)

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