"If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad.
If it sounds good and measures bad, you've measured the wrong thing."


Building a reference system - Part 1: Metrum Octave MKII NOS DAC

Posted by Amine Slimani on October 10, 2014 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Many audiophiles believe that the source is the most important piece of equipment in an audio chain. Indeed, if information is missing from the source, there is nothing that even great preamplifiers, amplifiers, speakers or headphones can do to recover it and add it back to the chain. Conversely, if there is so...

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Review: Kingrex UD384 USB DAC (32bit/384Khz) & UPower

Posted by Amine Slimani on February 4, 2012 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (4)

Do we really need 32bits/384kHz capability in a DAC? That is the first question I asked myself when Christine from Kingrex asked me if I were interested in reviewing their newly released UD384 usb dac. It is until recently that 24/96 and 24/192 have become more common but there is still a long way to catch up with the choice of material released in the 16/44 RBCD forma...

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Review: Audiophilleo 2 USB to SPDIF Converter - The Missing Link

Posted by Amine Slimani on November 4, 2011 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (13)

When I started writing about USB to SPDIF converters around two years ago, I faced a lot of skepticism over at head-fi. Some of the usual complaints were rather similar to the following: How is it possible that two bit perfect transports can sound any different from one another? How is it possible that gigabytes of data can be transported over USB cabl...

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Review: Kingrex UC192 USB to Spdif Converter

Posted by Amine Slimani on February 16, 2011 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


These past 2 years, we have seen an increasing number of USB to SPDIF devices hit the market. While the first devices were seriously limited in both connectivity and raw performance, they were mainly intended to provide a means to connect our computers to external DACs. The newest generation of usb to spdif converters raised the performance bar, and some USB converters can now sonical...

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Mini Review: DSP1 V5 upgrade for the Audio-gd DAC19DSP

Posted by Amine Slimani on December 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (14)



How much can a digital filter affect the sound of the DAC? Up until last year, I was unaware of the importance (and even the role) of the digital filter in the sonic outcome of a DAC. It was until I used the DAC19MK3 and got to compare side by side the HDCD capable PMD100 against the DF1704 that I started to understand the importance of the digital filter. I found that both thePMD100 and DF1704 had strengths and weaknesses which led me to replace the da...

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The USB to SPDIF shoot-out Review - Part 2 : Teralink-X2 vs. Jkeny's modified Hiface vs. Audio-gd digital interface

Posted by Amine Slimani on October 12, 2010 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Before getting into the second part of this review, I wanted to take a moment to describe the effect of a small “tweak” that can applied to many USB converters, the USB2ISO or ADUM isolator.

What this little dongle does is that it provides galvanic isolation between the computer and whatever converter is connected through USB.

USB2ISO isolator (galvanic USB isolation):

Many USB converters have some sort of tr...

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Review: Jkeny's modified Hiface - A battery powered USB transport

Posted by Amine Slimani on April 18, 2010 at 12:08 PM Comments comments (0)



A few months ago I started a thread (the usb to spdif shoot review) where I compared 4 usb to spdif converters. Up until recently, I had tried in my system 6 different usb converters and the stock M2tech Hiface was still my favourite.


A few weeks ago, jkeny told us about the mods he performed on the Hiface. He offered to send me for review his modded Hiface which I gladly accepted. So after listening...

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Review of the Audio-gd DAC 19-DSP & C2 headphone amp - The ACSS (Audio-gd Current Signal System) connection

Posted by Amine Slimani on April 18, 2010 at 10:53 AM Comments comments (0)


For those wondering what ACSS means it is the acronym for Audio-gd Current Signal System which is similar to Krell’s CAST system.


What it means that when you connect your whole chain in ACSS, there are 2 interesting things:

1. The signal is being transmitted in the current domain, which minimizes the effect of the cables on the transmission.

2. The whole system acts as one single gai...

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Review of the Purepiper DAC A-1 - An excellent 24/96 budget DAC

Posted by Amine Slimani on March 8, 2010 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (1)



I was asked by a fellow head-fier (on behalf of Purepiper) if I were interested in reviewing a DAC from a Chinese company I have never heard of before.

After accepting, Purepiper sent me pretty quickly their DAC A-1 and I received it about 2 weeks ago.



Packaging and Build Quality:



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Review of the Audio-GD FUN - A modular Dac / Headphone amp / Preamp

Posted by Amine Slimani on January 24, 2010 at 6:41 AM Comments comments (0)

I - Preamble:

The Audio-GD FUN is the replacement of the Compass which has been extensivelydescribed here by Currawong on, so I won't go into the details. 


Like the Compass, it is a DAC / pre-amp / headphone amp in one enclosure. Butthe novelty here is that has a modular design that lets even the unskilled userto replace different modules to tailor the sound of the FUN accordingly.


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