For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" November 2020 iMac (i5, 256GB SSD, Ventura 13.3, 40GB RAM), 4TB external SSD with Thunderbolt 3, Audirvana Origin, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund/Job 225 on subwoofer; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara, Meze 109 Pro; Loudspeakers: sound|kaos Vox 3awf + sound|kaos DSUB15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Qualio IQ [on loan] Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Shanling M3 Ultra into Soundaware D300Ref SD transport to Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: Vinnie Rossie L2 Signature and icOn 4th-order/80Hz; Amplifier: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini or Acelec Model One + Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF, Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature; Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: TBA
From the maker's comments after my review of his Ancient Audio Lektor Transport: "You pointed at immediately switching the same music between two devices. It was my earlier nightmare particularly when designing speakers. My hearing accommodation was faster than predicted so I needed to quickly switch between reference speakers and new design. Moving from my sofa to switching speakers to finding the sweet spot back on the sofa consumed precious seconds. So I made this gadget which can switch between three speakers no matter if passive or active while equalizing their sensitivity. This switch has its own Class A single-ended amplifier. Additionally there's the Digital Speaker Processor with three programs for three different speakers. The remote is wired which makes it easy to find. Switching between speakers in 0.01s without moving from the seat was very helpful during designing and evaluating finished pairs.
"I used the same gadget while designing my new CD player Lektor Joy. It'll be my next model in this range and what I'll ship to your Irish castle soon. I needed to compare three output stages of CD prototype concepts: vacuum tube, transistor, IC. Using relays, I could switch by remote without leaving my seat. And, fast switching showed no big differences between three analog output stages. Longer listening to whole tunes and following emotions not 'technical' attention was necessary to find differences at the core of musical playback then select the proper parts and circuits for the production version.
"In your review I found another interesting point: the timing of my transport which you called phrasing of vitality versus laziness. Timing is an underappreciated feature of music. Every fifth year in October, our Polish culture focuses on the Chopin Piano Competition, the most prestigious competition of the classical piano world. It's a massive occasion for music lovers because all performances transmit live on TV and radio as performed by the best young classical pianists in the world. What's interesting is asking ourselves why some are simply boring yet others provoke standing ovations. All play the very same notes of Chopin's Mazurkas. They play on the same Steinway, Fazioli, Yamaha, Kawai or Bösendorfer grand piano. The hall of the National Philhamonic is the same. Its reverb is the same because the seats always sell out. So where are the differences between boring replay and the highest level of the art?
"Just two: dynamics and timing as the force of striking the keys and the precise moment of each strike. Nothing more. That explains why I'm so focused on both factors in my devices. Timing and dynamics of the Lektor Transport give us a closer illusion of live music. Thank you for finding this feature." Today's report investigates what happens when to his Pro8-based nude top loader, Jarek adds an internal DAC to make his black slab precision-machined in Taiwan into a complete CD player. As a companion report to the pure transport's, having read the latter is foregone conclusion to avoid retreading much ground I covered already.
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