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ZeroUno Ultra

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: late 2020 Retina 5K 27" iMac with 40GB RAM and Ventura 13.3, 4TB external SSD, Audirvana Origin, Qobuz Sublime, 
Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 network switch with SOtM iSO-CAT7 isolator, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund/Job 225; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Qualio Auido IQ + sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Furutech RTP-6 on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioner; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass 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, Soundaware D300Ref SD transport, Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 80Hz active filter, Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature w. ER50; Amp: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustics SuperMon Mini, 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 but ~€12.5K for Ultra, ~€18.5K for Ultra + version expected

Venice. Just six letters long, the word invokes instant most picturesque associations. Amongst audiophile cognoscenti, it evokes brand CanEver helmed by engineer Mario CanEver. His ZeroUno range of D/A converters means friends with benefits. Think headfi; or 6SN7 triode outputs; or pure solid-state preamplitude with amorphous output transformers. Digital or analog volume control. Capacitor-free signal paths. No global feedback. Finally there's the optional universal I²S interface executed balanced on 19-pin HDMI or unbalanced on either 8-pin RJ45, 5/6-pin DIN, 9-pin D-SUB or 4 x BNC connectors. For Ultra it means four digital inputs which can consist of USB, coax, AES/EBU, BNC or I²S. The Ultra+ adds three line-level analog inputs in any combination of RCA/XLR then a 128-step analog volume control. His LaScala and Olimpico amplifiers are different too. Both are DC-coupled, with a tube gain stage followed by a push/pull Mosfet current buffer coupled to transformer outputs and run off massive output power supplies. Mario likes simple circuits with coupling magnetics. Rather than pure tube, his inner engineer prefers hybrids which harness disparate strengths.

Photo credit: 

At the Munich HighEnd 2023 show, he launched the ZeroUno Ultra. Given what came before, the suffix is tantalizing. Afterwards three samples would travel to sundry EU dealers. In the early fall, one of those was booked for an Irish pitstop. That's when this story shall kick off in earnest. For now it's just the flimsiest of teasers. But that's what teasers are supposed to be. You see a lot but never everything. It's meant to stimulate your imagination, perhaps even appetite or lust. But that's as far as the benefits go. For now.

… to be continued…