Country of Origin



This review first appeared in October 2018 on By request of the manufacturer and permission of the author, it is hereby syndicated to reach a broader audience. All images contained in this piece are the property of Dawid Grzyb or Fidata- Ed.

Reviewer: Dawid Grzyb
Sources: Asus laptop, Fidata HFAS1-XS20U [on review], LampizatOr Pacific (KR Audio T-100 + KR Audio 5U4G Ltd. Ed.)
Integrated amplifiers: Trilogy 925, Kinki Audio EX-M1
Speakers: Boenicke Audio W8
Interconnects: Forza AudioWorks Noir, Audiomica Laboratory Erys Excellence
Speaker cables: Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept, Audiomica Laboratory Celes Excellence, Luna Gris
Power delivery: Gigawatt PF-2 + Gigawatt LC-2 MK2 + Forza AudioWorks Noir Concept/Audiomica Laboratory Ness Excellence
Rack: Franc Audio Accesories Wood Block Rack
Music: NativeDSD
Retail price of reviewed components in EU (excl. tax): €860/1'100/2'590 1.5/3/10m

The big cardboard box from Japan hid not one but three products in total. Shortly after crossing the Fidata HFAS1-XS20U off this review list, two other items awaited their turn. That's how today's Fidata HFLC LAN cable cued up. Of the three goods delivered, the HFAS1-XS20U component surely was most interesting for obvious reasons. Still, the Japanese cables demanded attention as well.

It quickly turned out that there was more to them than met the eye. But I shouldn't have been too surprised. Japanese audio hardware frequently looks, works and feels very much like stuff made by perfectionists – those types who don't talk much about their products, listen to a lot of music and pay fanatical attention to details which almost everyone else overlooks. The industry people from Japan I'm familiar with are never half-hearted. This has usually surprising effects which are only amplified by inconspicuous visuals.

Fidata's main products fit this description to perfection. Additional examples can be multiplied easily. Their current lineup consists of the HFAS1-S10U and HFAS1-XS20U servers/streamers and the digital HFLC (LAN) and HFU2 (USB) cables. All were designed to work in complimentary fashion. To appreciate the bigger picture, let's invoke the Combak Corporation's subsidiary brands Reimyo, Harmonix, Hijiri, Bravo, Encore and Enacom. Kazuo Kiuchi, the man behind all of these, explained to me once that he views any audio system as a metaphorically very much living being filled with important organs no matter their size or function.

Being perfectly aware of our industry's often nebulous marketing fluff, had I heard such a claim from someone else, I'd probably just smiled mischievously. But after several conversations with Kiuchi-san, I understood that he truly does view his work as a series of small yet mutually interacting cogs within a far larger mechanism. People familiar with Reimyo hardware usually agree that accessories by the same designer extract musical goodness far beyond the competing options.