February
2019

Country of Origin

USA

intimo

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref,  AURALiC Vega 
Preamplifier: Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module)
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Kroma Audio Mimí; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Headphones: Final Sonorous III, X and D8000, HifiMan HE-1000 & Susvara, Sennheiser HD800, Meze Neo Classic, Audeze LCD-X
Headphone amps: Bakoon AMP-12R, Questyle CMA-800A (x2), COS Engineering H1, Nagra Classic Preamp, Kinki Studio Vision THR-1, Eversound Essence

Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL3000 and Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands 
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: $1'499 single-ended

íntimo. Headphones. Intimate. Up close and personal. Purely private. This EJ Sarmento DAC/headfi deck first teased at RMAF 2015. But it's still named just perfectly even in its Portuguese spelling. To eliminate failed fumbling underneath the sheets, there's a three-stage gain switch, balance control and 3-band EQ. If your headphones can't get it on with íntimo, there's something wrong with them. To avoid being left behind by high sample rates, there's a 32-bit 384kHz PCM and 128 DSD ESS Sabre chip. Because they're sexy, control buttons for phase, tone, power, down and up are capacitive touch. To hit the target even in pitch-black darkness, there's a large alphanumeric display. Because preferences vary, there are two coax, two optical and one USB. To not sell you what you won't do, there are single-ended or balanced versions. In either case, it's anodized aluminium and a class A operation, hence the exposed heat sinks on the right cheek. In short, it's a Wyred4Sound mINT for just earphones. Metal work redone. No class D in sight. Remote control included.

… more to come…