Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sponsors

(2017) Stereo Digital Source Components

Price: $599

Website: www.arcam.co.uk

Al said: At $599, the rPlay costs 20 times as much as Google’s puck-like Chromecast Audio -- but when you use the Arcam to listen to Tidal or Spotify, or stream music from a media server on your computer or NAS, your ears will tell you that the difference is worth the money.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Hi-rez streaming the Arcam way.

Price: $7500

Website: www.audioresearch.com

Vade said: I know several audiophiles who spurn any prepackaged server/network player, preferring to optimize their systems’ sound by tweaking the system parameters; if that’s the way you feel, the DAC9’s very good sound quality and gorgeous looks make it an easy recommendation.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: The Linux limitation is the big issue with the DAC9.

Price: $3799

Website: www.auralic.com

Al said: At $3799, the Polaris is hardly a budget option. But if your expectations for an all-in-one audio component are high, it won’t disappoint you.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Feature-rich streaming integrated at a reasonable price.

Award: Reviewers' Choice

Price: $5500

Website: www.aurender.com

Uday said: The Aurender A10 is a fantastic product that brings Aurender’s already proven and well-regarded server technology to a broader market, while including a high-quality preamp and DAC.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Now you get a DAC with the proven Aurender server.

Price: $8950

Website: www.ayre.com

Philip said: What I can say is that the QX-5 Twenty is a beautifully designed, well-built component that could easily anchor a state-of-the-art sound system for years to come.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Classic Ayre sound in a modern digital source.

Price: $3495

Website: www.bryston.com

Philip said: A BCD-3 isn’t cheap, but if you’ve spent the last 25 or so years amassing a library of CDs, you’ll want to hear them sound their best. The Bryston BCD-3 can deliver that.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Yep, they're still making these, and this is a good one.

Price: $25,000

Website: www.emmlabs.com

Doug said: EMM Labs’ DA2 Reference is exceptional: Rather than strike a balance between musicality and detail, it provides both without limitation or compromise.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: The best DAC Doug has heard.

Award: Reviewers' Choice

Price: $27,000

Website: www.esoteric-usa.com

Howard said: The Grandioso K1 is an obvious contender for the best one-box digital performer.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Contender for the best one-box disc player available.

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