About a month ago one of our Rep Partners dropped off a new digital to analog converter for us to audition. When we first hooked it up to a computer to play hi-res files we were very disappointed. That disappointment started a process that took us through a number of different computers until we found the right combinations of computer, (memory and speed), audio card(SPDIF and Toslink output) and music management system( JRiver which was suggested by Antelope Audio). First we tried USB but the performance was not up to our standards so we went to the optical and digital output on the computer and things got better. Of course we used very good cables for this hookup to insure we got the best performance possible.
The Digital to analog converter is from a company who has been in the pro market and is now just entering the consumer sector. This is a no nonsense company with a number of proprietary circuits. Antelope Audio makes a number of products but the one I am talking about is the Zodiac Gold. In a nutshell this DAC reveals more information on music I have listened to then any other product I have heard to date. It is truly amazing how much detail is revealed with out being bright or harsh. The sound stage is enormous in both width and depth, dynamics exceed anything I have heard in the past and the overall tonal balance is spot on.
Associated Equipment; Mark Levinson No532H power amp, Mark Levinson No326S pre amp, Bowers & Wilkins 802D, MIT Shotgun MA speaker wire, MIT Digital reference, MIT and Audioquest Colorado Balanced Interconnects between the pre amp and power amp.
My only regret is that too soon, we had to return the Zodiac back to our rep and missed what I believe is the finest DAC on the market.
The rep left the following material: