Exogal Comet DAC


hi I'm looking for a new dac to replace my Audiomeca Ambrosia.....and my sights are set on the Auralic Vega and Exogal Comet. Not particularly interested in DSD at the moment ( and i had a Chord Qute HD) so i did have a taste of DSD for awhile, but not impressed with the offering so far....but i like what i have read about the Auralic Vega (never heard it) and I like the fact that the new Exogal Comet is made by former Wadia engineers.

so anyone heard the new Exogal yet? impressions?

i like all classical, most jazz, alternative rock (i.e Old REM, ) , grunge (Sound Garden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam) and some world.

thanks in advance

my system:
YBA Signature preamp and amp, reference 3A integral speakers, interconnect and power cabling by Nordost (valhalla and odin), and speaker cables by Hidiamond, Audiomeca Roma Turntable and SB Touch for steaming to DAC...lots of power conditioning by Exactpower, with room treatments and ASI resonators
ie
A little more money than the Exogel is the Metrum Hex. Unbelievable sounding dac. Have not heard the Exogal
Alan
I'm sitting in front of one right now and am thoroughly amazed at what this DAC is providing at anywhere near its asking price. I would seriously consider it, but it's hard to say more without knowing more of your needs or what you're hoping to gain by adding it. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. Presently, I'm Having a hard time finding anything the Comet is doing wrong; it seems quite happy to amaze me with any music genre I feed it.. Are there better dacs in existence?...possibly. However, I haven't heard anything within an order of magnitude in price that bests it in my opinion.
I'm sitting in front of one right now and am thoroughly amazed at what this DAC is providing at anywhere near its asking price. I would seriously consider it, but it's hard to say more without knowing more of your needs or what you're hoping to gain by adding it. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. Presently, I'm Having a hard time finding anything the Comet is doing wrong; it seems quite happy to amaze me with any music genre I feed it.. Are there better dacs in existence?...possibly. However, I haven't heard anything within an order of magnitude in price that bests it in my opinion.
@ Charding , thanks for your input..i guess i am looking to gain 2 things:

(a)slightly more compatibility with more music genres. If anything my current DAC can make heavily compressed music sound like heavily compressed music, go figure. But it still makes musical sense and by that i mean i can still follow the melody.
(b) a bit more depth, recording venue space sure seems to be spot on, but i might be just making a comparison in my brain to my vinyl rig

i have read some european reviews (translated via google) and it would seem the one thing that comes out bout the Comet is that it might not plumb the lowest depths, and may be more suitable for small room, monitor type speaker systems.

@arh..yes i had considered a Metrum Hex, part of me likes to think that all the hype is just that, a bit of disbelief ...i have had several other highly rated DACs in the past 3 years against my Audiomeca...they were sold after 6-8 week of trial
No hype. I have had the following
Sony 5400, Mytek stereo 192, Audio Note 2.1b, Teredak Chamelion. The Metrum is simply far better than the rest. If you stream a lot its USB implementation is great. If you really love music this is a wonderful product. By the way with dacs the transport is very important. I use an Audio Note CDT-2
Alan
What is the price point?
@wisnon:2500-3000

@arh: i had the AN 2.1B...nice and open, but i had two other DACs that i preferred to it (Audial Model S and my Audiomeca)
At that price range, there are lots of options.

BMC Pure Dac
Hugo
Lampi Amber
Hegel HD12
Ayre QBD-9 DSD
The new Marantz for $800 (Gorgeous)
The soon released iFi iDSD Mini
Well with those goals in mind, I'd seriously consider the Comet. I've been accused by many as having some of the most eclectic taste in music and I haven't found a type of music this DAC doesn't handle exceptionally well. I've thrown a wide range of music at it including: Steely Dan, Billy Joel, KMFDM, Yello, Yo-Yo Ma, every form of New Wave and 80's synth pop you can think of. Vocals, acoustic, strings, and my unplugged collection which includes Allanis Morissette, Alice in Chains and Nirvanna. It also does exceptionally well at delivering excellent attack and decay on dynamic music (electronic, metal, industrial etc...). I'm probably most impressed by how nice of a job it does playing various bit and sample rates...from iTunes downloads, to red book, to HD tracks 24/192, it does justice to whatever format I've thrown at it. I consider my impression to be non-bias for two reasons: I don't own the DAC (at least not yet) and therefore have no ownership pride to fuel my comments, and the way of which I was exposed to this DAC made me skeptical before ever hearing it...

I've also red positive press on the Metrum that Alon mentions above, but have no first hand experience with it to use as a comparison. I have heard the Mytek 192 that Alon mentions above and IMHO the Comet leaves it in the dust.

In terms of space, depth etc... I've not heard it's equal at presenting a scary deep background, with correct scale and holographic presentation normally reserved for the $15k and up range. I'm really impressed with how this DAC handles both delicate musical passages and kick you in the face musical scale. I went to the RMAF this year, and am confident in my statement that this DAC could EASILY hold it's own against and DAC in any of the many rooms I auditioned. For sake of reference, my system consists of the following:

Wilson WP7
JL Audio Fathom F113
Shunyata Talos and the Shunyata Alpha power cords (which are amazing)
Marantz AV8801 (which the Comets easily bests as a DAC)
OPPO 105 (which the comet also bests as a DAC by a sizable margin)
BAT VK31SE preamp
Transparant Audio reference speaker cables
Shunyata Cobra balanced interconnects.
Mac Mini for use as a music server

I hope I've been able to assist.

Chris
Coming in late on this thread but I have the latest version of the Comet with the updated power supply. The power update definitely takes this DAC to a higher level. Huge deep, wide sound stage with very clean space between images. Sounds similar to the previous high-end Wadia DACs in more ways than not. Improvements being extended upper registers with more detail and definitely more authority and extension of the bass. So far competese well with other DACs I have auditioned in the $7,000-$10,000 price range. Was looking for an upgrade to replace the Wadia 27ix for CD playback plus current high-rez formats and this unit with the power upgrade has exceeded my expectations. Very much at home in my system which is relatively large in a large dedicated listening room. Minus the power upgrade, the DAC is commendable but not in the same league as with it. This is a must-audition if researching DACs in <$12,000 range and will likely compete successfully with some of those above.
Wscdvm93,

I totally agree regarding the power supply upgrade. In addition to adding more flesh to the low frequencies, I believe the upgraded PSU also further reduced the noise floor, adding even greater levels of "realism" to the music.
Charding, I'm going to check this one out. Sounds like these are the old Wadia guys and that gets my attention as I once owned the 27i and 270SE. Also I like doing business with a local company.
Why yes it is the old Wadia guys: Larry Jacoby (Vice President of Manufacturing Engineering), Jeff Haagenstad (Chief Executive Officer) and Jim Kinne (Chief Technology Officer). That was what initially drew me to this DAC over the Wadia 321 which obviously is not the fruits of these guys. I am still waiting to hear the 321; anyone out there heard it yet?
Sounds like the separate power supply enhances the Comet's performance a bit.
The Exogal seemed very interesting since it uses FPGAs. But converting DSD to PCM is a slight let down - at least on paper. Nevertheless it has received nice reviews.
We will have the Exogal Comet on demonstration at the AXPONA show here in Chicago later this month.
The power supply upgrade provides a marked improvement. The longer I have the Comet Plus which includes the power supply upgrade the more I appreciate it. If auditioning/demo-ing" the Comet, make sure it's with it's power upgrade.
Essentialaudio,
Your rooms were already on my "to visit" list because of Audiokinesis and Teo (for preamp and not the cables). Will look forward for demo of the Exogal as well.
Have not gone to a show in a decade. Do exhibitors encourage visitors getting some music on HDD/UBS key?
Thanks!
As if I needed any additional reason to visit Essential Audio's room at AXPONA. Wow, you are showing some mighty compelling products. Hope I can get a seat...
Milpai, I'll give a tentative yes on bringing music on a USB stick or whatever to play.
Today ,I have listened to exogal along with Ayre dsD dac.
Input was Mac ,preamp audio research ,amplifier arc ref 250.
Cabling ,AUDIOQUEST and vandersteen speakers.
Music via usb ,kind of blue.
I used optional power supply with exogal.
Ayre was better(slightly) in bass and rhythm.
Both dacs are pretty good ,but considering same price the choice seems to be clear:Ayre.
Nice thing about exogal is that you can use iPhone as a remote control.
App from iTunes.
Would you comment on how they compared/your overall impressions regarding soundstage width and depth, imaging, space/air between images, midrange character and palpability, treble presence and detail, and overall presentation of the musical experience?
I don't know how one can compare a dac in one day to another. I find the dac has to settle in and I don't evaluate until the dac has been on for 3 days and played at least 10 hours in the three days. To decide one dac is better than the other in a one day shootout is not fair to the manufacturer or the consumer. We need to remember that a bias statement has as much weight as some of the reviews we read. Listen with your own ears and your own tastes.
My tastes favor the Exogal Comet Plus and find it more musical than the Ayre, but of course this is IMO.