Glad we still have 'brick and mortar', and good owners for gear


I have been reading about servers, streamers, and wanted to audition an Aurender N-10 to replace a failing Windows 10 laptop running JRiver. I am overall pleased with my computer based playback from 3 WD portable  hard drives, but never fully felt comfortable knowing how to use JRiver.
Maier of Audio Salon in Santa Monica is our local dealer for Aurender. Upon arrival, I was impressed by the care and thought he put into his main listening room. And the quality of his gear blew me away- we started listening to the new small 3 way Wilson's played by a pair of d'Agestino mono blocks, with the Constellation Virgo II preamp, with Transparent cabling. The Aurender was running into the DAC component of the new dCS Rossini player. I was initially not impressed with the overall quality of music streamed via Tidal, or played from the internal hard drive.
That was because we started by playing redbook CD's that I brought, that I use for auditions. I have never heard such wonderful digital playback of CD as when played thru the dCS Rossini. It was an amazing experience; all the usual audiophile 'buzz' words come to mind. Also, I have not usually liked the Wilson sound before, but these little 3 ways had amazing low end, detailed bass, and crystal clear highs, not at all etched, or digital, and amazing sound stage.
I'm glad I had an open mind...usually I am impulsive and wanted to like the streamer, but left falling in love with the Rossini.Did not know how good CD playback could sound until I heard it done right. I could not have had this positive experience with out the services of a seasoned owner who took the time and care to set up his listening room to allow the quality of the individual pieces to shine through, and answer all my questions.
Regarding the debate about hi res computer files vs redbook CD, at least in this audition, the winner was clearly to my ears, CD.
However, the one final question I had regarding how could I possibly find the funds to acquire the Rossini (List of $28k without remote) went unanswered.
mribob
However, the one final question I had regarding how could I possibly find the funds to acquire the Rossini (List of $28k without remote) went unanswered.

Any local 'brick and mortar' banks and gun shops near this audio establishment?  ;^)
Thank You! mribob-
for the shout-out for your local dealer/retailer.  It appears that you were listening to the new Sabrina, Wilson speaker. Sounds like you had an excellent time, you are lucky as that is some of the finest gear at this juncture!
I am happy that we have B&M shops as well. Happy Listening!
Jafant:
Exactly, you are correct...they were the new Sabrina..he also had the Alexia there, but not hooked up...the smallest Wilson just amazed me with the large sound stage and PRAT, full range sound, seemed better than their diminutive size would have suggested...perhaps they were the least expensive component in this rig, being driven by awesome gear probably also helped, as well as a well tuned and designed room. Made me re think what Wilson has done lately to their new drivers..much improved.
DCS is top notch and possible SOTA  for D/A conversion.  Prices reflect that.

I bet streaming through a DCS DAC would sound just as good and mimimize cost to just the DCS technology that differentiates them.

I heard DCS Puccini ( on 6 figure system) a few years back and was not disappointed with the sound.   The player had various mechanical issues though just opeing and closing the drawer, so not so SOTA there.  

With DCS as a reference from a few years back, I have heard various affordable DACs in recent years that are also very good performers that I can live with.  So I no longer covet the DCS sound and technology as much.  Digital continues to improve and become more affordable and will only continue to get better over time, closing the gap even further perhaps.

Very nice! mribob & mapman,


I have yet to not demo DCS nor Constellation gear- it is on my list.

it is good to learn that B&M operations are stocking this gear in their showrooms!  Happy Listening!

MAPMAN

What other digital gear have you heard that you feel approaches the level I heard thru newest dCS playback dac chipset and software? I know the Berkeley master II, Bricosti,  Luxman, MBS stack have been highly touted at lower price points. I agree that optimizing digital is not an easy task, as the technology continues to evolve, and sometimes even comes down in price. Then add the newest hype flavor of the month, "MQA", which needs to be tuned and added to the specific dac chipset...which not all vendors will adapt.

I am still amazed at the beautiful sonic presentation I heard thru the dCS Rossini, as I never had the opportunity of hearing that brand...but it comes at a steep entry price point.

I have heard a system that was similar. It was the D'Agostino mono blocks and preamp with a Bricasti M1 DAC (about 1/3 the cost of the DSC) and the Sabrina's. I was very impressed to say the least. I've never heard the DCS stuff so can't comment. But I have also have heard the Sabrina's with the ARC GSi75 tube integrated and was very impressed as well. I forget if it was the Bricasti or the DAC that was built into the ARC integrated, but the sound was very musical and I can't seem to get it out of my mind.
The two dacs I have use and am very happy with is an mhdt Constantine in my main system. And the dac in a bel canto c5i in my second system.  

Not saying they sound like or as good as dcs necessarily but with dcs Puccini as one of my references prior I find both to cover all the bases.  

Recently I've connected analog out from my newer iPhone 6s and iPad to some good setups and was pleasantly surprised with results that exceeded my expectations.  

I also have used built in dac in Logitech Squeezebox Touch which is a bit older and not bad but just average at best I would say.   

All used with streamers as source not Cd.  Mainly Logitech Squeezebox Touch and Plex app running on Amazon Fire TV multimedia streamer which is a very nice piece of technology for hifi audio. 

I really agree with this. I think B&M stores have a valuable place in audio buying.
I have a dealer now that really takes care of the customer. I had two pieces of audio with issues. He took care of it rather quickly.
On the other hand, I had an awful experience with a direct small manufacturer of speciality audio. Terrible audio parts, terrible service and lost mucho money. The owner does not like to talk about his bad business deals or poor parts.