Stereo Times review on Audio Note UK DAC 3.1/II just went live


My review for the Stereo Times website just was posted tonight. As I explain I have had in the last three years over 12 DACs in for review, ranging in price from $1,000 to $45,000. Well, the Audio Note UK DAC3.1/II was so much more musical and analog in nature that I was somewhat taken aback by its performance in my system.

For all the details regarding this DACs performance and why I purchased it after the review take a look at the review piece. If you are looking for DAC at the present time, I highly recommend you consider auditioning one of the Audio Note DACs before you purchase your next digital front end.

http://v2.stereotimes.com/post/audio-note-dac3.1x-ii-balanced-by-terry-london/


Teajay (Terry London)
amorstereo
amorstereo

Thank You for the review.

Happy Listening!
Being getting quite a few Emails regarding pricing and availability of the different Audio Note UK DACs here in the US. Well, I'm a reviewer and really can't answer those questions because I'm not in the position of being an importer or retailer. 

I would highly recommend you contact Mike Kay (Audio Archon) to seek the answers to these type of questions. As I mentioned in the review, I first heard the baby brother DAC to the 3.1/II Balanced DAC that lead to wanting to professionally reviewing it, at Audio Archon in a full Audio Note UK system.


One of my best friends who is a dedicated audiophile and music lover came over to hear the 3.1/II Balanced DAC in the big downstairs system this morning. He thought it was remarkably beautiful in its tonality but was really amazed at the spatial qualities (size of sound-stage, space between players, holographic imaging) rendered by the Audio Note UK DAC. He believes it’s the best DAC, by far, he has ever heard in my system, and he has listened to numerous ones as I have reviewed them.
Spreading the love a little...Mike and Neli at Audio Federation, and Nick Gowan at True Sound are excellent Audio Note dealers and truly nice people (as is Mike Kay).


Hey tvad,

I agree with you regarding the individuals you mention, very good people, and great high-end dealers regarding their knowledge and how they treat the customers they work with to get where they want to in their systems.
I think it's a lesson to those who buy audio through specs.  The highest sample rate, upsampling, the newest dac chip, ad nauseum.  Nothing wrong with specs, but it always comes down to listening.  As far as price, something is only overpriced if you can get something of equal quality for less money.  How would you say the AN compares to dacs like the May Audio at half the price?  People seem very fond of saying how price has nothing to do with the quality of the sound. Apparently, sometimes it does.  
Hey chayro,

Very well said! You and Peter K would have agreement regarding specs vs sound quality. The May Audio DAC has been in my system for comparison, along with many other DACs at different price points, it's a fine sounding piece, but not in the same league as the 3.1/II balanced DAC performance.
Mike Kay and Audio Archon are a real treasure to our hobby. And Peter Q will answer your emails promptly. Both Mike and Peter are driven by more than a profit motive as evidenced by a long line of satisfied customers.
amorstereo,

Thanks for sharing your review. I agree with your recommendation with people should try auditioning one of the Audio Note DACs , if they can.
I'll throw Vu of Deja Vu Audio out there as another excellent dealer in general and Audio Note dealer. Excellent review Terry.
jond,

I agree with your recommendation of Vu from Deja Vu Audio as being an excellent dealer for Audio Note gear. 
ghasley
Mike Kay and Audio Archon are a real treasure to our hobby. And Peter Q will answer your emails promptly. Both Mike and Peter are driven by more than a profit motive as evidenced by a long line of satisfied customers.
Mike Kay has long since passed. And you apparently haven't heard that his Lyric Hi-Fi has now also faded into history.
Post removed 
Thanks @tvad you are correct.

@cleeds I was referring to Mike Kay, proprietor of Audio Archon in the Chicago area. The person to whom you refer and the business to which you refer are indeed long gone and although I was aware, I never had occasion to do business with Lyric.
ghasley
@cleeds I was referring to Mike Kay, proprietor of Audio Archon in the Chicago area.
Thanks for clarifying - I'm sorry to have contributed any confusion.
@cleeds No worries, I'm glad you did. That's what a community like Audiogon is supposed to be about, friendly dialogue, so I appreciate that you took the time to post. Have a great day and if you haven't met "this" particular Mike Kay, pick up the phone. He is one of the good guys and he is old school enough that he will appreciate the call without the slightest concern that you didn't call to purchase something.
I was witness to some interesting horse trading of Audio Note DACs at Deja Vu about six or seven years ago. A customer came in looking to audition a DAC 5 which he hoped to partially finance by trading in his DAC 4.  The owner of the shop, Vu Hoang, recalled that another customer with a DAC 3 was interested in trading up to the DAC 4.  He called the customer with the DAC 3 and had him come into the shop with the DAC 3.  I got to listen to the three DACs played in a blind comparison.  At the end of the audition, the DAC 3 owner traded it in and took the DAC 4 of the other customer who decided to trade up to the DAC 5.  I personally thought that the DAC 4 was the sweet spot.  The DAC 5 was better by a slight margin, but, it was WAY more expensive.
Well, I’m pretty happy with my 2.1x Sig. which I consider the “sweet spot “ of Audio Note DAC’s.  To each his own,
@doni awesome I'm happy with my Dac-3 Sig from 1995 recently recapped and sounds great to each their own indeed.
Both the DAC2.1x Signature , or The DAC2.1x/II Balanced are great performers. Very happy with my DAC 3.1x/II Balanced.