J&K had a field trip to test out the J&K DAC (digital to analog converter) prototype. The system owner came to J&K laboratory a week ago and liked the sound of our test system and asked if he could audition the upcoming J&K DAC before he pulls the trigger to own an official unit. Official J&K DAC will have USB input as well and that's the direction he's heading as well - CAS.
Well, since his house is just 30 minutes drive from our place, and having a chance to try out the DAC at another system is for sure welcomed! Although our DAC is just a prototype with very basic and down to earth implementation, we still feel that it is already showing its potential when it replaced our existing DACs (non-oversampling DAC + high resolution 32b/384kHz DAC). In our system, it swamped both of the DACs in terms of resolution, vocals as well as both high + low extremes.
Without further ado, let's take a look at owner's system:
|Unison Research, Esoteric, PurePower AC filter and J&K DAC prototype|
|Transparent Audio Speaker Cable|
|Left bottom - J&K prototype DAC in a temporary chassis|
|Audio Physics Virgo floorstander (25th anniversary edition)|
|Esoteric CD / SACD Player|
|Unison Research Performance Integrated Amplifier + J&K prototype DAC in focus!|
|PurePower AC Conditioner|
|Unison Research Performance (PSE using 3 KT88 per channel)|
Music used in the audition:
Diabolus in Musica, Accardo interpreta Paganini
Extensive A - B comparison are done on the original CD player versus the J&K DAC over CAS. There were unfairness in the comparison as well as the player is many times (~10x) the price of J&K DAC, not to mention the cabling used as well where J&K DAC is only connected by only low end series of Monster Cable interconnects and coaxial digital cable, and generic el-cheapo IEC power cords connected to the wall for the DAC instead of through PurePower.
J&K DAC is better in terms of airiness, 3D imaging, clarity, and scale but weaker at the bass region. J&K DAC is more relaxed (宽松庞大,空间感良好) and offers the sound that the owner prefers. We believe that when our DAC is properly implemented (a real production unit), it will improve on all the aspects and be a better performing unit.
Nevertheless, system owner, without hesitation, ordered a unit of our DAC after the brief listening session that lasted for around an hour.
We have to start busying to get the J&K DAC ready in ~1 month time - period.
J&K Audio Design