I was very skeptical about how good a SS dac could sound having owned a highly modded ANK tube Dac in the past. I still have friends who have their highly modded AN and ANK tube dacs to listen to form time to time, but sadly had to unload mine when the economy crashed a while back. Since then its been an old one box player and a cheap NOS dac to suffer through. After reading many of the positive DAC DAC reviews on AC I gave one a try, fully with the intent of sending it back! There was no way this little lightweight SS dac could compare! Right?
A couple of days later FEDEX dropped the HS DAC DAC at my door and that night I put it in my system. My set up is single ended and with the adapters installed I got sound from only one channel. What! After some diagnosis Tommy and I agreed that one of the XLR to RCA adapters must be faulty. No worries two days later there was one in my mailbox. I installed the adapter put my transport on continuous play, turned the volume way down, closed the door and went to bed. Later the following evening with about 24 hours run in time I sat down for a listen.
Wait this can't be!
Detail in spades with tone? No way! No no no way am I hearing this! For the next 6 hours or so, disc after disc went into the transport with disbelief turning into absolute belief in what I was hearing. Detail, tone, sound stage depth, height, and spot on imaging. I like to listen to live recordings when demoing a system. The HS DAC does a great job at bringing subtle nuances to light. Mic bumps, hall echo, crown noise, artists verbal cues to each other... I'm an emotional listener who likes to be engaged and moved by music. The HS DAC hits those marks for me as well as some of the best DAC I have listened to.
The HS DAC DAC has been in my system since August of 2017 and will be sticking around for a long time.
Great job Tommy!