Thursday, January 23, 2020

Guides, Testimonials, News


My first opportunity to hear the exaSound e20 DSD/DXD/PCM DAC ($2500) did not disappoint. The company that self-effacingly identifies itself as "exaSound," with a small "e," played along with surprisingly extended Janszen 2A2.1 electrostatic loudspeakers ($7495/pair),, which are reputedly flat to 40Hz, and the Bryston Power Pac 250 amp ($2350) to deliver a beautiful smooth, wide soundstage on a DSD recording from Channel Classics.

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I have a system built around a pair of Spendor S100 speakers and a Jolida integrated >100W tube amp, and I must say that I could not discern any significant difference or improvement in sound between the Chordette QuteHD DSD DAC (that I have also been auditioning) and the entry-level FIIO E17 unit (using the Wolfson 8740 DAC). I was therefore skeptical that I would hear much or any difference in the sound between the e20 and the other DACs That said, I am happy to report that I do indeed consider that the e20 has improved my listening enjoyment in the form of greater perceived greater clarity. It as though a film has been removed from the sound.

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For Immediate Release

exaSound Audio Design announces today’s launch of the e20 Mk II - the first high-end DAC capable of achieving DSD playback at sampling rate of 11.2896 MHz (DSD 256).

exaSound's DAC’s have always stayed ahead of the curve, and the latest e20’s DSD 256 capability not only goes beyond the capabilities of all other DAC’s on the market today, it is ahead of current recording technology. This ensures that audiophiles will be enjoying studio master files the way they were recorded – without down-sampling or down-conversion – well into the future, without equipment upgrades.

In addition to offering the highest digital audio resolution, the e20 DAC has jitter, distortion and noise levels that are vanishingly low, creating an astonishingly clean and analog-like sound – the difference is obvious, even with an ordinary CD. Detailed measurements, specifications and subjective impressions are available at exasound.com.

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"...For me, the exaSound e20 was a game-changer. It played standard PCM files extremely capably, but its greatest strength was its ability to play DSD files in their native format, which took my system to a new and higher level. The e20 is an attractive, compact, and clearly thoughtfully-designed example of a modern DAC. It produced a rich detailed sonic picture, with solid bass and extended high frequencies. I heartily recommend that if you’re in the market for a new DAC, you consider one with DSD-playback capability, ..."

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We showcased the e20 DAC in several rooms, each one geared to different musical preferences, to demonstrate its flexibility and range.    ...

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I received the e18 a while ago and I absolutely love it! It's exactly the piece of hardware I've been looking for since starting my home theatre PC project about 2 years ago. Running through my Anthem PVA7 power amp it sounds incredible. So much so that I took a day off work just after receiving the e18 so that I could watch some classic movies at THX-approved volumes and listen to some of my favourite tunes at similar volumes without the kids or the wife at home to complain about it!

So thanks heaps for supplying such an awesome unit. As I'm sure you've probably guessed by now, this is one that you're definitely not getting back! :)

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E20 directly into the Aleph is excellent. That was a surprise. Better resolution, better sound-stage, better dynamics. And just as sweet. You´re not getting it back.

E. Jensen,

Norway

Power amp: Pass Aleph
Speakers: Reference 3A Royal Master.
Preamp: Modwright LS100 

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Published at AudioCircle.com and ComputerAudiophile.com by RKlein

To my ears, the E20 gave the best presentation of the SABRE chip that i have heard to date. I realize that the Invicta DAC is getting excellent reviews as well. However, that DAC runs $1,500 more than the E20. I think the E20 at its price point is a very solid contender. So much so that I ordered one.

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