Monday, September 25, 2017

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Reviews



"The sound was quite the best I’ve experienced from DSD"

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From the land of ice hockey, frozen wine, and decent beer, come Two DACs manufactured by a small company in Canada called exaSound, run by a smart guy named George Klissarov. Both support PCM up to 32/384 and DSD up to DSD256 over USB. The e20 mkIII will run you $2499 and the e22 will run you $3499. exaSound also sells an 8-channel DAC called the e28, for $3849. See here for a spec comparison chart.

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"exaSound Audio Design has managed to carve out a conspicuous place in the high end audiophile DAC market since beginning business less than 4 years ago..."

 

"The first sound characteristic of the e22 that grabbed my attention was the enormous soundstage that this DAC is capable of rendering."

 

"The e22 struck me as being very neutral sounding without excessive midrange warmth or other colorations. Resolution, focus and definition from top to bottom were excellent. Most users will find this to be a very revealing DAC that can dig down to expose the smallest details of the music..."

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"... Details are definite, but not overly drawn, which can lead to your music tending towards an etched, glaring sound. Transparency…that critical ability of an audio component to stay as far out of the way of the audio signal as possible…is really notable with exaSound's e28 DAC."  Read the review

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"... Forget about numbers. The exaSound e20 DAC makes some fine music with all of the music your likely to get a hold of. CD-quality recordings sounded just lovely and higher resolutions sounded even lovelier. DSD strikes me as having a sound all of its own which is in a word rounder and more fulsome and the e20 did a fine job delivering those qualities. I also used the e20's volume control and found that it did not degrade the quality of reproduction to a noticeable degree even at lower volumes so those looking to do away with a preamp while keeping a healthy helping of their PCM, DXD, and DSD music's goodness will be well served by the exaSound e20 DAC. " Read the review

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"... the e28 was a delight to listen to with every source format, from 16/44.1 stereo through 24/192 PCM, 352.8kHz DXD, multichannel DSD64, and even stereo DSD 256! At these levels of quality it's hard to dissect the sound, but I consistently noticed how sweetly and purely the e28 rendered violin tone while preserving the edginess of bows dragged across the strings. Voices and instruments seemed to have a realistically defined presence wherever in the soundstage they were placed, and balances remained smooth right down to the bottom of the audioband. " Read the review

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"...The musicality of this DAC, like its stereo cousin, is amazingly liquid and organic, with great timbres (colors) and rich harmonics (saturation)."

"...the exaSound E28 is a groundbreaking DAC. It is the first prosumer DAC (i.e not Sonoma or Pyramix) I’ve ever seen or heard that can do any sample rate of PCM and DSD that will likely take us into the next few years of bleeding edge, let alone standard, multichannel sound. Future-proof? Check. Musical? Check. Value proposition meter? High. Upgradeable? Check." Read the review

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"... From the very first moment the Canadian DAC offered outstanding sound purity and smoothness expressed on a vast dynamic range. The e28 sound can be described as a combination of the best DAC features I've experienced with Antelope Audio and April Music Eximus. The transparency, speed, and holographic space of Antelope Zodiac were blended with incredible musicality and brilliance of color of Eximus DP1. Listening to the e28 doesn't cause any fatigue at all. These impressions were intensified after the transfer of DAC to my main system."  Read the review

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