Monday, June 21, 2021

Guides, Testimonials, News

e20 / DSD256 first impressions posted on and

Initial impression: I've just received the exaSound e20 MkII DAC and I've been extensively comparing it against the Benchmark DAC2.


The Benchmark is a very fine DAC with solid build quality, but to my ears exaSound performs better in almost every way. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since e20 MkII costs about $500 more than the DAC2. I know there was another member here at who returned his DAC2 & Mytek192 after sampling the exaSound e20.

Playing a DSD256 file for the first time, my jaw literally dropped to the floor. The purity of presentation with amazing level of transparency is simply astounding. It was a recording of Paganini solo violin piece performed with a Stradivarius violin and released by 1 bit Audio Consortium.

I played violin for the last 20 years and I cannot believe how timbre and imaging can be so accurately portrayed on digital domain. I always found a problem with solo violin recordings. The position of a single instrument tends to wander around and it is hard to localize. With this file and a DAC capable of playing it, I can finally hear one instrument at very stable position with acoustic reverberation convincing enough that I felt like I was sitting in front of the performer.

Background seems as black as it can be, even though my Magnepan 3.5s are not known for dark & silent background.

more listening impression to follow...


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