I couldn’t be any happier with this DAC. It’s the Wavelength Brick N2. I’ve been burning it in, and I’m really amazed by the difference I got from this in elevating my setup to sound more musical. I literally got this DAC because I wanted my system to be more musical sounding and I got exactly that and more. It uses the notorious TDA1543 chip that’s a favourite among hobbyist, Audio Note and Border Patrol. It sounds like it’s hugging you with spider silk bedsheets while the edge of the sound is soft and nimble like memory foam. That’s me trying to physicalise the sound that I’m getting and I’m only using an SGD$550.00 Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3 tube amplifier (it does say a lot about this amplifier as well)! It has extended highs which my Triangle Comete 40th is able to play out, and the bass is impressively holographic and rounded that it’s so beautiful. For instruments such as guitar plucking, percussion, heavy drums and similar, they sound so realistic yet pleasing to the ear. This DAC isn’t known to be accurate in the sense that it should be used in recording studios purposes, it does colour the sound, but don’t we all love convincing and beautiful lies? There’s a reason why fictional love stories, colour graded movies and Pixar animated movies are favourites among us, even the latest Avatar! What they have in common is that they are convincingly realistic, but more importantly beautiful and pleasing to consume. This is how a home DAC should be and it is a direction that other DAC manufacturers should follow. And I’d say it elevated my setup by a large margin. I’m aware that’s a strange thing to say for a DAC as they don’t usually do much difference, and I agree with that, but this is an exception. The sound that I got from this being part of my system reminds me so much of those McIntosh and Focal/Naim high end systems I listened to in Adelphi. Isn’t it strange how one component could make this much difference?
We all hear and like very different things sometimes this gets lost with all the objectivist/subjective claptrap. If it works for you then go with it.
Just would like to drop by to mention that by now my Wavelength Brick N2 should have completely be broken-in and I have to say I am slack-jawed by its performance. It’s clean and clear, and thick and very analogue. It’s something I never thought was possible for a DAC. It’s slightly coloured only in the sense that the bass is bit higher, but honestly all systems benefit from a slight bass increase. Studio sound is pretty plain sounding after all. I’m using a Pro-Ject X1 with Denon DL-301SA MC cartridge with iFi micro Black Label iPhono 3 and this Wavelength Brick N2 is a good margin better sounding than my records, both objectively and subjectively speaking.
There’s also someone online who compared this Brick N2 to a similarly priced HoloAudio DAC and has mentioned that it doesn’t come close to its performance. He’s thus upgraded to a higher version of a Wavelength DAC. This DAC is truly a marvel.