DAC2 HGC Review - Hans Wetzel, SoundStage! Access

"Far more refined than its price would suggest"

"The DAC2 HGC uses one of the best digital chipsets on the market today to produce a quality of sound that, until a few years ago, wasn't available for less than $10,000. It sounds far more refined than its $1995 price would suggest, and when you consider that it can serve as the keystone of a digital and analog system, on a desktop or in a listening room, it becomes all the more remarkable."

"The DAC2 HGC has a remarkable feature set that’s not available from any of the industry’s big names for anywhere near $2000."

"On the rear panel the inputs are plentiful, with a multimode asynchronous USB port that permits USB 1.1 or 2.0 connections, and input signals up to 24-bit/192kHz. Two optical inputs accept signals up to 96kHz, while a pair of coaxial inputs can support all sample rates from 28 to 210kHz, even nonstandard ones. All of these digital inputs support native DSD conversion. Outputs include two pairs of RCA ports and a pair of balanced XLR ports. There’s also a bidirectional 12V trigger."

"All of this is impressive. But the DAC2 also has two pairs of analog inputs, making it a traditional analog preamplifier as well as a digital preamp, and even has a built-in headphone amplifier with two 1/4” headphone jacks."

"As expected, the DAC2 was every bit as transparent and resolving as the DAC1 -- more so, actually -- but gone was the bite, the crispness that marked the DAC1’s treble, and gone too was its stridency. To say that the DAC2 sounded relaxed would be unfair, but it was more laid-back than the DAC1."

- Hans Wetzel, SoundStage! Access

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