Category Archives: News

REEL-TO-REEL VS. DIGITAL AUDIO

Reel-to-reel is the gold standard of analogue sound reproduction. Until the mid to late 1980ies all recordings were done on analogue tape. From the mid 80ies the industry switched to digital recording technology first on video tape, later on hard drives.

We love analogue sound and wanted to get a better understanding of the differences between analogue and digital sound reproduction – not from a technical perspective, but to get more details on “what are the sonic differences?”. To this end, we compared the same 1st generation master tape copies on a DAS HD-Player Model 2 and a newly refurbished Revox PR99 MKII.

Not surprisingly, there were clear differences:

  • The tapes sounded a bit fuller, more substantial – very pleasing
  • The digital files sounded lighter, but also with more detail and precision. The digital files had a more airier treble and mid range. They also had more precision in the bass.
  • The tapes had a smaller dynamic range than the digital files, but the background hiss was never a problem, not even in the quietest passages. It was just noticeable, but did not bother anyone. On the contrary, it had a relaxing effect.
  • The tapes had beautifully open sonic space. The instruments were nicely spread out on the sonic stage. The sonic stage of the digital files was not quite as open as that of the tapes, but the spacial precision was better. With the digital files one could precisely pinpoint the location on the sonic stage; with the tapes it was a little less clear.

To sum up: The differences were small and along the lines of the expected. In general, the presentation with digital files sounded lighter, airier, also cleaner and at the same time more detailed and complex. The presentation with the tapes sounded a bit heavier and coarser and at the same time simpler. Both had serene open space.  The differences were not of the kind “better” or “worse”, but rather differences in taste. So depending on the types of music, those characteristics made sometimes the digital files and sometimes the tapes appear preferable.

 

DAS event logo

Presentation: „Living Stereo“ in the Digital Age

With the introduction of stereophonic sound recording in the mid 1950s, RCA Victor produced milestones of recording history with its „Living Stereo“ label. Artists such as Jascha Heifetz, Arthur Rubinstein, Emil Gilels, Gregor Piatigorsky, Fritz Reiner, Charles Münch, Erich Leinsdorf, but also Henry Mancini, Harry Belafonte and Elvis Presley recorded their first stereo records with RCA Victor.

RCA engineers and producers – quality obsessed as they were – have given everything to prove what is possible with the new multi channel recording technology. They have produced exemplary recordings, which have set standards for high end music reproduction to this day.

In 2005 RCA Victor started to produce and publish high resolution copies of their original master tapes. We show you how these milestones in recording history fare in today’s digital music world.

Topics:

  • History of the RCA Victor Living Stereo label
  • Recording methods and technologies
  • The most important artists and recordings

… of course, with lots of audio samples.

 

When:     Friday  September 18, 2020, 18:00h

Where:   Digitale Audio Systeme, Haus der Musik, Seilerstätte 30 / Ecke Annagasse, 1010 Vienna

 

Hosts:

DAS event logo

Impressions from the exclusive Advent Events in our Showroom

Here are some impressions from the exclusive events in our showroom in the Haus der Musik, Vienna, which we organised together with the Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur and the klangBilder Fair in November and December. Our guests enjoyed beautiful music, interesting and entertaining presentations and interviews as well as delicious Austrian wine … and celebrities: amongst others, Claudio Vandelli and Caroline Kreutzberger presented their latest CDs and offered insights into their artistic work.

 

Cover EinsNull Testbericht Model 2

Title Story: The HD-Player Model 2 reviewed by HiFi EinsNull

Quotes:

“The Model 2 reveals the advantages of the technical advancements of the last 30 years. The ladder DAC of the Model 2 sounds unbelievably good: It exudes ease and musicality. The sound stage is wonderfully open, instruments are given  lots of space to unfold, creating beautiful details and definition. The sonically deep background optimizes the presentation. The player reveals so many details.”

“Whoever finds modern music servers lacking in character, will have a lot of fun with the Model 2. The concept of the HD-Player perfectly marries classical and modern qualities and becomes the centre of a sophisticated hifi system.”

Checksum:

“The retro look of the HD-Player Model 2 is more than a design gimmick. Instead, the technically highly sophisticated server becomes a part of a serious hifi system.  Combining its design with fantastic sound quality and excellent user handling, DAS sets a new trend, which will hopefully be picked up and followed by many others.”

You can read th full article here (in German).

Cover HiFi-Statement Magazin Testbericht MPA

Test Review DAS Mono Power Amplifiers in HiFi Statement

We are very happy about the first test review of our new Mono Power Amplifiers in the HiFi Statement Magazine.

Quotes:

“The Viennese manufactory Digital Audio Systems (DAS) caused quite a stir in the high end scene with its HD-Players Model 2 and Model 4. Now they are presenting their interesting new Mono Power Amplifiers.

Over the years I have had many different power amplifiers in my system –some very heavy whoppers. With 10 kg, the beautifully designed DAS monos are lightweights in comparison. But as it turned out, this is not true at all, when it comes to musical capabilities. In this respect, the 500W at 8 ohms DAS monos are the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. … The DAS monos did not blink even at extreme volume levels: Drums came effortlessly fast, very deep and really with enormous pressure. Cymbals were brightly transparent, never sharp – a real treat. … Apart from the very beautiful spatial presentation, I just loved the airy, fleet-footed, transparent and lively manner, in which these monos created impressively large sonic stages. … These are real experts at work.”

Summary:

“The Mono Power Amplifiers from Digital Audio Systems really manage to square the circle: Small and beautiful housing, low power consumption, but really amazing sound. They produce speed, musicality, power and dynamics on a par with high end amplifiers many times their price level.”

You can find the complete review here (in German).

High End, München, 2019

Impressions from High End Munich Show 2019

This year again, Munich saw the High End Show from May 09-12. 21.180 visitors came to see the latest in high end audio technology from 551 exhibitors. Digital Audio Systems exhibited with its partners, Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur und Way Cables, in the Atrium Room F220 on 70 sqm. The exhibition was a great success with quite a number of visitors claiming to have heard “the best sound of the whole show” in our room (!).

Here we have some impressions for those who could, alas, not see and hear it for themselves:

Kombinierte Logos High End 2019

Experience our much acclaimed Digital Players at the World’s leading HiFi Show in Munich from May 9-12!

Come, see and hear us at the High End in Munich! We are demonstrating our digital Players with the excellent speaker systems of our partners, the Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur (WLM).

You will find us in the Atrium room F220 (2nd floor).

Location:

 

MOC München
Lilienthalallee 40
80939 München
Date:  9. – 12. May 2019
Opening Hours:
Thursday    09:00 bis 19:00 Uhr
Friday         10:00 bis 18:00 Uhr
Saturday     10:00 bis 18:00 Uhr
Sunday       10:00 bis 16:00 Uhr

 

NDHT 2019

Video of the Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage, Hamburg, 2019

The weekend of February 2nd/3rd saw the 15th edition of the Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage fair in Hamburg. Ca. 6.500 visitors came to see and hear more than 400 exhibitors. We were represented in 3 rooms at once:

  • With Avantgarde Acoustic in room Ilmenau 1
  • With the Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur in room 447
  • With Hemiolia Tonbändern and the Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur in room 448

Here is a little video with impressions from the show: