National Audio Show 2013

A new converter to the UK's shores is the exaSound e20 Mk III from Canada. This compact DAC claims to be the first to support 4x DSD and a sampling rate of 11.2896MHz (DSD 256), which it does with an ESS9018 Sabre chipset. It also supports the DXD 352.8kHz format used by certain high-end labels and can run at up to 384kHz on the PCM side. These are big numbers for a little box, quite an expensive little box at 2875, but it was sounding pretty sweet with a pair of JansZen zA2.1 hybrid electrostatic speakers from the US, with Bryston PP120 power amps (3795 pair) strapped to their backs. The fan-like paper display piece may have been a key to the sonic outcome, but we’re inclined to hand it to the quality of software and hardware used.

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