Lead Audio LA -100 Fedelta del suono
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Here I am again struggling with a USB DAC, built in a minimalist look and with a proper choice of materials, both in the interior, rational
and well organized, with respect to the outer shell.
Now the products of this type are becoming increasingly frequent to meet our path of passionate audiophiles, with brand items Spartans until the excess new to discover.
The designer and CEO of the newly formed Lead Audio, this Mac Soren Larsen, has over ten years experience in the field both pro and consumer audio. I have tried do some 'research to discover at least most popular brands of audio scene which had worked for Danish gentleman, without much success, there remains to take that as good as pompously stated on the manufacturer.
This is a converter, which also gives the possibility of using a mechanical as a driver, through both optical inputs and electrical digital, unfortunately only in. This event offers the opportunity to use of 24bit/192 KHz Burr Brown chip in edge and above the benefits of a re-clocking via an oscillator Collpits with buffering on two levels. In the specific effects are clear: from USB there is only a possibility of have a maximum frequency of 48KHz sampling, unfortunately insufficient to take advantage of the latest high-resolution files increasingly available for download.
I fed exclusively all'LA-100 liquid music files using the My Mac Mini as a server and iTunes as a player coupled the latest version of Pure Music. The latter now allows you to import and play, without degradation, also lossless FLAC files, thus opening up literally a universe to the user medium, which can download plus album favorite reference sites (Linn, Naim, HDAUDIO, etc.., Etc ...), with reduced time and without the worry of needing to play with audio editing software, not always immediate to understand and use at best. In connection with the Apple converter was recognized immediately as Music playback device "TAS 1020 USB DAC, once selected as default output, both in the operating system Pure Music in the device worked the first time without problems and without error, the first reboot. I used a
USB cable for optimum level Coffee like the Audioquest, while regard cables signal to connect to Convergent pre, I opted Valhalla's great for Nordost. I then tried to use it with Samsung my laptop in Windows environment, and the recognition was immediate for XP, the choice of software Reading, in this situation, fell Foobar 2000 version on kernel streaming, with reading from the buffer memory.
With this new configuration I listened to all as part of a settle consists of an integrated valve push pull EL34 (25 watts per channel), Harbet LS3/5a 15 ohm speakers wired Nordost always everything. The play was made by connecting the Lead Audio an Apple Mac Mini last generation as a digital source, inserting in my reference system as follows: Speaker Martin Logan SL3 Electrostatic hybrid, dynamic speakers Lumen White Silver Flame. Digital sources: Teac CD-10 modified valve VRDS Emmebi Player Hybrid DVD-DVDA-SACD Labtek Aurora; converter D / A USB mode asincronoous HRT music streamer PRO, USB cable Audioquest Chocolate; Pre Convergent Audio Technology Legend Phono with MM Phono Stage and Mark, two Final Amplifier Vacuum Tube McIntosh MC275 MK V, in configuration Mono; Power Cables Nordost Spm Reference; signal cables between Pre and Mono amp Audioquest Horizon DBS 72V; signal cable between CD-10 VRDS and pre Nordost Spm Reference, Signal cables Exclusive Labtek between pre and Audioquest Horizon 72V DBS, Cable Pre Nordost Valhalla power with Furutech terminations, power cable Labtek Aurora: Nordost Brahma Furutech terminations, power cable Monoblocks with Nordost Valhalla Furutech terminations, power cable CD-10 VRDS Nordost Shiva.
Freddie Mercury Solo Rarities-Mr.Bad Guy sessions "(Parlophone, Flac): The question becomes very, very interesting! The scene is much broader and deeper voice is ready and vibrant, its outline is very good, rich medium and medium-high, but also medium-low. The piano is beautiful and realistic, full and midrange without bothering falls and soaks harmonic generation impacts with a good dynamic content, even if that typically bitter feeling of the recordings Queen, probably tastes for the mix were those of a treble prevalent. Surely one of the best discs (even let me call it that, you know I'm a nostalgic of the best support that you can actually get in home ...) never heard of the leader of the group crowned for excellence. "The tracks taken Live sessions at the piano are stunning and go through the steps of conversion essentially free, with a satisfactory amount of detail. The battery is true that synthesized and the low are good as before, controlled and without twists or special effects.
Yes In A Word Yes "(Elektra / Wea Records flac): The initial guitar attack is very has good body and impact even if it seems a bit 'too much content when the drop-down the strings are sufficiently described, in their vibrations, together with the sounding board, and in their composition. The source is clear from analogue master especially with regard to piano parts. The choirs, the true point of strength of this wonderful group (a certain person I know who to time I'm directing this magazine is viscerally in love ...) appear correct and well defined, the voices pretty well distinguish between them. The bass is slightly too much in second place to I am used to, but well carved in area of the listening room.
Anita Baker (Atlantic Records / Wea, flac): Excellent Audio Lead with one of the items the most popular soul music of the 80s and 90s, makes it very well change the fragrant the singer, is a rich presence of grain and contrast. The accompaniment, characteristic of that period, clearly goes well with the peculiar characteristics of this dac. The bass is solid and the setting of the album, purely by recording studio, facilitates its work. The scene is in fact not very deep but enough broad in the horizontal plane and not very high. Tools such as the are very good acoustic guitar, drums rather flat without much depth. The presence of keyboards and synthesizers, by no means a threat to play, let alone and circuitry for converting the L-100, it all runs off easily and discreetly satisfaction of listening.
Ry Cooder "River Rescue-The Very Best Of" (Warner Records, Wav): Well, first of all I feel a little 'acoustic guitar and electricity by an artist who looks always at the sonic result of his recordings, which there almost never disappoints. Good, very good, especially when Play the latest products, probably with a little 'emphasis in tow the mix. Let's start with the slide guitar that I think I can declare without fear of contradiction, be discreet, with moderate content of characterization of materials and reflections. The electric guitar is better than the previous one, perhaps easier to make the effects and minimalist classical often uses Cooder, however this sensation is felt even when it is active Only the clean channel of his amp. The acoustic guitar is very well made, with texture and detail sufficient to characterize size and type of instrument, Cash and cords. The voice of the artist is well structured, harmonious with the right extension, and very intelligible. The scene is clear and soundstage sufficiently wide and deep, with satisfying continuity during the unfolding of the tracks on the album. The instruments are properly boundary spaced and fixed in place. Percussion, especially those laws, are fast at the right point and detailed enough.
The front panel, brushed aluminum black, with small buttons
for switching the inputs and the outputs, the large knob
the volume and the headphone jack.
To summarize in a few words, I had the feeling un'onestissima performance both Pc under Apple, and the same characteristics have transpired with the system top with reference to the secondary. The sound of Lead Audio is solid, clear and open as both dynamic settings that timbre. The descent towards the lower limit of the bandwidth is not one to leave you speechless. The bass control, although this is not showing its most extensive, it is always been very correct. Compared with the reference we have a scene and a lower body size and depth, less richness of detail, but especially micro detail and micro dynamics. They're not fared badly at all, has ability to focus and reconstruction three-dimensional than satisfactory, both musical instruments that the voices are always defined and articulated enough. Do a little turn up their noses that they do not at least be able to accept frequencies 96KHz sampling and to operate asynchronously, so that, in spite of the artifices used re-clocking by the designer in the architecture of electronic circuitry, they do not take over, as in classical S / PDIF mode, which does not look in this type of product. Increasingly, however unsheathe USB Dac, at least on paper, the possibility of using the best of music file-mode liquid raw, resample, using entirely the possibility of transfer of USB 2.0 high speed. This should be taken into account. However, as also of affordable price to which is placed on the market, however, this excellent equipment.