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D100 Mk2 Stereo DAC Impressions

A Review On: Neko Audio D100 DAC

Neko Audio D100 DAC

Rated # 9 in DACs
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Design
Quality
Value
Aimless1
Posted · 1244 Views · 1 Comment

Pros: natural sound, instrument separation

Cons: top & bottom end

Thank you to Wes Miaw for loaning his D100 Mk2 Stereo DAC to try.  This alone speaks volumes about Wes and Neko Audio.  

 

I'm really not a reviewer, but I'll try to offer some impressions.  I hope they will help give you a better idea of what the D100 Mk2 has to offer.  I did not attempt to listen critically but rather chose to just enjoy the music.  I lack the expertise to delve into the inner workings and parts chosen.  Others can address that.

 

My system: Drobo -> macbook/itunes -> D100 Mk2 -> Luxman P1 ->headphones.  The unit I received had XLR outputs and Wes provided XLR to RCA cables which I used.

 

The unit came well packaged with everything needed to set it up.  Had a nice solid feel.  It has a non assuming appearance in basic black with an input selection knob on the front.  Takes either coaxial or toslink inputs.  I used toslink.  Pleasant blue led lights.  The overall appearance is utilitarian, but it looked like it belonged in my rack.  

 

The first thing that stood out immediately for me was the instrument separation.  Much better than my current d/a converter.  The sound is warm and natural, and listening was non fatiguing.  Soundstage was good.  As the previous reviewer said, this dac is fun to listen to.  It also didn't take long to discover that both top end and bottom end does not extend as far as I'm used to.  It excels in mid range reproduction.

 

 

At the end of the day it is all about the music.  The D100 Mk2 certainly passes the music test.  The music sounded natural with excellent tonality.  I didn't find anything that didn't sound right.  Vocals were spot on and is certainly a strong suit of this DAC.  Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" was perfect.  Listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn was sublime and I got lost in his music one evening.  Andrea Bocelli's "Amore" was outstanding.  

 

Bottom line?  If you're looking for a d/a converter that gives you great value and a warm natural sound with excellent tonality then this unit is certainly worth a listen.  

 

 

1 Comment:

Hello,

I live in Spain and I've tried the Neko D100 DAC recently (E.U. Loaner Program). Excuse me but as it is much easier for me to write in Spanish will comment on some impressions in this language.

Lo he utilizado en mi sistema de altavoces y también en el de auriculares formado por preamplificador y power de Jeff Rowland, transporte Electrocompaniet EMC 1 y altavoces Avalon Arcus, todo ello alimentado por un Exactpower EP 15A y SP 15 A conectados a una línea eléctrica dedicada (además de Norodost Quantum y power strip Ryder). El cableado es Cardas Golden Reference y Cardas Clear, todos ellos XLR. Power cords Shunyata Anaconda y Phyton, Harmonic Technology Fantasy AC 10.....

El equipamiento de auriculares ha sido el Leben 300 CS300 y Audeze LC2 y LC3, Sennheiser 800 y Beyerdynamics Tesla T1.

Los DACs que utilizo habitualmente son el Berkeley DAC y el Benchmark DAC USB.
El Neko D100 ha mostrado estar al nivel de los mencionados en muchos aspectos. Es curioso como muchos audiófilos, cuando nos referimos a las fuentes digitales, valoramos la percepción de las mismas por comparación con las fuentes analógicas. Cuando decimos, "suena a plato" solemos hacerlo como un halago. Y éste es el caso del Neko.

Además de tener una excelente resolución y extensión en frecuencia, buen equilibrio tonal y dinámica, no he percibido la "digitis" que tanto nos desagrada a muchos aficionados.
Podemos estar escuchando horas y horas nuestras grabaciones favoritas sin atisbo de fatiga auditiva.

Si tuviera que definirlo su sonido en una sola palabra podría ser: NATURAL.
Sin duda es una opción a tener muy en cuenta en su nivel de precio.

Saludos

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