Edited by esimms86 - 10/6/13 at 6:54pm
I didn't know about this! I just got a mail from Michael at Klutz Design. It's basically a Klutz headphone stand with a built-in Auralic USB DAC (DXD, DSD, double-rate DSD, 384k) with a SDXC card reader and a 2W class-A balanced amp (for GEMINI 2000)! I'll get to listen to them when Klutz Design get the first units. Hm, listening to headphone stands...
Now I have to spend some time googling on Auralic...
As I'm sure you've already found, the Auralic headphone amps and DACs have been making great waves here on Head-Fi, over at 6moons, and among other top audiophile opinion sources...
I'm personally SUPER pumped... a beautiful headphone stand (normally $600 US and up) PLUS a double-DSD capable DAC from an accomplished high-end DAC manufacturer PLUS up to 2-watt headphone amplifier from SAME company which also has similar credibility for its headphone amps? All for $1K or $2K? Should be a screaming value (I expect)...
I can't remember the exact date but I know it's coming soon. They've been making additional improvements, above and beyond the one I heard at CanJam 2013, which was already pretty stellar in terms to detail, separation and overall clarity.
We're going to be among the first to review it at Audio360.org. I can't wait to hear the final product!
Looks like a review on the Gemini is up on 6moons. Srajan compares it pretty favorably to the Burson Conductor, which is currently in my desktop rig and is a great headphone amp in it's own right. Just thought I'd post this here if anyone else is interested:
Interesting... I'll have a chance to make similar comparisons on this end as I just happen to have a Burson Conductor here for review as well. No AK100 though, an AK120 will have to do. FWIW, here were my early impressions from our CanJam 2013 report:
"To say that this unit surprised me would be an understatement. Yes, there is a headphone stand component. And yes, it is an amplifier (solid state) as well. But when you factor in the built-in media player, up to 2TB of music storage via an SDXC card, and a DAC that handles everything from lossy media all the way up to Double DSD - that's when it becomes apparent that Auralic has essentially built an all-in-one headphone rig.
I auditioned it with the HD800 that Auralic supplied, and found it surprisingly capable and supremely detailed. LF response was nicely and cleanly weighted, with a good sense of mass and density to low notes. Mids were exactly what I expected of a well-amplified HD800 in terms of clean and effortless detail retrieval. The highs were - perhaps a tad bright when paired with the HD800 - though this was very likely due to the HD800's inherent tendency towards brightness. The noise floor - under show conditions - was below detectable threshold.
Overall, I found the Gemini 2000 to be both refined and engaging, and I long to try it out with some other headphones in my arsenal (HD 650, LCD-X, etc.)."
Yeah when you think about all that is crammed in that little base that is that small, it really is quite an achievement in pure terms of engineering. I also don't think it needs to compete with other more complete setups as it offers something most setups don't, beauty and style.
Mine arrived today. It is burning in now. I got the 2000 in black with chrome base. It fired right up and is sitting on my bedside table, fed by a Bluesound Node via toslink and playing through JVC DX1000s. Sounds promising, but waay too soon to tell for sure.