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North Star Design - Impulso, Worth a try

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Seems that no any headfier here talk about this DAC.

 

Last year I had an opportunity to A/B test some DAC in my two channels system. Ayre QB 9 DSD, Cary Audio (can't remember model), Chord Hugo, and North Star Design Impulso

 

My system are

  • Cary Audio 303T SACD player
  • Moon I7 RS integrated amp
  • Martin Logan Vista
  • MIT Oracle interconnection, IXOS speaker wire

 

 

Impulso is the cheapest in this A/B test. It has a smooth details and very relax. When play PCM file (convert to DSD on-the-fly via Jriver), the sound is smooth and analog like. Very impressive with this cheap DAC.

 

Anyhow, I have thousand of CD and still prefer to listen to them. So, that's the end of story

 

Late last year, due to illness of my wife, I don't have time to listen to my music system. I stay with my wife in the living room, and headphones seem to be a good solution, I can listen to music and it don't disturb my wife. That' a reason I'm here since last December.

 

I start to ripped my CD since then, and read all about the equipment in this forum. I purchase ESW11LTD and ATH-W5000 because I already have ATH-W1000 and like its sound characteristic. When come to DAC, I don't hesitate to order Impulso, it sound very good to my ears and cheap

 

Specification

  • native DSD 2,8 and 5,6 Mbit/sec (also 3.072 and 6,144)
  • PCM until 384/32 on USB.
  • No driver need for MAC.
  • Driver available for Windows XP/Vista/7/8.
  • DAC flagship ESS Sabre ES9016S
  • Digital filters are selectable from setup for PCM (high, low slope) and DSD.
  • Phase selectable 0-180 degree.
  • low jitter performances with PLL.
  • THD   0,0003%.
  • Analog output  unbalanced and balanced connectors with true balanced circuit.
  • Digital input on coax, toslink, USB2.0

 

 

 

I spend time play my HP set with various setting, on ASIO, PCM to DSD on-the-fly, Sound is crisp, clear, goods details.I use this mode for contemporary jazz and new age

 

For vocal, I prefer WASAPI, all PCM convert to DOP 1 bit, 5.6 MHz (by Jriver). With this setting, it sound warmer, more body, a little bit laid back.

 

I have DSD ISO around 80 albums, it all sound good either 2 channels or 6 channels file. Impulso can handle both well.

 

 

If anyone looking for a new DSD DAC, I recommend to audit this cheap Impulso. It's worth a try :) 


Edited by mikroski - 5/4/14 at 12:32am
post #2 of 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikroski View Post
 

Seems that no any headfier here talk about this DAC.

 

Last year I had an opportunity to A/B test some DAC in my two channels system. Ayre QB 9 DSD, Cary Audio (can't remember model), Chord Hugo, and North Star Design Impulso

 

My system are

  • Cary Audio 303T SACD player
  • Moon I7 RS integrated amp
  • Martin Logan Vista
  • MIT Oracle interconnection, IXOS speaker wire

 

 

Impulso is the cheapest in this A/B test. It has a smooth details and very relax. When play PCM file (convert to DSD on-the-fly via Jriver), the sound is smooth and analog like. Very impressive with this cheap DAC.

 

Anyhow, I have thousand of CD and still prefer to listen to them. So, that's the end of story

 

Late last year, due to illness of my wife, I don't have time to listen to my music system. I stay with my wife in the living room, and headphones seem to be a good solution, I can listen to music and it don't disturb my wife. That' a reason I'm here since last December.

 

I start to ripped my CD since then, and read all about the equipment in this forum. I purchase ESW11LTD and ATH-W5000 because I already have ATH-W1000 and like its sound characteristic. When come to DAC, I don't hesitate to order Impulso, it sound very good to my ears and cheap

 

Specification

  • native DSD 2,8 and 5,6 Mbit/sec (also 3.072 and 6,144)
  • PCM until 384/32 on USB.
  • No driver need for MAC.
  • Driver available for Windows XP/Vista/7/8.
  • DAC flagship ESS Sabre ES9016S
  • Digital filters are selectable from setup for PCM (high, low slope) and DSD.
  • Phase selectable 0-180 degree.
  • low jitter performances with PLL.
  • THD   0,0003%.
  • Analog output  unbalanced and balanced connectors with true balanced circuit.
  • Digital input on coax, toslink, USB2.0

 

 

 

I spend time play my HP set with various setting, on ASIO, PCM to DSD on-the-fly, Sound is crisp, clear, goods details.I use this mode for contemporary jazz and new age

 

For vocal, I prefer WASAPI, all PCM convert to DOP 1 bit, 5.6 MHz (by Jriver). With this setting, it sound warmer, more body, a little bit laid back.

 

I have DSD ISO around 80 albums, it all sound good either 2 channels or 6 channels file. Impulso can handle both well.

 

 

If anyone looking for a new DSD DAC, I recommend to audit this cheap Impulso. It's worth a try :) 

nice dac and nice room ;)

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