Rockna Wavelight
May 15, 2020 at 10:57 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1,549

koven

15 Hz + 150 dB = poopy pants
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Thought I'd start a thread for Rockna although I don't think there are many owners. The founder Nicolae Jitariu has a solid history in the digital space, doing design work for MSB, PS Audio, and a few other companies. Their Wavedream DAC is fairly well acclaimed, and they recently launched a cheaper [4750 USD] little brother, the Wavelight. It is an FPGA DAC w/ 4 filter modes including NOS. Wavelight server will launch as well in the next month or so at the same price, I believe it will have Roon server functionality w/ I²S output. Rockna also has a sister company, Audiobyte, with some pretty exciting products like the HydraHub. Source is the most interesting piece of the chain for me to experiment with, and I've been through a lot of DACs in the past. There are a lot of options at this price range but Rockna has always piqued my interest; I'm happy to own one now. I haven't listened long enough to give any impressions but I look forward to doing so in the future.


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May 22, 2020 at 6:16 PM Post #4 of 1,549
This dac is on my radar, but not sure how it will fit into my chain. I have the holo spring 2 and xsabre pro; if I get the wavelight, one of these dacs has to go. Looking forward to your impressions, especially a comparo with the dac3 u had previously.
 
Jun 3, 2020 at 7:01 AM Post #5 of 1,549
@koven , how is the Wavelight working out for you? Would you say it leans towards full-bodied/dense midrange and the hard hitting bass like the Yggy A2, or the leaner and lighter sounding Hugo 2?

Also, being a Rockna, is it safe to assume that the treble is on the smooth/analogish side and boasts a large stage?
 
Jun 3, 2020 at 6:45 PM Post #6 of 1,549
Sorry to go dark here, wanted to give myself enough time to anchor and burn-in my brain. I'm no eloquent wordsmith when it comes to impressions so bear w/ me on the limited jargon and selective cliches. First of all I sold my DAC3 recently after extensive comparison, I guess the bright side of quarantine is being able to listen for hours every day. Needless to say I'm happy, enamored even, w/ the Wavelight about 3 weeks in now. Nicolae mentioned he is working on the next firmware update so I look forward to that release. I don't have another DAC on hand for direct A/B thus any mentions would simply be callbacks from past experience and memory so take it for what it's worth. For starters, one aspect that stands out to me is the difference of these 4 filters are more distinctly audible than e.g. Hugo 2 where I could not confidently distinguish one filter from another. So in essence Wavelight, I imagine Wavedream as well, is quite a chameleon suitable to various nuanced preferences. I've landed on the hybrid filter for most of my listening thus far. @EagleWings you took the words out of my mouth w/ that succinct assumption. Perhaps the biggest draw to me has been the hint of analog seductiveness w/o being overtly smoothed. In other words, not thick and heavy like butter but more like Margarine i.e. I can't believe it's not butter. The treble particularly flows across liquid and grainless w/o feeling rolled off, just enough sparkle w/o reaching an etchy threshold. The stage is sizable but more notably it is perceptibly holographic, great sense of depth and 3D-ness perpetuating precise imaging. Notes seem to float effortlessly above a deep and inky background w/ discernible space during layered passages. Specifically two aspect are hitting home for me as standout presentations, eerily lifelike; 1) decay and tone of piano, sax, and 2) organic timbre on female vocalists. Now how different is it from other capable DACs? Well after a glass of scotch or two I'd surely say who cares about this upper echelon hair-splitting, first world problems after all, but at full cognizance I would say granular differences are easily detectable as critical-listening time accumulates. Various DACs have passed through my journey and it has become more apparent to me that I have a slight affinity towards R2R because they have more - for lack of better word - character, though I still enjoy and appreciate other topologies. We are reaching the extremes of subjectivity now but on one side of the spectrum, there's surgical transparency and resolution like DAVE.. conversely there's more tonal driven musicality like Terminator. This is perhaps also a euphemism for clinical vs smeared. Somewhere in between lies the rest of my experience, DACs like Holo, Lampi, Aqua lean towards Terminator, while chip DACs strives to sound like a DAVE but get nowhere close. Ultimately if I had to pick one signature, embodiment, the Wavelight reminds me of, it would be Yggy but more elevated, refined, polished. In conclusion, I'm enjoying the Wavelight a lot and plan to peruse the next level by pairing the upcoming Wavelight Server alongside via I²S. If you're DAC shopping in this price range, give some consideration to Wavelight. I think, I hope, this front-end will keep me happy for a long time, but who knows when the next shiny object will come along. :) As a footnote, I mainly listen to jazz, acoustics, female vocalists. I like pop, hip-hop, and EDM as well but it's more car or party music to me. Can you imagine blasting Diana Krall windows down on the expressway? :p My current system includes IsoTek Aquarius, EtherRegen, Lumin U1 Mini, Bakoon AMP-13R, and Susvara. Cabling is Shunyata on power and mostly Cardas elsewhere.
 
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Jun 5, 2020 at 2:55 PM Post #7 of 1,549
Thanks for the impressions @koven . I am very interested in the Wavelight. But I am saving it for the future, as the price in India is still high (around $6K), even after dealer discount.

Btw, on your Dave-Terminator tonality scale, where would you put Yggy & Wavelight at?
 
Jun 8, 2020 at 10:46 AM Post #8 of 1,549
Thanks for the impressions @koven . I am very interested in the Wavelight. But I am saving it for the future, as the price in India is still high (around $6K), even after dealer discount.

Btw, on your Dave-Terminator tonality scale, where would you put Yggy & Wavelight at?

sorry to digress

assuming you meant USD6,000 pls feel free to consider shipping from singapore

it's only SGD5,200 before deducting local taxes (7%) since you are tax exempt

would be glad to put u or anyone else keen, in touch with the authorised dealer here in singapore
 
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Jun 8, 2020 at 11:23 AM Post #9 of 1,549
@Focux thanks for letting me know. That's a sweet price for this DAC. I just might take this route if and when I am ready. My only 2 concerns are, Indian customs charges 100% import duty and does not allow you to ship items like this overseas for repair, in case an issue were to arise.
 
Jun 8, 2020 at 12:43 PM Post #10 of 1,549
@Focux thanks for letting me know. That's a sweet price for this DAC. I just might take this route if and when I am ready. My only 2 concerns are, Indian customs charges 100% import duty and does not allow you to ship items like this overseas for repair, in case an issue were to arise.

jesus christ that's akin to the 115% duty for importing cars into sg hahaha

no worries i'm sure my local guy wouldn't mind underdeclaring tbh
 
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Jun 8, 2020 at 2:15 PM Post #11 of 1,549
Btw, on your Dave-Terminator tonality scale, where would you put Yggy & Wavelight at?

It's a pretty murky 'scale' so that is a tough question but on tone if we consider ADI-2 or DAC3 as dead neutral +0, I roughly and loosely think something like X-Sabre Pro or Brooklyn+ are +1 on warmth, Wavelight +2, Yggy +3, Spring2 +4, Terminator +5.
 
Jun 8, 2020 at 2:18 PM Post #12 of 1,549
It's a pretty murky 'scale' so that is a tough question but on tone if we consider ADI-2 or DAC3 as dead neutral +0, I roughly and loosely think something like X-Sabre Pro or Brooklyn+ are +1 on warmth, Wavelight +2, Yggy +3, Spring2 +4, Terminator +5.

on the same note, where do you place Hugo 2/Qutest for warmth?
 
Jun 8, 2020 at 3:16 PM Post #15 of 1,549
jesus christ that's akin to the 115% duty for importing cars into sg hahaha
no worries i'm sure my local guy wouldn't mind underdeclaring tbh

You don't say. It used to be 42%, but now it is around 55% for small packages and 100% for large and heavy packages.

It's a pretty murky 'scale' so that is a tough question but on tone if we consider ADI-2 or DAC3 as dead neutral +0, I roughly and loosely think something like X-Sabre Pro or Brooklyn+ are +1 on warmth, Wavelight +2, Yggy +3, Spring2 +4, Terminator +5.

Gotcha, thanks. I was hoping at least Yggy A2's level of warmth. But shouldn't be a problem, as long as it is full-bodied in the mids and hits hard in the bass.
 

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