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Best Audio Gear Iíve Ever Owned

Best piece of audio gear Iíve ever owned. I bought a used - Ďdemoí - model from Advisor and compared with my three-year-old Benchmark that is my main headphone amp and Audioquest DragonFly Red that is my travel-DAC. The difference in sound is not subtle. Clarity is my foremost impression. On recording with multiple instruments and performers the DDP-1 reveals each one in space. With the other DACs things sound more congested and far less distinct. With the Alchemy you can focus in on the individual instruments or just let the music wash over you - itís your choice. Everything is in focus but also sweet and smooth and lovely to listen to. Hereís my prediction if you get the DDP-1: you will hear things you never noted before on recordings youíve listened to a hundred times, but honestly, you donít need to pay attention to them if you donít want to because the overall music presentation is just so sweet and rich you probably will just close your eyes, sit back and relax in the beauty of the music. Lovely!

- Sanjay P, CA
 
Totally Recommended

In my room with my system the DDP-1 is the first DAC Iíve heard in a long time whose sound has been my clear favorite above all others. To my ears it easily out distances its rivals in the DAC wars including the Benchmark DAC3, the Chord Hugo 2, Musical Fidelity M6, and even more expensive DACs like the PS Audio DirectStream Junior and Weiss 202. Its closest rival to my ears is the Auralic Vega, but only for sheer musicality. On detail, precision and soundstage the Audio Alchemy is the clear winner of the two. It is, frankly, a sort of mystery to my why the Alchemy sounds as good as it does and Iím guessing itís because of everything designer Peter Madnick learned as the chief architect of the Constellation gear, which in my opinion is some of the very best gear out there. The DDP-1 is extraordinary and totally recommended.

- Charles V, NJ
 
One Year On And Still My Favorite Digital Product

I see Advisor is now offering the DDP1 in combination with the outboard power supply at a great price and Iím recommending this combo to my friends. I got the DDP1 one year ago and was immediately shocked by the sense of ease and musicality it brought to my system. I was finally able to perform reasonable comparisons to my similar digital and analog recordings. The clarity of hi-res files is totally amazing and Iím buying more and more of these simply to hear them on this DAC. A few recommendations for those considering this purchase. First, Iíve tried the DAC several times with and without the PS5 add-on power supply. I found the PS5 to be totally worth it. It seems to lower the noise floor of the DDP1 and somehow make it sound more dynamic. Another upgrade I can recommend its using a really good power cable. I started with the Pangea AC14SE on the PS5 and it was a nice improvement in micro-details. Later I upgrade to the Cardas Clear power cable and that gave me another level of refinement in the soundstaging and smoothness. Last, do use a very good USB cable with this machine because to my ear it really made a big difference. Iím currently using the Cardas Clear Dual cable, but can also recommend the Pangea Audio USB-XL which Iíve also heard and its very good. Cheers!

- Simon S, CA
 
Follow Up Review

This is a follow-up to the review I posted earlier on the Alchemy DAC. Itís been six months now and Iím still in love with this DAC. My initial love affair was with the purity and musicality of the Alchemy and thatís still there but now after more break-in time and a couple of cable changes Iím impressed with more refinements to the soundstage Iím hearing. The soundstaging Iím getting is deeper and wider than before and Iím picking up more fine details within the hi-res recordings. After consulting with the Advisors - Tim and Kaan have been great - I settled on the Pangea USB-XL cable and their Premier SE interconnects. Iím tempted to try the new Cardas Iridium interconnects, but, for now, the Premier SE - which use Cardas wire inside - are sounding pretty amazing. Good stuff!

- BJ H, MA
 
Sorry I can only give five stars

First off, I want to say I really LOVE this product. For me it excels in every area far beyond its price. The preamp section alone would be worth the cost. It's more transparent, truthful and neutral than any preamp I've heard for the money. Though the best feature has got to be the amazing DAC. It so clean and precise sounding. "Transparent" is the word that keeps coming to my mind. I think that's the word The Absolute Sound reviewer Robert Harley keeps using and he's right on the money. I would give this product ten stars, but the scale ends at five

- JP C, CA
 
Brilliant.

Positively brilliant DAC. Amazing transparency. Transforms even my 16-bit CDs.

- Paul R, GA
 
A revelation

After experimenting with several $3,000 to $5,000 DACs over the past year I finally settled on this $2,000 - $2,600 with the upgrade power supply - wonder by Audio Alchemy. You can read the glowing reviews - there are many - but they won't prepare you for what this DAC can deliver. On the best 24-bit recordings the Alchemy challenges my VPI reference analog system in soundstaging, depth, layering, speed and especially transparency. For best results use with a very high quality USB cable. A friend who used to work in the audio industry told me the designer, Peter Madnick, invested more in USB filtering because that's his preferred input. I haven't heard every sub-$5K DAC on the market, but this one bests everything I've heard here in NYC. Love it!

- Warren P, NY
 
Transformed my system

I've owned the Alchemy for two months now and I can say it was the biggest improvement EVER in my high-end system. The DDP1 transformed my system and changed my listening habits. I've spent many late nights revisiting CDs in my collection and listening to new hi-res music downloads to see what magic the 'Alchemy brews for me. Old CDs sound amazing and 24K files are unbelievably good. Two field notes: the PS5 makes are really big difference by reducing the system's background noise. It makes recordings sound smoother and more 3D. Cables make a big difference with the DDP1. I've long since retired my entry level AQ and Straightwire cables and have settled on the Pangea SE USB for now, but I'm still experimenting.

- BJ H, MA