New DAC-Pre Antelope Zodiac
by, 01-22-2012 at 03:40 PM (1057 Views)
I was fortunate to run into the Antelope Zodiac at CES 2012, and this unit sounds several orders of magnitude better than the Benchmark DAC1 Pre, but competes with it in price. I've now had both units in my system for careful listening. The Zodiac is so articulate and sweet sounding that I'm finally able to retire my beloved but failing Melos Maestro Preamp, and improve upon it. That is no small compliment! I have always loved a tube somewhere in my system for the most natural sound possible, but this is the first solid state product I've used as a controller that let's me separate from tubes. The Zodiac is incredibly musical & live sounding. It makes voice as special on my Magneplanar 1.6s as did the Melos. The Antelope is a preamp too, allowing me to get the most out of my Classe' dual mono amps with balanced outputs. It is quiet, velvety quiet. It has five inputs all told, allowing it to serve as the complete hub in my all digital system. I haven't compared the Zodiac with the Wyred4Sound and Weiss DACS, but when I googled the Zodiac I found that others have, with very high praise. Some say it is as good or better than those respected DACS too. It could very well be the new Highly Recommended, Best Buy, DAC-Pre subject to more reviews by those with access to the more expensive DACs. I highly recommended it now for the sound and price.