AURALiC ALTAIR G2.1 REVIEW
February 17, 2023 §
Just out of interest I put on a few DSD tracks. This is not generally my format of choice but it seems that some DACs deal with it rather better than others. Bill Evans’ Explorations swings beautifully and avoids the papery airiness that often seems to accompany DS and instead it sounded natural and relaxed which are the more appealing characteristics of the one-bit system. Another contrast was made between the USB and streaming inputs, both supplied by a Melco N10 music library/server. Here the streaming option had quieter backgrounds, fuller bass and less time smear. Which is quite an achievement given that the ethernet cable has to be about a tenth of the price of the USB that was making the connection. USB had the advantage in timing, image scale and smoothness of delivery, however, so it’s safe to say that the ALTAIR is a very capable DAC.
The most comprehensively equipped member of AURALiC’s G2.1 family does an awful lot of what matters in high-resolution streaming with consummate ease. It doesn’t offer the upgradeability of AURALiC’s separates but those looking to hear what a serious streamer is capable of will find an awful lot to like in this superbly executed piece of kit. Build quality is first class and ease of use via the Lightning app is top notch. Combine the ALTAIR G2.1 with a good pre and power amp, or perhaps a pair of those active ATC loudspeakers AURALiC used at Axpona, and you’ll have a system that’s going places.
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