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DAC - Resoluton Audio Cantata

RESOLUTION AUDIO CANTATA

A new star in the world of DACs

 

I-INTRODUCTION.

RESOLUTION AUDIO is not an unknown brand to me: I have had the chance to lesson during a few days the RESOLUTION AUDIO Opus 21, which was  the previous generation of the integrated CD players, composed by 2 cabinets. It was a very rare CD Player, but it was a true excellent performer compared to its competitors. It delivered a excellent sense of the rythm allied with a very analogic sonic presentation.

The designers are known to make true high end audio products, reliable and modern. The first designer and the manager is Jeff KALT, owning a MIT diploma in Electronics, and the second one is Steve HUNTLEY wha has already worked for Audio Research, California Audio Labs, Wadia, and owns hos own company named Great Southern Sound Co.

jeff_photo_200x300.jpg Steve-Huntley-photo1-200x300.jpg

 

and they have created their own common company: RESOLUTION AUDIO.

 

II-THE RESOLUTION AUDIO MEDIA SERVER.

Its look is definitely modern and surprising. The top part is made of aluminium and exhibits a sort of picture that is in fact used to dissipate the heat : congratulations. The white LEDs of the display are powerful and cen be seen at more than 20 meters ! This player does not have a caddy but uses a slot-in mechanism like the PCs players but nothing in common with these... The remote control is a bit strange and could have bee more ergonomic.

RESOLUTION AUDIO also lended a preamplifier but we have not been totally convinced by ti during our review...

A USB input is available and this is a very good point, allowing the owner to use feed this DAC with a PC or with a SAN for the most advanced users. As very often, the RCA input are better than the USB input : this is usual, and year after year we verify that the SPDIF inputs better than the USB in 99% of the cases.

This device has an uncommon featue: its ability to establish a bridge between the USB and Ethernet: this is very useful allowing to feed tha DAC through an Ethernet (RJ-45) input with almost the same quality than with a USB input. We reming our readers that a truly excellent USB cable is mandatory...

Here is the Front plate with the white LEDs:

cantata_front.jpg

 

And the rear plate with a lot of connectors: USB, Ethernet, RCA and XLR:

 

cantata_back.jpg

 

Then the Top view:

cantata_dessus.jpg

 

and finally the remote control, which is basic:

cantazta_telecommande.jpg

 

III-THE LISTENING CONFIGURATION.

As usual, the listenig configuration remains the same in order toprovide you with a stable base of comparison. Nevertheless there are 3 changes:

  • the SILTECH cable has been replaced by a CRIMSON cable
  • the DAC is the THETA Gen V-a
  • the loudspeakers are the APOGEE DIVA
reference.jpg

 

IV-THE LISTENING SESSION.

Because of the 3 changes mentioned above, the reference system is even better than before.  The DIVA loudspeakers have been renewed with new ribbons, and the DAC is therefore the incredibly excellent THETA Gen V-a. The previous silver SILTECH cable has been replaced by a copper cable (CRIMSON) because since the renewal of the DIVA, it seems that the silver cables are no longer a good match with the rest of the system.

For this listening sesion, the KRELL MD-10R has been replaced by the RESOLUTION AUDIO Cantata. The AC phase has been checked, and we verified that a "big" (high diameter) power cable usually gives better results with the RESOLUTION AUDIO Cantata : this should interest you if you plan to buy this device.

This CD player will let its mark in the history of the CD players, and not only because of its very modern look : it has all the qualities of a high end CD player.

Its musical performance is rare on the market. As soon as it is installed in the system and that you start to lesson to the music, its quality is evident. Not only it provides a very detailled sound, but it has the additional qualities that define a high end player: a very well balanced sound, a lot of detail but not too much, the music is "liquid" and flows out of the speaker with ease and pleasure.

Switching to another kind of music, such as Jazz or Opera, just confirms that it performs as perfectly on these types of recordings.

We recognize that because of its excellent engineering (Burr Borwn PCM-1704, quality of the other parts) we expected a high end player: but we got even more than we expected !

The competitors are just a few and if we consider only the players that are still manufactured, they can be counted on the fingers of one hand only...

Its price is not low, sure, but it is much lower than the competitors we thing about; under 8.000€ we know no modern DAC (i.e still in production) that could compete with this excellent device !

 

This RESOLUTION AUDIO Cantata establishes a new reference in the world of the integrated CD players. Period.

It can be introduced in a high end system without a doubt, and this is remarkable because it is an integrated CD player: 99% of the high end devices anre not integrated...

 

Pros:

  • level of detail
  • overall restitution: easen analogic, beauty of the sonics, ...
  • Ethernet USB, and USB/Ethernet bridge
  • overall quality, totally unexpected for an integrated CD player

Cons:

  • the USB input is (as always...) not as perfect as the RCA input
  • the preamplifier is correct but not excellent compared with our other champions
  • the remote control could be more ergonomic
  • the price is high for an integrated CD player, 6500€, but totally justified by its performance
TL_5stateart.jpg

 

This article has been written by Florent and Nounours - September 2015.


Creation date : 26/09/2015 @ 10:38
Last update : 04/05/2016 @ 13:14
Category : DAC
Page read 70 times


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