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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
27" iMac with 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB 1.333MHz RAM, 2TB hard disc, 256GB SSD drive, ADM Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, OSX 10.8.2, PureMusic 1.89g in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM and AIFF files up to 24/192; Audirvana 1.5.10 in direct/integer mode 1, Metrum Acoustic Hex, AURALiC Vega
Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Bent Audio Tap-X,, Bakoon AMP-12R, Gato Audio DIA-250
: First Watt SIT1, FirstWatt SIT2, Goldmund/Job 225, Crayon Audio CFA-1.2, AURALiC Merak [on loan]
soundkaos Wave 40, AudioSolutions Rhapsody 200, Boenicke Audio B10, Zu Audio Submission, German Physiks HRS-120
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Audio Event; KingRex uArt, Light Harmonic LightSpeed and Zu Event split USB cables; Tombo Trøn SP/DIF; AudioQuest Diamond Toslink
Artesania Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with TT glass shelf, Rajasthani solid hardwood console for amps
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF2
with Vibex Two 1R on amps, Vibex Three 11R on front-end components
gear: 160GB AIFF-loaded Apple iPod Classic, ALAC-loaded RWA-modified Astell& Kern AK100, Cambridge Audio iD100 digital-direct dock, Wyred4Sound mINT, Gallo Acoustics Strada II on Mapleshade stands, Gallo Acoustics TR3D subwoofer, Zu cabling - alternate speakers
Amphion Ion+ on Ardán Audio EVP-M1 stand
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review component retail: $4.000/pr

Hypex. ICEpower. TI. Abletec/Anaview. Pascal. PowerSoft. Tripath.
With class D hifi amps we mostly listen to output modules from these suppliers. Variations on the theme come from running their modules with stock switch-mode power supplies or custom linear supplies; off custom front ends with input transformers or tubes; or by modifying the modules which usually voids the OEM's warranty. Very rare is the small high-end boutique firm with the chops to design their own analog switching output stage and modulator circuit. But that's exactly what Digital Amplifier Company claim to be: an original equipment manufacturer like Arion Audio, Audio Research, NuForce and Spectron in this game. And yes, the company name is unfortunate since it's really a misnomer. These aren't digital amplifiers. They're analog switching amplifiers with analog inputs. This lot goes by variations on the Cherry name.

Maraschino is the newest smallest cherry measuring all of 5 x 6" claiming 125/250wpc into 8/4Ω and imperturbability down to 1Ω. If the tiny footprint has you doubt, check out an Ncore 400 module or latest-gen bridgeable B&O board. And yes it still wants for a power supply. M gets an external "medical-grade" SMPS like a laptop. That universal switcher in fact is the bottleneck on 2Ω power doubling. A bigger PSU could reportedly deliver a solid 800w from this very compact output stage. For the power obsessed or those with hard-of-hearing speakers there's thus an upgrade path with a stouter supply. Big boys in the Digital Amplifier Company portfolio already run off mondo 1.800VA power trannies. The company is thus well sorted to pursue that route should sufficient demand arise*.

* "We plan to offer a higher power supply in 2014 with a buy-back type upgrade program."

100-240V 50/60Hz 3A input, 40V/4.58A 220W max output power supply from ICCNexergy's Elpac Power Systems range. The model is the MWA220048A. Made in China it's available from Digikey for $179.70/ea. Upscale power cords with barrel connectors needn't apply as they won't go in deep enough to make a secure connection. Generic plugs are best.

From Tommy O'Brien our king cherry picker: "The Maraschino monos are DC-coupled on floating ground, hence no LF phase shift for flat response to 0Hz. We use a much higher modulation frequency and signal bandwidth than other class D topologies and offer extremely low distortion and ultra-quiet idle performance with a micro-power automated standby mode*. The Maraschino comes with WBT gold-plated binding posts and Neutrik gold-plated XLR input (a compact RCA input adapter is included). It also includes an 8-pound anti-vibration granite base with Sorbothane footers."

* That's a vital feature. 96% power conversion efficiency makes for truly negligible always-on consumption so many could feel compelled to leave the amps on indefinitely. The problem with that is your preamp. If you mean to turn it off after each listen, powering it back up the next day could well generate noisy turn-on transients into a powerful amp already live.