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Furutech ADL Esprit preamp, DAC and ADC
Sound quality
Recording analogue
Conclusion
Measured performance
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SOUND QUALITY
Sound tests were initially undertaken using a Quad Core PC with a standard hard disk, attached to a Rega Mira integrated amplifier plus a pair of AE Radiance One 'speakers sitting on a pair of HiFi Racks Podium T5 III stands.
    With a 24bit/192kHz version of the striding, determined solo piano of Joachim Kwetzinsky’s ‘Shchedrin: Basso Ostinato’ from the album,  Polyphonic Dialogues’, I listened to it via my Arcam rDAC, initially. The Esprit brought in a focus that imposed a chiseled determination within the walking chords. On the Esprit the crashing chords almost halfway through the track confirmed that the piano body was made out of wood. The resonance was quite thrilling.
    Similarly, Marianne Thorsen’s solo violin work within Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.4 in D major was light on its feet, swift and nippy. Upper mids were feather light and detailed while the lower mids offered a smooth, low distortion, security that underpinned the track.
    Moving to the USB port now and throttling back to 24bit/96kHz, I connected my MacBook Pro with SSD plus a Tellurium Q Black USB cable and played Harry ‘Big Daddy’ Hypolite’s blues track, ‘Big Bad Girl’ via the audiophile quality, Decibel software. The Esprit output was both focused and lean. Upper mids were crisp and fully formed and best highlighted by the plectrum snapping down the acoustic guitar strings while what bass could be heard on this track, restricted largely to the lower vocal registers, were lacking in fuss but had a taut, efficient aspect.
    Moving to the headphone amplifier module, I used my Icon HP8 Mk.II as a reference.
Playing ‘Love Of My Life’ from Frank Zappa’s live album, ‘Tinseltown Rebellion’, the Esprit had that inherent solid state chill that infused the music when compared to the Icon’s warmer valve presentation. The Esprit thus felt slightly clinical in comparison, especially during the remarkable falsetto vocal sequences from Bob Harris. That won’t bother solid state fans, of course and, in more general terms, the Esprit was both precise in how it tackled each instrument and within the overall arrangement
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