CD Convertors
Alchemist TS-D-1 £300 Jan 99 Smooth, natural and relaxed on the ear, highly persuasive with acoustic material. A bit soft on Rock and Dance.
Arcam BB500 £750 Aug 97 Smooth and accurate treble and easy-going rhythm. Measured and engaing; good value too.
Audiolab 8000DAC £900 Aug 97 Treble roll-off serves to remove some of the musicís sparkle; lags behind the group leaders somewhat.
Audio Note DAC-One &
Audio Note CDT-Zero
Feb 02 A enjoyably musical package and beautifully presented too, but a touch too coloured to compete with the best of the rest.
Cambridge Dacmagic £150 Jun 95 Instant upgrade for a budget player but out of its depth within a properly designed hi-fi CD player.
Cambridge Isomagic £129 May 01 Extremely refined and sophisticated sound at a ridiculously low price make it another Cambridge cracker!
Chord DSC 900 DAC £1700 Dec 98 The Chord combines smooth composure with musicality and transparency. Fort Knox build and priced to match.
Creek OBH-14 £239 Jun 99 Combined DAC and passive pre-amp; at the money there is no competition.
DPA Digital SX64 £800 Aug 99 Combines lack of grain and tonal richness with typical DPA speed and lucidity.
DPA Enlighten DAC £795 Mar 95 Powerful, taut bassand remarkably solid higher frequencies. A nice touch with acoustic music especially.
DPA Enlightenment £825 Aug 97 An engrossing listen with good manners to boot. Never uninvolving or lacklustre, plays with realism
DPA Little Bit 3 £300 Nov 95 Don't be misled by the name - it's the budget convertor to have. Impossible to criticise for the money.
DPA SX512 DAC £8000 Jun 98 A real smoothie for high-end digital conversion. Given the right transport, an outstanding sound is on the cards.
GT Audio Star-Dac £350 Jan 00 This DAC's extremely natural, fluid character gels with any type of music.
LFD DAC3 £2999 Aug 01 Three grand is a lot to spend, but few other digital convertors come close. Brilliantly warm, musical and engaging sound makes the most of any music.
Link DAC 2 £300 Nov 99 Bargain price, priceless performance. A DAC to take very seriously indeed.
Marston Silhouette/PSU £895 Aug 97 If detail is high on your list of priorities, with a more forceful, hard-edged presentation, this looks like a very good bet.
Midiman Flying Calf £109 Feb 99 A great little DAC which simply canít be beaten at the price. A bargain in all areas.
Midiman Flying Cow £300 Jun 98 First-class as a DAC; doubles as an ADC for archiving to CDR - great value.
Monarchy Audio Delux 18 £595 Aug 97 Never offensive; its multi-bit convertor packs a mighty bass punch. Useful analogue volume control.
Monarchy Delux 18 £795 May 95 Delicate brightness does a lot to open out music and create a sense of space
Musical Fidelity X-24K £300  Jan 99 Crisp, detailed and dynamic, the MF is a genuine music maker, if a touch hard and bright at times.
Musical Fidelity X-DAC £300 Nov 97 Outstanding value for money. Excellent sound in the usual attractively styled package.
Musical Fidelity A3.24 £799 Mar 02 An interesting bit of audiophile kit that will put fine sparkle and depth into decent CD recordings and do its very best with bad ones.
Orelle DA188 £399 Jun 95 Nicely built with quality components, the DA-188 has a lively sound. Solid bass, tidy midrange and crisp treble.
Pink Triangle Da Capo £1400 Feb 95 Old hand at the game. One of the first HDCD-compatible convertors still a fine piece of gear.
Pros Audio £699 Nov 95 A fine musical performance makes this idiosyncratic CD convertor worth searching out.
RDP 980 £450 Jul 96 An affordable route into two-box players. Good, clean dynamic sound with a neutral and pure mid-range tone.
Sonic Frontiers DAC kit £240 Jan 95 Easy and fun to build, competitively priced and delivers fine sonic results.
Sonic Frontiers 
Processor 3
£7000 Sep 98 An awful lot of money - use it forever. Quality which can outlive any amount of cheaper purchases.
Sonic Frontiers Transdac £699 Jul 95 The Transdac has a smooth and focussed sound, but partnered with the Ultra Jitterbug looks expensive.
Tag McLaren DPA32R
DAB Option
Oct 01 Expensive, but a supremely versatile machine thats not only an excellent digital radio but a pretty good preamp and DAC too.
Thorens TDA2000 £700 Jun 96 Partnered with the TCD 2000, produces a sound that is certainly focussed, deatiled and spacious.
XTC Dac £1200 Apr 96 A taste of the elegantly smooth, slightly laid-back sound - the epitome of American good taste.


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