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Aesthetix Romulus CD Player - USB DAC

Quick Overview

Aesthetix Romulus CD Player DAC available in Standard and Signature Editions.
http://aesthetix.net/digital.php
The Romulus includes the same features and construction as Pandora, but adds a CD ROM drive.
•Card-based DAC with three digital input slots.
•AES/EBU, RCA Coax, Toslink standard on digital input 1 slot.
•AES/EBU and RCA Coax SPDIF capable of 192KHz / 24 bit.
•Digital section capable of the following frequencies: 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, all with 24 bit resolution.
•USB standard on digital input 2 slot.
•USB capable of class 1 audio (96KHz, 24bit) and class 2 audio (192KHz, 24bit).
•2nd USB input optional.
•Asynchronous transfer mode for USB input, licensed from Gordon Rankin / Wavelength Technologies. This technology allows for jitter levels over a hundred times lower than previous USB solutions.
•DSP based digital section using Motorola DSP56362 for digital filters.
•DAC section based on Burr-Brown PCM1792A.
•Analog section featuring four vacuum tubes in differential configuration (2x 12AX7, 2x 6DJ8/6922).
•Zero feedback analog circuitry.
•Balanced and single-ended outputs.
•Volume control optional, allows DAC to drive a power amplifier directly. Relay-based switched resistor analog/digital design.
•Remote control of all functions.
•Multiple stainless steel faraday cages isolate critical digital, analog and power supply sections.
•Three transformers, one for critical digital circuits, one for analog circuits and one for control functions.
•All aluminum chassis construction.
•RS232 control.
•12v trigger.
•Available in black or silver faceplate.


Manufacturer's website AESTHETIX

Details

AESTHETIX ROMULUS AWARDED PRODUCT OF THE YEAR, GOLDEN EAR

Image result for 2016 editors choice award the absolute sound

http://aesthetix.net/digital.php

Please find reviews below:

This all-tubed CD player and DAC is one of the greatest bargains in high-end audio today. What makes the Romulus special is that it sounds so "un-digital," particularly at this price. Rather than sounding flat and congealed, the Romulus opens up the spatial presentation and gives instruments and voices room to breathe. The player has an expansive quality along with a sense of top-octave air and openness. The tonal balance is rich and warm in the bass, which, coupled with the treble smoothness, results in an immediately engaging and fatigue-free presentation. The Romulus doesn't sound "tubey" in the classic sense, but neither does it sound like solid-state. The design and build-quality are beyond what's expected at this price. If you have no analog sources, the Romulus can serve as a preamplifier and DAC with multiple digital inputs, provided you purchase the variable-output option ($1000). Thanks to an innovative hybrid analog/digital volume-control, there's no loss of resolution no matter what the volume setting." -Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award (September 2014)

The Romulus is another home run for Aesthetix, combining innovative circuit design, premium-quality parts and construction, and first-rate sound. This player was never anything less than musically communicative and immensely enjoyable, even in the context of a cost-no-object system. The Romulus is a flat-out bargain at its price, and invites comparison with much more expensive players. In fact, I’d call the Romulus a giant-killer, offering one of the highest price-to-performance ratios in digital playback today." -Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound (May/June 2014), download PDF.

Excellent dynamic impact and bass slam with sweet mids and highs." -Jon Iverson, Stereophile Class A Recommended Component (2014)

 

The Romulus delivers sound with a wonderful sense of space and ease. And detail? There’s loads. The player uncovers subtleties with considerable skill." -What Hi-Fi? (UK, June 2014, ROMULUS DAC and CD transport), read review

"The build- and parts-quality are first-rate. Sonically, the Romulus offers an exceptionally natural sound with a great sense of ease and an expensive soundstage." - Robert Harley,The Absolute Sound (March 2014), download PDF.

 

(Romulus) has that combination of honey and of detail that enables you to listen to music for hours and never get tired or irritated.Hi-Fi i Muzyka Product of the Year Award (Poland, February 2014) read review

...Romulus worked flawlessly and was a joy to use... the design, engineering, and build quality are top-notch for its price—and for the tube enthusiast, it's a no-brainer." - Jon Iverson, Stereophile (2013, ROMULUS DAC and CD transport), read review.

Klanglich einer der musikalischsten Player überhaupt... harmonisch, farbig, schnell und kraftvoll... vom Computer gelieferte Files habe ich persönlich in dieser Qualität noch nicht gehört." -Michael Lang, STEREO (Germany, 2012, ROMULUS DAC and CD transport) 

"Tonally one of the most musical players there is... harmonious, colorful, fast and powerful... I have never heard computer audio of this quality." -Michael Lang, STEREO (Germany, 2012, ROMULUS DAC and CD transport)

...vivid dynamic contrast... vibrant sound... excellent analytics... with a taste of vinyl texture..." -Sam Ho, HiFi Review (Hong Kong, 2012, PANDORA DAC and ROMULUS DAC and CD transport)

HiFi Review
Product of the Year

(2011, Hong Kong, ROMULUS DAC and CD transport)

 

 

 

"6 Moons" Online Magazine Review

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/aesthetix/1.html