|CLONES Audio Asher DAC Review|
|Home Theater Accessories Acoustics, EQ & Room Tuning|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Tuesday, 31 May 2016|
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As impressive as the inner workings of the Asher are, its construction is very solid and the case work, connectors, and support feet are absolutely first rate. The prospective owner will have no complaints about the quality of the workmanship.
Set Up & Listening
Setting up the Asher was uneventful, aside from running the excellent Wireworld Gold Starlight 7 AES/EBU and Platinum 7 USB cables from my Bryston BDP-2 file player. The volume knob also doubles as menu selector, where you can select fixed or variable output, the digital input, the preferred PCM and DSD filters, the display brightness, among other things.
When I sat down for what turned out to be numerous, long listening sessions, I was able to rather quickly determine sonic personality of the Asher DAC. I heard a very precise sound stage. With superb separation of recorded elements, and near perfect tonal balance. During the review period I was going through a serious archeological dig into my classic progressive rock library. I streamed literally dozens of so called Krautrock, or German experimental bands, as wells as staples of the Canterbury scene, like Gentle Giant, Soft Machine, and space rock kings ike Hawkwind. I did this not only because I love the music, but it is also a great test for a DAC as the music is complex, challenging, and generally has lots of dynamic range.
I made sure to listen to music all at resolutions, and the recent 96 kHz remasters of early Deep Purple titles just slammed out of the speakers, and there more recorded detail and punch than I could ask for. So not only does the Asher decode esoteric Krautrock, but it can hang with the heaviest music you can throw at it. The title track to Purple’s 1976 tour de force, Burn, was pure adrenaline. Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar and Jon Lord’s organ lines are a thing to behold and David Coverdale’s lead vocal on the title track is one of rock music’s greatest ever. The Asher, in my opinion got the perfect balance between total abandon and controlled professionalism the band was after at this point in their career.