DAC’s present audiophiles with difficult decisions. So many to choose from at a multitude of price points, and with myriad features, processing abilities, and other options. Plus, digital technologies constantly seem to be in flux, with the latest and greatest “improvements” coming to market at a dizzying pace. Where is an audio hobbyist to start?
These days, component decisions made for my main system revolve around several factors. I look for unique designs that offers something special, along with superb performance to price value. Something that will be highly effective for testing cable models, with flexible connector options for various cable types. Lastly, I look for exceptional brands that we can potentially offer in our store and introduce to our customers.
The Short and Winding Road
My search for a state-of-the-art DAC for my main rig began by contacting one of today’s most highly regarded digital audio manufacturers and offering to purchase two of their models, the second being for my office system. Long (and winding) story short, this was not going to work. Their products were offered direct to consumer exclusively, with no opportunities to represent or showcase their line-up. After a few emails were not returned, I gave up on making a purchase even after eCommerce opportunities were not attached.
During this quest, I was in contact with venerable industry journalist and publisher of 6Moons.com, Srajan Ebean, who had just purchased 2 AAC Statement Digital cables. Being a discerning ear, and someone who has experienced many exceptional audio components, I wanted to get his take on what was out there, and worth a look. He unhesitatingly mentioned Sonnet Digital Audio, their new Morpheus DAC, and shared a story of how the brand and the model came to be.
Who Are These Guys?
In recent years, Cees Ruijtenberg made a name for himself as one of the premier digital audio designers on the hi-end hi-fi scene with the Metrum Acoustics line of components. At the pinnacle of successes with the highly praised Adagio, Pavane, and Hex model DAC’s gaining momentum in the market, Metrum was sold and Cees stayed on as chief designer.
A few years later, new ownership ran into struggles, and Cees decided to move on, with an intention to improve and enhance his original designs as a new generation of components and formed Sonnet Digital Audio.
The Red Pill or the Blue Pill?
So begins Srajan’s review on 6Moons.com , referencing a scene from the 1999 film The Matrix, and a choice given by the rebel leader, Morpheus. Taking the "red pill" will reveal an unpleasant truth. Taking the "blue pill" will keep you in blissful ignorance. To me, experiencing the Morpheus falls into the red pill end of the spectrum. The “unpleasant” truth revealed is simply an awareness that so much potential musical enjoyment, so much information, and so much more of an emotional connection on my favorite recordings has been missing up until now!
Never listen to Morpheus and live comfortably in blue pill land...
To say I have been listening to my favorite CD’s and HD files in a brand-new way is an understatement. Rather, my jaw seems to be dropping every time I listen to music through its magical processing techniques. That said, if a recording is poorly engineered, Morpheus will display its shortcomings in an honest fashion, but it also makes these offerings as listenable as possible because it never exhibits any digital glare, or harshness. Musicians and vocalists are displayed in an unfailingly fluid, sweet, fleshed out, astonishingly detailed, transparent, rich, and textured manner, chock full of recorded acoustic ambience.
Morpheus is a truly remarkable achievement that will be an end game component for many. It is currently in the conversation on many audio forums with the most highly regarded DAC’s on the market today. At $3,199? Believe it!
I am thrilled to enthusiastically introduce you to Audio Art Cable’s newest component partnership --
Sonnet Digital Audio
Please consult us with any questions you may have about this manufacturer’s fine line-up of digital audio products.
Coming Soon in this space...
- Lehmann Audio Phono Stages
- Dayens Audio Amplifiers
- Sennheiser Headphones
- Audeze Headphones