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Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:28 pm
by DirtFt

I'm interested in the Canadian loaner as well, living in NW ON


Dirt Ft.

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:36 am
by NekoAudio
Pneumonic Wrote:I will be able to compare the D100 to a

- Squeezebox Transporter (currently stock)
- Roksan DA1 DAC w/ DS4 PS
- Lite Audio DAC 60
- Beresford 7510 Mk6.4
- Modwright Sony SCD777ES
- Metric Halo ULN2

and I have quick and easy access to my Dad's Muse Model 2 DAC w/ Bessel filter along with a current update Museatex Bidat of his.

That'd be great. :) It sounds like you have a lot of gear to help you with a serious audition.

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:42 am
by NekoAudio
Jakeman, could you send me your shipping address and phone number when you get the chance? So it'll be ready for mantisory next week? Thanks.

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:56 pm
by Brooke

I would like to get on the list to audition as well.

Thanks, Brooke.

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:03 am
by NekoAudio
Brooke Wrote:I would like to get on the list to audition as well.

Welcome, Brooke. I've added you to the list. :)

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:41 pm
by mantisory
Ok, here is my review - I will be getting the unit on to Jakeman this week. This is also being posted on CAM as well as on my blog (

Digital hi-fi, in my opinion, is in the midst of a mini-revolution. The arrival of hi-resolution (24-bit, 96kHz and 192kHz) music files means that audiophiles are finally able to really see what the digital realm has to offer. Not that standard 'Redbook' CD are all that bad , but I have always felt that the performance from digital has always left me wanting. Wanting more detail, more warmth, ambience etc..all the things that in my opinion vinyl offers in spades.

With the increasing availability of hi-res downloads, and an increasing number of audiophiles moving towards the music server as a way to listen to digital files, a number of manufacturers have started releasing new DACs to ride the hi-res wave. One of these companies, a newcomer, is Neko Audio, run by Wesley Miaw. It is about his new product, the Neko Audio D100 DAC, that I am writing today.

I will not go into any details regarding the fit and finish, or build quality, etc, except to say that it's house in a standard case and appears quite solid, with some heft to it as well. Nice.

The DAC itself has two input choices, both SPDIF inputs – optical and RCA. It has balanced outputs, but since I do not have a balanced preamp, Wesley was kind enough to provide XLR to RCA interconnects.

So, how does it perform? Quite well, thank you!

For the first sample in my testing sessions I listened to Rimsky-Korsakov's "Dance of the Tumblers" from the Tutti! Orchestral Sampler (Reference Recordings). What struck me immediately is the sense of ambience that this thing was portraying. A very spacious soundstage, both in terms of left-to- right, as well as depth, is evident. There is a very nice spaciousness around the instruments, giving them very good separation. There is an excellent amount of upper and midrange frequency detail, which contributes to the ambience as well as true-to-life portrayal of instruments, especially horns and strings. The blast of the horns in this piece really has a wonderful timbre, a 'brassy' quality (duh!). On the downside, the visceral impact during the crescendos of this piece is missing a bit. If you know the piece, you know what i am talking about. I am not sure quite what is causing this – I have a feeling that because the D100 uses a transformer-based rather than active output stage, that it may seem a little 'slower' in the bass regions, thus giving a little less impact and slam. It doesn't sound bad at all, don't get me wrong – it just loses a bit of the impact of the music.

For the second piece I chose Tracey Chapman – "Talkin' about a revolution"
Again I was struck by the ambience in the piece – you could really get a sense of the studio that Tracy was using when she recorded it. It gives the music a real sense of realism that gives you the sense of being in the studio with her. The slight flutter in her voice as she sung was also quite remarkable – I had heard it before but at times it is extremely subtle. The D100 had no trouble picking this up.

Another track that was extremely impressive was "Norwegian Wood" by the Ceccarelli Trio on 3 around the 4. This is an excellent CD, mostly instrumental interpretations of some of the fab four's bigger hits. This track starts of with some fantastic drum work by Andre Ceccarelli, and the D100 capably showcased all the nuances of the performance. The slightest details of his stick work, like dragging the tip on the skin of the drum and working it around the rim was clearly audible – you could hear him hitting his drums in different spots – it was really uncanny and something I've not often heard.

Finally, one of my favourite 'new classical' pieces is "3055" by Ólafur Arnalds. The Neko DAC truly shone, as it displayed the utter haunting beauty of this piece. It's a very moving and emotional piece, and the D100 really conveyed the Icelanders' sense of melody, with fully textured strings and piano, and again a remarkable feeling of space and ambience around each of the instruments.

Unfortunately, up to this point I do not have a large hi-res collection of music to warrant a detailed review of any of the material I have, although I will say that it is finally well worth it to start paying for downloads from the likes of HDTracks et al...the music I have heard in this format is truly great, with increased spatial cues, detail and more nuanced textures.

Overall, I really have enjoyed my time with the D100 – it is a really nice piece of gear. In audiophile terms, it provides excellent side-to-side as well as front-to-back sound staging, with excellent highs and a wonderful, fully detail midrange. The bass performance is it's only weak point – it is a little bit slower than I'd prefer and thus robs the music of some of its immediacy and impact. However, it does not do this in a way that sounds bad by any means. While it's not the last word in impact and musical flow, it always gives a very nice performance and one that gives many of us just what we want – music!

This is a DAC that is well worth the $1295 USD asking price, giving excellent performance in an easy-to-use package and, providing you have an SPDIF capable source, one definitely worth auditioning.

My System:
Pre-amp: Music Angel Marantz 7 clone
Amplifier: Gainclone (based on National LM3886)
Digital: PC-based with M-Audio Audiophile 192
Vinyl: Clearaudio Emotion/Satisfy arm/Dynavector 17D3
Phono stage: ARC PH3SE
Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Speaker Cables: DIY X-Symphony with WBT locking Banana

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:42 pm
by NekoAudio
Thanks for posting your impressions, Byron. :)

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:14 pm
by Pneumonic
Hi, Wes.

I have sent you a PM.


- Kerry

Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:16 pm
by paulg30
Hi there

Some folks at CAM hav suggested that I get in on the loaner program, as I currently am looking for a DAC to complement my squeezebox duet. I had a loook at your website, and the D100 seems interesting. Is the program still open ?


Re: Canada Loaner Program

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:34 pm
by NekoAudio
Hi Paul. The program is certainly still open. I've added you to the queue. :)

I noticed you have a VTL IT-85. I haven't tried that particular model, but I did pair the D100 with a VTL TL-7.5 and it sounded wonderful in my opinion.

restock is up next--he should be getting ahold of the D100 soon.