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Aragon D2A2 digital-to-analogue converter HDCD (Used)

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Aragon D2A2 digital-to-analogue converter HDCD (Used)

Post by HiFiLab on Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:57 am









Made In USA

ARAGON American, a brand name of Mondial Designs Limited, a Californian electronics company known for its quality audio products. Aragon encompasses amplifiers as well as digital hardware, and the D2A2 is the successor model to a highly-regarded DAC.



Features

Like other Aragon equipment, the D2A2 uses the best available components, most of them computer grade. with a mini toroidal transformer and jewel-like capacitors dominating the motherboard. At the business end are two discrete 20-bit monolithic DAC chipsets (Burr-Brown PCM63P), one per channel, plus the famed Pacific Microsonics HDCD PMD100 digital filter. This combination can currently be considered state-of-the-art.

Fidelity of the original sound is mainly the job of the buffer amp section and here the circuitry is mostly passive to minimise electronic noise. To eliminate jitter, the D2A2 employs high-speed re-clocking to "sanitise" the incoming signal. The final output stage operates in Class A.

Build quality is excellent, both inside and out. Externally, the D2A2 is the traditional black box, though in this case there are no buttons of any kind. The fascia sports a single rotary knob, which functions as both an on/off switch and a source selector. Turn the spring-loaded knob clockwise from its centre position and the DAC is switched on or off. Turn it anti-clockwise and the source is selected in turns, from coaxial (two of them) to AES/EBU to Toslink. The surprise is that there is no AT&T digital connection.

On the rear panel are the relevant digital input sockets, a pair of analogue output sockets (the lettering is both right side up and upside down to facilitate reading from behind or from the top — very considerate) and the power cord receptor. The output sockets are set quite apart, underlining the discrete twin mono layout within.
And there it is, then. What you have here is a slim-line unit that fits unobtrusively into any equipment stack, although the D2A2 is a mite wider than standard — for no good reason since there's a lot of empty space inside.

Sound

The Aragon displaced my Arcam DAC within seconds, slotting easily into my system of Thiel speakers, Luxman amplifier and Arcam CD transport. Later, a Sony DVP-S7000 DVD/CD player replaced the Arcam CD transport. The link for the digital feed was the excellent Tributaries interconnect. As recommended, the D2A2 was left in the "On" mode all the time. No heat was detected.

Nowadays, multi-bit DACs are more favoured than single-bit types, and the D2A2 showed the superiority of the Burr-Browns over my Arcam's Philips Bitstream chip set in no uncertain manner. The sound emerged clearer, firmer, in more detail and with greater dynamics. Soundstaging, too, improved vastly in width and depth, as did imaging and location. All of a sudden, my Arcam CD transport was given a new lease of life.

Within this general sonic improvement are four characteristics worth dwelling on. One is the increase in ambient information. This is most noticeable in recordings of live performances, especially those derived from analogue masters. Straight-take classical works of the 70s also took on a new liveliness, and even the mono excerpts on the two Divina albums emerged with better dimension.

The second characteristic is the solidity of the bass. Bass is a strong point of multi-bit DACs, but the D2A2 takes this strength to a new level. My favourite torture test for bass resolution, the second track of Saint-Saen's Christmas Oratario, sailed through without a hiccup, marred only by the known weaknesses of my amplifier and speakers. The organ passages went deeper and truer than many previously reviewed DACs could achieve, the musical line fully preserved.

The third characteristic is a superb tonal balance. The Aragon excels in keeping the entire music intact and coherent. In this the Thiels, with their well-known neutrality, proved to be an excellent partner, and large-scale and complex orchestral works came through neither convoluted nor congested.

Lastly, pace. Unlike DACs of similar design (the one in the Copland CDA 277 player comes to mind), the Aragon exhibits a degree of attack that is just right. There is none of that adrenalin mainlining which renders percussions larger than life, nor the inordinately high "jump" factor.

The nice thing is that there's no loss of incisiveness or detail. This was best demonstrated by Ottmar Liebert's Nouveau Flemenco, where the straight-take, two-mic recording brought out the interplay of percussion and guitar in a startlingly realistic manner. Listen, too, to the opening bars of Dvorak's New World Symphony — you almost believe you hear the sea and wind.

The sound was somewhat less impressive when the Aragon was partnered with the Sony DVP-S7000, which only goes to show that an aluminium chassis standalone CD transport, even if old, can take on many of the latest CD players. The sound was leaner and a trifle veiled, although the Aragon's superiority over the Arcam DAC was still very obvious.
Conclusion
The Aragon D2A2 tempts me to retire my Arcam DAC. It's neutral enough not to alter the sonic balance of my system much (I like my music a bit warm) but provides much better analysis and superior soundstaging.



Price : RM2200

Contact : Simon Ting 012-3612507



Last edited by HiFiLab on Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:03 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : reduce price)

HiFiLab
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2392
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

Character sheet
Source(s):
Amplification:
Speakers:

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Re: Aragon D2A2 digital-to-analogue converter HDCD (Used)

Post by HiFiLab on Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:20 pm

HiFiLab wrote:







Made In USA

ARAGON American, a brand name of Mondial Designs Limited, a Californian electronics company known for its quality audio products. Aragon encompasses amplifiers as well as digital hardware, and the D2A2 is the successor model to a highly-regarded DAC.



Features

Like other Aragon equipment, the D2A2 uses the best available components, most of them computer grade. with a mini toroidal transformer and jewel-like capacitors dominating the motherboard. At the business end are two discrete 20-bit monolithic DAC chipsets (Burr-Brown PCM63P), one per channel, plus the famed Pacific Microsonics HDCD PMD100 digital filter. This combination can currently be considered state-of-the-art.

Fidelity of the original sound is mainly the job of the buffer amp section and here the circuitry is mostly passive to minimise electronic noise. To eliminate jitter, the D2A2 employs high-speed re-clocking to "sanitise" the incoming signal. The final output stage operates in Class A.

Build quality is excellent, both inside and out. Externally, the D2A2 is the traditional black box, though in this case there are no buttons of any kind. The fascia sports a single rotary knob, which functions as both an on/off switch and a source selector. Turn the spring-loaded knob clockwise from its centre position and the DAC is switched on or off. Turn it anti-clockwise and the source is selected in turns, from coaxial (two of them) to AES/EBU to Toslink. The surprise is that there is no AT&T digital connection.

On the rear panel are the relevant digital input sockets, a pair of analogue output sockets (the lettering is both right side up and upside down to facilitate reading from behind or from the top — very considerate) and the power cord receptor. The output sockets are set quite apart, underlining the discrete twin mono layout within.
And there it is, then. What you have here is a slim-line unit that fits unobtrusively into any equipment stack, although the D2A2 is a mite wider than standard — for no good reason since there's a lot of empty space inside.

Sound

The Aragon displaced my Arcam DAC within seconds, slotting easily into my system of Thiel speakers, Luxman amplifier and Arcam CD transport. Later, a Sony DVP-S7000 DVD/CD player replaced the Arcam CD transport. The link for the digital feed was the excellent Tributaries interconnect. As recommended, the D2A2 was left in the "On" mode all the time. No heat was detected.

Nowadays, multi-bit DACs are more favoured than single-bit types, and the D2A2 showed the superiority of the Burr-Browns over my Arcam's Philips Bitstream chip set in no uncertain manner. The sound emerged clearer, firmer, in more detail and with greater dynamics. Soundstaging, too, improved vastly in width and depth, as did imaging and location. All of a sudden, my Arcam CD transport was given a new lease of life.

Within this general sonic improvement are four characteristics worth dwelling on. One is the increase in ambient information. This is most noticeable in recordings of live performances, especially those derived from analogue masters. Straight-take classical works of the 70s also took on a new liveliness, and even the mono excerpts on the two Divina albums emerged with better dimension.

The second characteristic is the solidity of the bass. Bass is a strong point of multi-bit DACs, but the D2A2 takes this strength to a new level. My favourite torture test for bass resolution, the second track of Saint-Saen's Christmas Oratario, sailed through without a hiccup, marred only by the known weaknesses of my amplifier and speakers. The organ passages went deeper and truer than many previously reviewed DACs could achieve, the musical line fully preserved.

The third characteristic is a superb tonal balance. The Aragon excels in keeping the entire music intact and coherent. In this the Thiels, with their well-known neutrality, proved to be an excellent partner, and large-scale and complex orchestral works came through neither convoluted nor congested.

Lastly, pace. Unlike DACs of similar design (the one in the Copland CDA 277 player comes to mind), the Aragon exhibits a degree of attack that is just right. There is none of that adrenalin mainlining which renders percussions larger than life, nor the inordinately high "jump" factor.

The nice thing is that there's no loss of incisiveness or detail. This was best demonstrated by Ottmar Liebert's Nouveau Flemenco, where the straight-take, two-mic recording brought out the interplay of percussion and guitar in a startlingly realistic manner. Listen, too, to the opening bars of Dvorak's New World Symphony — you almost believe you hear the sea and wind.

The sound was somewhat less impressive when the Aragon was partnered with the Sony DVP-S7000, which only goes to show that an aluminium chassis standalone CD transport, even if old, can take on many of the latest CD players. The sound was leaner and a trifle veiled, although the Aragon's superiority over the Arcam DAC was still very obvious.
Conclusion
The Aragon D2A2 tempts me to retire my Arcam DAC. It's neutral enough not to alter the sonic balance of my system much (I like my music a bit warm) but provides much better analysis and superior soundstaging.



Price : RM2200

Contact : Simon Ting 012-3612507


HiFiLab
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2392
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

Character sheet
Source(s):
Amplification:
Speakers:

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BUMP

Post by HiFiLab on Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:04 pm

HiFiLab wrote:

BUMP






HiFiLab
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Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2392
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

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Speakers:

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Post by HiFiLab on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:42 pm

HiFiLab wrote:
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HiFiLab
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Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2392
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

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Post by HiFiLab on Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:58 pm

HiFiLab wrote:
BUMP







HiFiLab
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2392
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

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Post by HiFiLab on Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:50 am

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HiFiLab
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Number of posts : 2392
Age : 39
Location : klang
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Post by HiFiLab on Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:32 pm

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HiFiLab
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Age : 39
Location : klang
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Post by HiFiLab on Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:57 pm

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HiFiLab
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Age : 39
Location : klang
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Post by HiFiLab on Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:34 am

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Age : 39
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