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April 2018 ISO-DAC ISO-SPDIF ISO-HUB Review
Running my favored Nontallion player on my fanless PC into the ISO-DAC I was immediately struck by the sound possessing a high level of precision. It was a very tight and bold sound with loads of detail. Some equipment can deliver this type of sound but it can be due to a lack of bass or losing the trailing edge of notes. This is far from the case here; bass is full, detailed and textured. In terms of decay & trailing edges, it's all there. This results in a high level of presence and realism; there's great depth and 3D imaging to the level that my best turntable can achieve – so often I find this is a weak point of digital.
March 2018 ISO-DAC Review
Now DACs like the ISO-DAC have (IMHO) equaled, or maybe surpassed the best turntables, and without the disadvantage of dealing with the clicks and pops of vinyl. So, with or without, the isolating hub function, I very strongly recommend the ISO-DAC, and thanks to Ciúnas Audio's 'home trial' policy, you can try one yourself for 30 days and then return it if you don't want to keep it. So, if you are looking for a USB DAC, or want to upgrade, I highly recommend the ISO-DAC!
May 2016 Ciunas DAC Review
Portable? Maybe. For me, the Ciúnas is remarkable mainly because it eliminates that annoying, electronic grey-white sheen that’s been bothering me with so many other DACs. Additionally, it reproduces instrumental tone/timbre in a way that is just richer, deeper, and more satisfying than I’ve heard before.
April 2014 Ciunas DAC Review
The Ciunas is a great interface, and a great interface for the price. While its strong jitter rejection can translate in more treble quantity, thus potentially making a DAC less forgiving over certain recordings, it gives several benefits throughout the whole sound spectrum. I don’t have a Metrum Octave anymore, but I am sure it would be a fantastic pairing, with the Jkenny being capable of magnifying the Metrum’s detail rendition, coupled with the DAC’s warm tonality.
In general, apart from the specific case of AMR, I would advice towards using it with any warm sounding DAC around, and then further tune the sound with the coaxial cable if necessary.
I would likely avoid using it with more edgy DAC’s like the Audio-gd NFB-9.
In the end, the fundamental phylosophical difference I found between the Ciunas DAC and the Ciunas USB/SPDIF converter, lies in the fact that the Ciunas DAC wants to be an affordable, stand-alone solution that tries to be the best bang for the buck. The Ciunas USB interface, instead, is more interesting for the high-ender audiophile, since it opens up several combinations, and can be used with DAC’s that don’t have the cost constraints that drove the Ciunas DAC design.
Oct 2013 Ciunas DAC Review
As good as the Ciunas sounded with the Squeezebox Touch, it sounded even better with the laptop. The transparency, quiet backgrounds, and tonal quality went to another level. One can say the Ciunas will sound better the higher quality the source you feed it.
The Ciunas replaced a just departed Burson Conductor DAC & Musical Fidelity V-DAC II The first thing I noticed was how spacious the Ciunas sounded. The soundstage seemed to widen, especially compared to the V-DAC II. I then was impressed with the unit’s detail retrieval and overall musical accuracy. Nothing stood out as out of place. No midrange glare, no upper frequency hash or flatness in the treble. To quote Radiohead, "everything was in its right place."
The John Kenny Ciunas DAC, at roughly $750, is a terrific sounding USB DAC that will fit into any space. It features a proprietary battery power scheme that works very well and, to my mind, clearly gives it an edge over similarly priced products. Kenny also makes USB converters as well that uses similar technology