First Listen: AURALiC GEMINI 2000 headphone amp/DAC/stand

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AURALiC Gemini 2000
First Listen: AURALiC GEMINI 2000 headphone amp/DAC/stand

AURALIC’s GEMINI 2000 and 1000 products were first drawn to my attention, if I remember correctly, last October at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2013. At the time, the products were in their final pre-production prototype phase, but even then they showed a great deal of promise.

What are these GEMINI models? In simple terms, they are elegant and beautifully made headphone stands that just happen to incorporate both built-in class A headphone amplifiers and ultra-capable high-res PCM, DXD, and DSD capable DACs. The GEMINI 2000 sells for $1995 in the US (or £1,890 in the UK), while the 1000 is priced at $1,199 in the US (or £1,090 in the UK).

What’s the difference between the GEMINI 2000 and 1000? In terms of general appearance, build quality, and DAC section capabilities, the 2000 and 1000 are identical, but the 2000 offers a class A amplifier with singled-end and fully balanced outputs serving up 2,000 mW of output power, while the 1000 offers single-ended outputs only and provides 1,000 mW of power. The only other difference is that the 2000’s polished, plated brass plinth is offered in the buyer’s choice of gold or silver finishes, while the 1000’s plinth is done in titanium grey. Both models are offered in hand-rubbed finishes in gloss black, white, blue, yellow, and red. Our review unit is a GEMINI 2000 done up in gloss red with gold trim (a combination that conveys a certain Scuderia Ferrari vibe, as I see it).

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