One of the things I have most come to dislike about high-end digital replay is how musically uncompromising it has become. Anything with compression, or anything not beautifully manicured and massaged, tends to be highlighted through many top-end digital systems. While this is mostly a good thing – we want to know what’s on our recordings - the DV2 shows that musical insight need not come with a ‘bad recording’ filter. The EMM Labs DV2 is notionally no more or less uncompromising than its top-end rivals, and it doesn’t sugar-coat bad discs. However, it makes those angular, hard-edged, and overly compressed recordings that make up a lot of modern musical output a lot more palatable.
It’s tough to say this given the price tag, but what the EMM Labs DV2 represents is the least-expensive way into top-tier high-end audio. Its rivals aren’t those excellent players and DACs in the £20,000-£30,000 range; it’s a £50,000 DAC that forgot to uprate its price tag. And, as many current DACs go for a sound that seems ‘etched’ next to the EMM Labs, its rival group gets smaller year-on-year. The DV2 is more than just another clever DAC; it’s one of the easiest sounding digital devices you’ll ever hear. It should be on the shopping list of all high-enders!
Digital inputs: EMM Optilink (CD/SACD), AES/EBU, 2× S/PDIF Coax, 2× S/PDIF, TOSlink, USB
Stereo analogue outputs: XLR and RCA
Output Impedance: 300 ohms balanced (XLR), 150 ohms unbalanced (RCA)
Output Levels (High/Low): XLR outputs: 7.0/5.0V (+19.1/16.2dBu), RCA outputs: 3.5/2.5V (+13.1/10.2dBu)
Formats supported: PCM up to 24bit/192kHz and DSD, USB also supports 2xDSD, DXD (352/384kHz), and MQA
Dimensions (W×D×H): 438 × 400 × 161mm
Manufactured by: EMM Labs
Distributed by: Midland Audio Xchange
Tel: +44(0)1562 731100