Then there’s the whole finding new music aspect, which comes as a result of that effortless TIDAL connectivity. ‘String Trio - Continuity Theory’ by the Janaki String Trio on their Debut album [Yarlung] is not something I would normally play, but I happened upon it almost at random and found it profound and powerful.
‘Profound’ is the watchword, here. The DS/3 simply makes music more profound. That sounds trite, but it holds throughout. Although the comparison between DS/2 and DS/3 is an instant one, the difference also has more staying power. With less ‘filter’ in the way of the music, the Klimax DS/3 opens the listener up to so much greater depth to their music, and as a result sessions get protracted. I sat and listened to all of Zappa’s Joe’s Garage [Zappa Records], smirking along with all the crass jokes, as well as just enjoying the music and the musicianship.
Like the best LP replay systems, you can follow every line of the music, without losing sight of the composition and intent of the music. This was possible with the Klimax DS/2, because of that streamer’s unfatiguing delivery and inherently ‘undigital’ treble, but the level of musical insight the DS/3 brings to the music just makes the whole process a lot more organic, in the way you might turn your attention from one musician to another, or from melody to harmony, when listening to live music.
It’s not just audiophile-approved pieces of music that have this kind of effect through the DS/3. ‘The Hunter’ by bizarre Icleandic space pixie Bjork, ‘Because’ by the Beatles, ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys, even ‘Satellite’ by Nine Inch Nails: all captivate, all drag you into the music. This is music replay as orgiastic tribal stuff. The last time it got this atavistic, I’m sure there was a big black monolith and a thigh bone involved.
The strange thing about the Klimax DS/3 sound is you don’t tend to talk about the sound, more about how the sound has an influence on you. It is, obviously, extremely detailed, very tonally accurate, dynamic, coherent, and possessed of the sort of ringing-free, effortless treble that makes a lot of digital audio sound, well, digital. But, where many other products focus on these aspects of performance, this does that rare holistic thing that makes you reach deeper into your musical collection, whether locally streamed or on TIDAL or Qobuz. If you have spent any time with the Klimax DS or DS/2, you’ll know what I am on about here, and what the Klimax DS does, the Klimax DS/3 does an order of magnitude better.
In fact, the first three words I wrote on my note pad sum up the Klimax DS/3 effect better than all the other 1997 or so words written here. And I wrote them in capitals and underlined them twice for good measure: Holy. Living. F**k. That’s the ten-second later comment, and it was still relevant at the time I put away the note-pad. I’ve not heard every single digital device, but I’ve heard a lot of them, and Klimax DS/3 is the best of the ones I’ve heard, or at least the best I’ve heard that don’t cost as much as a decent luxury car. And even at the super-lofty end of high-end digital, the Klimax DS/3 stands with the best of them, and even shows a clean pair of heels to some of audio’s upper echelon with ease. It might even be the best of all of them, and therefore comes profoundly recommended.
Type: Network music player (DSM with preamp functions)
Analogue inputs (DSM only): 1× Balanced XLR pair Digital input: Ethernet RJ45 (DSM adds 3× HDMI Type A, 1× S/PDIF RCA also configurable as output, 2× Toslink)
Analogue output: 1× Balanced XLR pair, 1× unbalanced RCA pair
Digital output: 2× RJ45 Exakt link (DSM adds 1× HDMI Type A)
Supported file types: FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, MP3, WMA (except lossless), AIFF, AAC, OGG
Audio sample rates: 7.35 k, 8 k, 11.025 k, 12 k, 14.7 k, 16k, 22.05 k, 24 k, 29.4 k, 32 k, 44.1 k, 48 k, 88.2 k, 96 k, 176.4 k, 192 k
Word Depths: 16-24bits
Control Protocol: Compatible with UPnP™ media servers, UPnP™ AV 1.0 control points, OpenHome.org compatible
THD+N (line output): THD+N < 0.0007 %
Dynamic range: >110dB
Gain range: -80dB to +20dB, 1dB steps
Finish: Black or silver
Dimensions (W×H×D): 35×6×35.5cm
Price: Klimax DS £15,800, DSM £18,900
Klimax DS upgrade £3,850,
Klimax DSM upgrade £4,200
Manufactured by: Linn Products Ltd
Tel: +44 141 307 7777
Tel (UK Freephone Only): 0800 001 5111