There’s an interesting test that inevitably comes out of this: comparing the sound of ‘live’ CD with the same CD ripped, stored and played through a computer. The best system on the planet isn’t going to shine if it’s one-sided, but fortunately the DS-1 is equally adept at disc and disk. There should be no marked shift in tonality, detailing, dynamics, or overall image size between a well-ripped and a well-played disc, and that holds here. It’s ‘similarity’ rather than ‘identicality’, and I marginally preferred the sound of the CD transport in most cases (the exception being Martha Argerich playing some Chopin preludes on DG, where the ripped version sounded slightly more solid and authoritative by comparison). But, even in the most marked differences, they were at best subtle. Of course, when faced with a really good recording – Lyle Lovett’s Joshua Judges Ruth [MCA] for example – it manages to shine both in an audiophile manner and by presenting the music as a highly enjoyable album in its own right.
Digital is dividing into several niche markets at this time, and NORMA is taking an admirably pragmatic line with the DS-1. If you want to play your CDs, fine. If you decide to rip them to a computer and you want to play them that way, that’s fine too. If you want to play 24/192 files downloaded from the internet, that’s fine as well. OK, SACD and DSD replay are beyond the DS-1, but if it’s a choice between sounding as good as the NORMA REVO DS-1 or playing a numbers game with no guarantee of a sound as good as the DS-1, I’m going with the DS-1.
Sampling Frequencies: 44.1KHz, 88.2KHz, 176.4KHz, 48.0KHz, 96.0KHz, 192.0KHz
Clock performances: +/- 2ppm typ. at 25°, +/- 10ppm at 60°
Digital Filter: Slow & Sharp mode, based on TI DF1706
De-emphasis: 44.1KHz, 48.0KHz,
Outputs: Line RCA output, XLR Balanced
Outputs Voltage: 3.0 V RMS (+10 dBV) RCA (at 0 dB), 6.0 V RMS (+16 dBV) XLR(at 0 dB)
Output Impedance: 200 ohm
System Frequency Response (CD Mode): 0.0 to 22KHz +/- 0,3 dB (limited from CD standard)
Output stage Frequency Response: 0.0 to 2MHz +/- 3 dB
Oversampling: DF 1706 8 x Digital Filter
Oversampling Filter: User selectable Sharp & Slow Roll-off filter response.
D/A Converter: PCM 1704 Multibit 24 Bit D/A converter
Dimensions (HxWxD): 75 x 430 x 350 mm
Weight: 10 Kg
Manufactured by: Norma
Distributed by: Hi-Fi Network
Tel: +44(0)1285 643088