Stereo Times, june 2007

North Star Design – Model 192 DAC & Transport Stylish Good Looks and Musical Sounds To Match - Bill Wells



The really good news is that the North Star units enabled me to enjoy the music and basically forget about reviewing them. In fact, before I knew it - the CD had played all the way through and I had simply listened about as intently as I could have imagined.

Loaded with a variety of musical subtleties and nuances galore, the North Star combo performed quite well and provided very good grunt and growl, mixed in with obvious delicate sounds, when called for on this recording. The pair also provided a realistically punchy mid bass that had excellent pitch, articulation and definition. All in all, listening to this recording through the North Star units was simply fun to do.

What the North Star units do in the area of soundstaging is quite good, if not outstanding...

At this point, it was becoming hard to simply sit down to analyze the North Star units and nit-pick their performance. What I had realized over the time I had them in-house was how musical they were and it was easy for me to simply come downstairs – pop open a CD, drop it in the CD tray, hit play and just start listening. The North Star digital gear almost made me not want to do the important reviewing and spend my time listening.

I can easily recommend this pair of Italian beauties to anyone considering purchasing digital playback gear. Job very well done.

Brian Bromberg - Wood
The North Star digital playback combo took this musical feast in stride and rendered Bromberg’s strong acoustic bass playing in fine fashion. The music came through these units in an exciting and very convincing manner and caused my feet to tap continuously throughout. Fortunately, the North Star similarly captured the piano and drums on this recording in a very solid way and the whole of the music simply came forth in a highly music fashion.

A Tribute To Miles - A Celebration of the Life & Music of Miles Davis
Listening through the North Star, I was struck by how realistic the dynamic nuances were produced making the music sound very appealing and natural. I've heard this recording many times before and anything less than a strong dynamic performance doesn't really capture these outstanding artists, as they should be. In this instance, again - the North Star provided a highly musical event allowing me to enjoy the music immensely.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba - The Blessing
The North Star took to this music very comfortably and provided me with a very impressive sensation of dynamics shadings, tonally accurate portrayal of the piano and nicely open and delicate shading from the cymbals or acoustic bass when called for.


Giu, 04, 2006