A STAR IS BORN - Jon Marks
Jon Marks experiences CD's silver lining with the Model 3 DAC kit from North Star Design.
On a scale of one to ten, digital kits probably come alarmingly close to the top of the complex-o-meter in most constructors' minds. Static-sensitivity and surface-mount parts the size of a stamp with more legs than a millipede convention loom in nightmares of unbuildability. The reality tends to be somewhat different though, as North Star Design's Model 3 DAC illustrates. ...
Viewed as a completed DAC, the Model 3 is very good value for money. Instead of the uninspiring and frequently uninvolving sounds emitted by too much digital equipment, the Model 3 does a real 'heart and soul' job of music-making. It scores convincingly in all the 'technical' areas - imaging, sound staging, detail, etc - and then tops off this attractive package with a genuine ability to coax the full emotional content from a recording.