High End Extreme

Distributed by Koetsu USA, Italian manufacturer Blacknote introduced a high-end solution for playing any type of digital file including Wav, Flac, AAC, OGG, DFF, WMA MP3, MP4, and M4O. The DSS30 (shown in foreground) uses a 24-bit DAC and features four USB ports (two in front, two in back) that accept hard drives as well as flash drives. It also accepts direct input from memory sticks and CD-Rom players. With both balanced and unbalanced outputs it can be integrated with a range of high-end audio gear. The Ethernet port allows it be integrated into a home network as well.

The one drawback that was apparent is the front panel readout is way too small for effective scrolling through a good deal of media. It seems like it will be much more effective in a LAN network that is accessed from another source with some sort of menu, rather than using ithe DSS30 as a standalone device.

I couldn't resist showing off the DSS30 siitting alongside an exquisite Montegiro turntable (also distributed by Koestsu). It clearly demonstrates the diversity of today's high-end audio industry