April Music Stello DP200 A/V Preamplifier

5/5 (1 Reviews)


Product Description

In addition to the normal preamplifier functions of input routing and volume control, the DP200 allows direct digital connection of various digital sources such as CD transports; computer hard drives and satellite receivers. An internal upsampling D to A converter supports formats of up to 24Bit / 192kHz sampling frequency. The upsampling rates are user selectable, either from the front panel or from the fully featured remote control. Settings of bypass, 48kHz, 96kHz and 192kHz can be chosen for the preferred sound quality.


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User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by muffitt a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 5, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Thought that there should be at least one experience available here also..
And oh boy, what kind of bargain do we have here on our hands.
This little, (as they said somewhere else) swiss army knife, or should i put, Leatherman Ti, of H-E audio market holds its stand against even multiple-times-costing contenders.
I personally made myself familiar with April Musics products with their, also Giant-Killer League, DA-220, standalone DAC couple of years ago.
And that was time when i fortunately had the urge to "really find out what the heck there can be different in D/A -conversion".
And yes, there can be. Quite a lot actually.
There seems to be 2 major(most typical)shortcomings in D/A -conversion, making it sounding more or less usatisfactory.
And these, in my findings are:
1. Timing/Pace issues-> clock jitter mostly.
2. "Clinical" or "Cold" sounding -> there might be many reasons, but seems to be depending in the chip architechture itself or chip/OPAmp combo issues. Yet to be discovered..;).
But anyways. Compared the Stello head-to-head with one British, one Dutch and one American major H-E -brand converters.
First connected 1st with 75ohm coax(used exactly the same, burnt in, 1 meter line carrying the signal from transport).
Brit and Dutch didnt even make it competition. As the clock issues were clearly apparent. Accents seemed to have no clear starting point at all. So definitely no "toe-tapping".
The Yank proved to be about in the same line with the Stello in timing.
But the prominance of upper mids and highs, along with (imo) bad lack of midrange "liveliness" or "meatiness" made it sound just like you are just "welcome to the machíne". So no ty.
The DP-200 uses just the same conversion architecture as the DA-220, and later when compared them head-to-head i couldn't find any differences in sound at all (DP was then of course used without preamp section).
During that time, i was using MF:s a308cr preamp. Which offered almost nothing more Stello had under its hood. A hint more space perhaps.
But there was another point going for Stello still. The sound with Stello's preamp sounded somehow more "decent", "solid" or "stabile" comparing to MF.
So was about the easiest decision of purchase in this audio-upgrading-hell-and-heaven when it seemed that i'm getting all the most precious things making my music listening true pleasure in this cute blonde package.
And which kind of price!


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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   used




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