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Koetsu USA Blacknote DSS 30 Digital Static Source

Koetsu USA Blacknote DSS 30 Digital Static Source

Koetsu USA Blacknote DSS 30 Digital Static Source


  • Product Name: Blacknote DSS 30 Digital Static Source
  • Manufacturer: Koetsu USA
  • MSRP: $2,876
  • First Impression: Mildly Interesting

Koetsu USA, whose international counterpart is known in Japan as a premier phono cartridge manufacturer, demoed its new Blacknote DSS 30 Digital Static Source, a unique multi-format audio player. The Blacknote DSS 30 is a high-end, no-holds-barred product that stores and accesses digitally encoded music. It possesses a powerful 24-bit, high-performance digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and using a sophisticated solid-state design with no moving parts. Its universal design allows it to play music from any audio format directly from virtually any kind of external device, like a thumb drive or disc player, without first converting the music to another format.

The DSS 30 is compatible with WAV, FLAC, AAC, OGG, DFF and WMA files, and even frequently used compressed formats such as MP3, MP4 and M4O. Using its USB ports, it accepts memory sticks, hard drives, PCs, and CD-ROM players. A built-in Windows-Directory program organizes custom playlists in a variety of ways, and a large, bright, two-line display shows key information about individual tracks, including, titles, times, and formats.

The DSS 30 was designed using the Linux platform and is operated through a custom Texas Instruments microprocessor with specially written software. A custom DAC by AKM and Burr-Brown manage the digital-to-analog stage. Users control the DSS 30 through the supplied remote control or via a series of buttons on the front panel.

The DSS 30 includes a scant 4GB of internal memory (which really is a shame given its premium pricing point), but it can be expanded via an external hard drive, and also includes a removable Secure Digital (SD) memory card. Connections include two USB 2.0 ports on the front, two more USB ports on the rear panel, a PC input, a 75-ohm RCA input, stereo RCA outputs, balanced XLR outputs, and an Ethernet port allowing use in a LAN network. The DSS 30 can also be used in a wireless mode and, using its coax input and output, as a traditional high-end DAC for CD transports.

The Blacknote DSS 30 is available now for a suggested price of $2,876. During 2009, Black Note will also introduce three additional models with suggested retail prices of $1,500, $7,200 and $12,800, respectively (each will apparently add additional storage as well as some other options).

For further additional information, visit www.blacknote.eu or www.koetsuusa.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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