DAC Chip: Cirrus Logic CS43141 (Dual)
PCM 24bit – 384khz, SNR: -129dB (BAL), Power: 120MW/32Ω 20MW/600Ω, USB Type-C Male Socket, 2.5mm BAL (Microphone: No), Solid Acrylic Chassis, Braided Cable
LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING
- Crisp, articulate timbre – neutral warm presentation
- Smooth neutral and natural timbre with great coherence level
- A hint of organic touch to the timbre without sounding too digital.
- Treble exhibited great depth and textures with normal decay.
- The smoothest edged CS43131 tested so far, soothing airy timbre.
- Adeptly controlled dynamics that are not overly vibrant
- Very slightly forward sounding mids and vocals, neutral texture, strong decay
- Impactful Mid-Bass with rich decay, tightly controlled.
- Natural bodied sub-bass with realistic overtones with crisp fast decay
- Natural tonality for cello, guitars, piano, and stringed instruments
- Less prone to sibilance compared to single CS43131.
- Exemplary clean and black background
- Great power to drive even power hungry 69Ω 96db Magnetic Planar.
- Great functionality with the easy-to-use independent volume adjuster
- Very lightweight compared to the rest of the competitors.
- Very stylish carrying bag included
- Separation layers are clustered a bit too close together, the lines slightly hazy.
- For a dual DAC setup, details retrieval is similar to the single version.
- Soundstage should be a little more spacious for a Dual DAC.
- Lack of dynamics aggression can be perceived as too relaxed.
- Only available in 2.5mm Balanced Output
- Speed and transients not much different from single CS43131. Should be better when handling high BPM music. Attack could use a bit more aggression.
TempoTec Sonata BHD. Cultured and refined, that’s how I would describe this BHD. For those familiar with CS43131 single DACs, will immediately recognize the tone and timbre – the difference being this BHD I regard as well balanced to NOT exhibit pronounced brightness as compared to the likes of JM20. From my perspective this is a show of maturity, and it offers the smoothness which also making it less dry and digital-ish.
The value of BHD is most apparent for those loving the CS sound signature but want a bit more controlled discipline especially if you already have highly resolving and sparkly IEMs/HPs. For example, my ER4SR can exhibit peaky highs when used with JM20, but this will be tamed gracefully on the BHD. This cultured nature of BHD also mean it can synergize with many types of IEMs and Headphones. Great all-rounder.
PS: Worth to mention that this BHD sounded absolutely beautiful with my Monolith M565c Magnetic Planar. Like they are match made in heaven
Best Pairing: Flexible not exceeding 250Ω
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