Tube Fans Audio AD-2 DAC Luxury AudioArt Magazine Review Image 1

TFA AD-2 Luxury Edition DAC – $3300
https://www.carousell.sg/p/tube-fans-audio-ad-2-luxury-edition-dac-1205918185/

Review:
https://www.tubefan.com.tw/Review/410-TFA-AD2-LUXURY.pdf
豐富的細節、寂靜的背景、浮凸立體的形體感、甜潤緻密的音質,以及飽滿充沛的中低頻,要同時擁有這些特質,通常只有頂級DAC才能具備,但是不到十萬元的AD-2 DAC Luxury竟然辦到了。而它所展現的圓潤韻味與均衡美感,恐怕就連高價訊源也未必可以呈現。我知道,你一定認為我說的太誇張了。請找個時間實際聽聽看吧,AD-2 DAC Luxury所展現的奇蹟之聲,唯有你親自聆聽才能體會。
文|陶忠豪

The $3,300 TFA AD-2 DAC Luxury possesses qualities only found in top-end DACs such as rich details, quiet background, defined imaging, sweet and dense sound signature and abundant and full-bodied bass and mids. Its charmingly mellow and balanced sound qualities may not be achieved even by these higher-priced DACs. As you may think I am exaggerating, I urge you to arrange for an audition. Only then can you appreciate the miraculous sound of the AD-2 DAC Luxury.

– Astonishingly Rich Details
The AD-2 DAC Luxury reproduced music with astonishingly rich details, dispelling my initial fear that it would be hampered by the use of an old DAC chip. Listening to Beaux Art Trio and Samuel Rhodes performing Schumann’s Piano Quartet Op.47, the AD-2 DAC Luxury reproduced the rubbing of the strings with an unprecedented level of clarity and the microdynamics of the quiet passages with a richness beyond imagination. The AD-2 DAC Luxury did not squeeze out details through emphasizing the treble or excitement level, but expressed them in a balanced and natural manner.

Listening to Lou Reed’s Vanishing Act, the piano overtones in the starting passage were reproduced with abundant extension and high density of details. I could even feel the overtones as water ripples pulsing outwards in layers.

How could the AD-2 DAC Luxury reproduce such rich details beyond the capability of many high-spec DACs? One possible reason was that the CS4353 DAC chip used was already capable of reproducing rich musical details when supported by a stable power supply and high-quality analog output. Another reason could be that the AD-2 DAC Luxury presented an extremely quiet musical background enabling details to be more apparent.

– Soft, Gentle and Dynamic
Returning to Schumann’s Piano Quartet, I noticed three positive aspects. First, the strings were beautifully soft and sweet. Second, the imaging was precise and apparent. Last, the even spread of energy among the instruments brought out the coherence of the entire performance.

Listening to Tseng Yu-Chien’s Reverie album, the violin was full-bodied while the treble exuded a mellow and shiny gloss, thus ameliorating the direct and hard sound signature of this recording. At the same time, the AD-2 DAC Luxury did not soften the energy and cohesion of the performance and faithfully expressed the abundant energy and penetration of Tseng’s Tarisio Guarneri. Few DACs have mastered the reproduction of the violin of this album as the AD-2 DAC Luxury.

Listening to Pollini playing Debussy’s Prelude Feux d’artifice, the individual key presses of the AD-2 DAC Luxury were not as resolving as top-end DACs, nor were they as bright and dazzling as if under a spotlight. Instead the key presses reproduced by the AD-2 DAC Luxury possessed a slight treble warmth and while not as resolving, they were still cohesive and defined. In fact, I found the AD-2 DAC Luxury key presses to be more smooth and natural and more closely resemble the actual performance.

How could the AD-2 DAC Luxury reproduce strings and the piano with such natural and mesmeric qualities? I suspect that Alex’s seven-year experience practising the cello and performing in a string orchestra played a big role guiding him to tune the AD-2 DAC Luxury for accurate music reproduction.

– Astonishing Bass Energy
Listening to Lou Reed, the AD-2 DAC Luxury was able to express the deep, solid and full-bodied chest resonance of the vocals. The mids were balanced and not overly bloated. The vocals were not overly resolved until dry and hard, but were natural and realistic.

Listening to Klaus Makela conducting the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in the first movement of Sibelius Symphony No.3, the AD-2 DAC Luxury was able to resolve the inner layers of the orchestra with a relaxed and natural texture.

Listening to Scorpions’ The Sail of Charon. I was amazed that the AD-2 DAC Luxury was able to reproduce the massive size of the kick drum with its abundant and full-bodied bass energy. The cymbals were fiery but not rough. The guitar distortion effect was not dry or cracking but mellow and full-bodied as if using a tube guitar amplifier.

The AD-2 DAC Luxury achieved abundant and full-bodied bass and mids using only one stereo op-amp, demonstrating that the key to DAC performance lay not simply on the DAC chip or op-amp used but the DAC circuit design and sound tuning.

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