On Innovation

So I was reading this article this morning: 


One of the thoughts that hit me is that EXOGAL has not done a great job of explaining what our innovations are but most importantly, why they are important.

For example, a prospective dealer is currently waffling on whether or not they want to carry our products. They've started by evaluating the Comet. Their first thought is "It sounds good and the price point is good." Their second thought is "...but with an XYZ DAC I can get 90% of the performance at half the price."

OK? I thought you positioned yourself as a high-end dealer? But let's ignore this for a second.

So according to several reviewers all over the globe, the Comet's Computational DAC technology lets it hold its own compared to DACs at 4x to 6x its price point. Where does the XYZ DAC fall on that scale now? Is it really 90% as good as a $15,000 or $20,000 DAC?

But the Comet is only part of the story. Let's say the customer buys the XYZ DAC. Maybe it's only half the price of the Comet, but in order to squeeze every drop from that 90% of the performance, that customer is going to have to also spend much more on an amplifier that has an extremely low noise floor, very low distortion, and very high efficiency. With the XYZ DAC, this customer has no access to PowerDAC technology. PowerDAC technology inherently has a very low noise floor. There are no gain stages to introduce noise. The distortion is extremely low. More importantly, the digital music is kept completely in the digital domain, literally until the last electronic component in the PowerDAC.

How important is this fact? Let's put it this way: When we release the Vortex X2 - X4, if you only listen to digital sources, you can connect the Vortex (X2 - X4, not the X1) streamer directly to the PowerDAC completely without a DAC of any kind. That's right, you will be playing digital music completely without going through the conventional Digital to Analog conversion process. If that isn't disruptive, I don't know what is.

And that's one of the reasons we dropped MQA. Eliminating time-smearing in a DAC is a lot less important in a DAC-free system. You don't have to "fingerprint" a DAC when there is no DAC.

The world has changed. You may not recognize it yet, but you can believe it. If you want to hear it for yourself, let us try a few suggestions. First, demo a Comet and an Ion. Put it in your listening environment with speakers you know. Then play the following tracks (It doesn't matter if these aren't "your kind of music", this is a demo. They are all available on Tidal. Turn off "Masters" quality. Trust us.):

      • Madonna, "Vogue" - Listen to an immersive soundstage that is nearly 180 degrees wide. Hear the incredible dynamics in the track. 
      • Michael Jackson, "Black and White" - Listen to the kid inserting the cassette into the machine at the beginning of the track. Listen to the deep, clean bass lines and the crisp highs in Jackson's "Woo woo's". 
      • The Propellerheads, "History Repeating" - Close your eyes and half-way through the track, imagine yourself in a Howard Johnson's Lounge in the 1960's with Shirley Bassey doing her thing. 
      • Steely Dan's, "Book of Liars" (the Live version off of Alive in America) - Imagine that you're right in front of the stage with them. 
      • The Doors "Riders on the Storm" - Listen to the rain on the track... it actually sounds like you're standing outside in the rain.

If you can honestly and objectively listen to these five tracks and not hear the difference, then we probably can't ever hope to convince you.

If access to the next generation in digital music rendering is what you're looking for (especially at an affordable price!) then you owe it to yourself to give the Comet and the Ion a listen with an open mind. If you can drop your biases, you may be surprised. This really is the first truly disruptive technology in audio in about the last 10 years. And if you don't believe me, talk to one of the die-hard tube and vinyl guys that have converted to a Comet and an Ion. If we can win these guys over, it must be something truly different!

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