Cary Audio Introduces Flagship DMS-700 Network Player
For a brand with such rich heritage in valve amplifiers, the North Carolina based Cary Audio has forged an enviable reputation in cutting-edge electronics, including DACs and streaming devices.
Its latest release is the DMS-700 Network Audio Player and flagship within the range. Its predecessor, the DMS-600 has already achieved greatness, attracting countless awards and positive press, so to outperform what Cary Audio said was already “the absolutely best sounding network audio streamer on the planet”, they'd need to dig deep.
And dig deep Cary's engineers did. Doing away with the previously employed AK4497EQ DAC chips, the DMS-700 uses AKM's latest flagship DAC, the AK4499EQ. Instead of voltage output Delta-Sigma architecture, these 4499 DACs are R2R (resistor to resistor) Ladder DACs with current output. This, says Cary, required a complete rethink of the DMS digital circuitry.
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The R2R Ladder architecture can sound much more analog-like while revealing copious amounts of detail yet retaining a very natural, smooth, and musical response. This type of DAC is much more complex to integrate, but the rewards can be significant with proper implementation.
Not content using an R2R Ladder DAC alone, Cary says it also incorporated an FPGA chip that works in conjunction with the DAC to make sure no crossover distortion is present, “for an extremely coherent and smooth sound.” While there's several brands employing FPGA DACs already, and less utilising R2R Ladder DACs, Cary said that “almost no one uses both.”
The DMS-700 takes its real estate seriously - 1/3rd internals is dedicated to the analog stage, 1/3rd to digital circuity, and 1/3rd to the power supply, which is said to be all shielded and separated.
The new flagship is packed with new and improved features including an LCD screen with twice the resolution of previous DMS models, Crytek Oscillator Clock, seven independent regulated power supplies, USB/SD Card inputs with built-in NAS Drive capability, Spotify Connect, and Coaxial and Optical DSD and PCM 384kHz or higher capability. There's also a Pure Audio mode and Sleep timer.
Some will be disappointed though, as the DMS-700 is not yet Roon Ready certified, nor Roon Ready capable. The good news is certification is in progress, and it will be activated via a firmware update at a later stage.
The Cary Audio DMS-700 will be available in the new year and will sell in Australia for $13,999 RRP.