Review Archive: DAC3.5VB MKII

SoundStage!, Jeff Fritz, August 2013

“…the Bel Canto stack stacks up well against the DACs that many feel are among the best available, and at less than Arab-sheik prices. They’re sonically very well balanced across the board, but are simply superb in the midrange, where lots of music needs it most.”

Stereo Times, Russell Lichter, Feb 2012

“…the increase in musical pleasure is undeniable and unmistakable.”

Stereophile, Erick Lichte, June 21st 2011

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Bel Canto’s e.One DAC3.5VB. It does everything you might ever need a DAC to do, and I’d put its sound as being among the best I’ve heard. In fact, the only other digital sound I’ve enjoyed significantly more (in an environment I was familiar with) was when I heard the Meridian 808i.2 CD player ($16,995) at John Atkinson’s house. Yes, I do think the e.One DAC3.5VB is good enough to stand comparison with a front-end of the Meridian’s caliber and price. The Bel Canto’s styling, build quality, and performance make it an obvious contender for Class A of our “Recommended Components,” and one of the best D/A converters I’ve heard.”

Positive Feedback, Robert Learner, May-June 2011

“The Bel Canto 3.5VB strikes as a fundamentally honest DAC. … No doubt a lot of listening went into the design but this isn’t a DAC that sounds voiced. It’s more about fidelity to the source. … It has a super-clean, upfront presentation … It sounds full-blooded, yet not afraid to the let sharp, edgy attacks through. This increases the jump factor … The utter lack of noise present in the unit … super-clean … no muffling on either a macro or micro level. What’s there is heard. … Great detail with no slurring anywhere in the frequency spectrum. … Lack of roll-off at high frequencies … Low noise plus high frequency purity and extension yielded the best sense of attack … The high resolution/low noise also likely contributes to the superb handling of decays through the Bel Canto … never seemed foreshortened … I still value an upfront, direct communicator above all. I’d sacrifice the subtle, beguiling midrange glow of the Ayre, and the slightly deeper, more 3D presentation of the Berkeley for the direct feed quality of the Bel Canto.”

Inner Magazine, Kai Ekholm, Jan 2011

“The DAC3.5VB brought a totally new control and level of quality to the whole variety of my digital music collection. … When the Bel Canto DAC3.5VB was part of my system, I found myself feeding the CD transport with CDs after CDs, and I felt again the joy of this wonderful hobby.”