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DAC - Fidetech DSP3
This is the first time that we review a device entirely designed by a craftsman, in the best sense of the word.
This man is located in Marseilles, France, and has been working in the high-end audio for years: he has been managing  Fidetech for more than 15 years, and produces an entire line of audio devices.
Usually, people prefer to buy devices from a well known and well established company, even if they are (much) more expensive. They believe that the devices have a better engineering/design, believe that they will get a better aftersales/repair service, and preserve an hypothetic higher resell price value in case they would like to change for another device.

Except for the last one, we do not believe at Threshold Lovers, that these points are true, at least based on what we commonly see in France. We know plenty of persons getting too poor aftersale service -when it is not no aftersale service at all-, sometimes they simply cannot use their devices for months waiting for an (impossible to get) spare part, with no answer from the importer.
Do not believe that we make the things bigger than they are, nor believe that this does not apply to the "state of the art" brands....


The DSP3 DAC is the first of its family, designed in collaboration with Philippe S., a professional of the audio, who only cares about the final sonic performance. This model comes after the DSP1 and DSP2, and is the first one with an external power supply.

Here is a photography of the DAC in my listening room:

 
ensemble.jpg

Tha back panel looks like a professional device, hosting XLR and BNC SPDIF connectors. A power link distributes the voltages from the power supply cabinet into the DAC cabinet. The power supply is a big one, using two transformers and 8 voltage regulators.

Here is a photography of the power supply:

 
alim.jpg


Here is a photography of the DAC section:
 
dsp.jpg


Over the past years, almost all the DAC that have been compared to the analog systems, have lost the game. There are only a few "state of the art" DACs and "state of the art" Transports that can undertake the comparison with success, particularly when the analog systems they are compared to are also state of the art systems...
Only 3 Transports are at the top level in my opinion: FORSELL Air Reference, ESOTERIC and KRELL. Regarding the DACs, the STAX with its 4 processors and two power supplies was a serious competitors in the past, nowdays the dCS, the big THETAs and a few rare craftman devices are able to seriously compete with what the analog world can offer at its best level.
These last DACs are extremely close from an analog sound, any trace of digital sound caracteristic has vanished.


On my reference system #2, I have lessoned to a lot of very famous brands, such as Wadia dCS, Esoteric, etc.... as well as two craftman devices: the totaly new and fully upgraded COUNTERPOINT DA-10 with the 24/192kHz Rapture Premium card from Mike ELLIOTT (who was the Chief Engineer of Counterpoint), and this DSP3 from Christian MARCHAND, the boss of FIDETECH. May be is it a pure hazard, but these 2 last devices are the very best I have ever lessoned to...


So what about the musicality of the DSP3 ?

The system configuration is unchanged, I still use the reference system #2 but the CD Transport is the (heavy: 27kg) ONKYO Grand Integra DX-G10 (U.S. reference is DX-6990 instead of DX-G10) feeding the DSP-3. I would have liked to use a state of the art Transport, such as a FORSELL / ESOTERIC / KRELL, but I had no one during this review.

As soon as the very first notes come out of the speaker, we instantaneously understand that this DAC has something than the other do not have...
It has something magical in its ease to reproduce the music without any grain, with an increadible speed and an outstanding ability to "accelerte" when it shoudl. This last quality is probably due to its big power supply. The rest depends on the matching with your own system, but every person having lesson to it at home concludes the same: outstanding and incredible !

Nevertheless, remeber that this copy is unique for the moment, even if we hope that FIDETECH will include it in its products list. If you are interested by it, we encourage you to call Christian MARCHAND (the FIDETECH manager), has he couls accept to build one for you.

Pros:
  • delivers a "direct live" feeling
  • the midrange is sweet, magical, with a lot of matter
  • excellent tube output stage, one of the best on the market
  • design using two cabinets: we love this concept and would like to meet it on the state of the art products
  • price is reasonable and has almost no competitors in this price range

Cons:
  • Aftersale exclusively provided by FIDETECH (or a skilled technican that you may know), but it is probably better than some well known brands aftersale service (at least in France)
  • output level is very high (my KRELL turned into security mode during 30 seconds) making the task difficult for the amplifier if it is coupled with current demanding speakers.
  • the brand is less known than the regular "commercial" brands.

The minimum ranking of this FIDETECH DSP-3 is ... just the best:
 
TL_5stateart.jpg

A dedicated topic is created on our Forum to discuss in English about this device: just follow this link !

Article written by Florent (provence13 on the Forum).

Creation date : 09/06/2010 @ 15:19
Last update : 12/01/2016 @ 19:25
Category : DAC
Page read 62 times


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Reactions to this article


Reaction #4 

by bruno1384 16/09/2014 @ 18:10

bonjour
je confirme le plaisir aux oreilles que le convertisseur dsp3 offre,sur mon systeme avec lui c est un regal

Reaction #3 

by gillight2 19/10/2010 @ 12:13

J'ai un DSP03. Malgrés un rodage pas encore terminé ( environ 30 heures ) je peux affirmer que :

"Tout ce qui a pu être écrit sur cet appareil est vrai, il est tout simplement sublime sur le rendu émotionnel. Ce constat devrait encore évoluer avec un rodage affiné et un cable numérique à la hauteur de l'engin sur mon systéme."

Gilles

ps: voir mon mini CR sur le forum dédié


Reaction #2 

by provence 15/06/2010 @ 16:20

Je ne connais pas le DSP1 mais je pense que l'alimentation séparée (énorme) apporte un plus indéniable. Attention la sortie à tube est aussi indispensable.

Reaction #1 

by bruno13 15/06/2010 @ 10:33

bonjour, votre article est trés intéressant ,étant dans l'attente de l'achat d'un dsp1 (économie),Savez vous les différences entre le dsp1 et le dsp3 à part l'alimentation séparée , son prix et la différence de sonorité.votre essai me donne l'eau à la bouche.  merci
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