Two Stereophile writers named our room at the NY Show their Best in Show.
The source of the sound: Veracity Chrysalis DAC
Thanks for stopping by, Jana Dagdagan and Ken Micallef.
Ken Micallef of Stereophile at 2016 NY Audio Show
Jana Dagdagan of Stereophile at 2016 NY Audio Show
AVShowrooms at NYAS 2016 room 711
Neil Kernaghan of Adventures in High Fidelity Audio about Veracity Mystra DAC
HiFi Choice testing Veracity Mystra DAC
HiFi Choice about DAC 10 DSD (2014) click for full review
HiFi Critic reviewing DAC 12 Enjoy the Music DAC 12 pages
6Moons reviewing TAD 1 6Moons TAD 1 pages
Reviews, when they are in depth, knowledgeable and honest are valuable judgement calls. But most important, are those from ordinary music lovers with no professional interest. These are fresh and unbiased. Here are the most recent from clients who have the Veracity Dac or who own earlier models. Also below are links to professional reviews of our audio.
John Yearsley: July 2017
Veracity Mystra DAC/Preamp
I suppose you could call me an audio dinosaur, so at the age of 71 I decided it was time to join the 21st century and add a device to my system that would help me on the way to start downloading music from the internet.
My current system consists of Pro-Ject turntable with expression arm and Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge, Icon Audio PS1 mk2 phono stage, Audiolab 8200 CD player, Icon Audio LA4 mk3 pre-amp, Icon Audio 845i monoblocs driving a pair of Neat Momentum sx5i speakers.
So the time came when I began reading reviews about music streamers/DACs, nightmare territory for an absolute novice in this respect! As you can see I have a thing about valves so when I came across a review in Hifi Choice giving an excellent rightup for the Veracity Mystra DAC/valve preamp I decided to find out more about it.
Through the Veracity Audio website I contacted Gregor Szymczyk, the creator and builder of the Mystra to see if it would replace my current preamp. Gregor was most helpful and assured me that Mystra would do just that so I went ahead and ordered one.
I have been living with the Mystra for a couple of months now and can confirm that Chris Wards review in Hifi Choice was spot on!
Simon from Northampton (Chrysalis)
"A very successful product in terms of construction. Several proprietary solutions in the DAC / DSD system and the SPDiF input. The power supply with oversized filtration gives the effect of clarity and tangibility of the material being listened. On top of that, an unconditional advantage over the rest of the available devices on the market. The opportunity to fine tune your sound by choosing tubes in each section is excellent feature. Starting from rectifiers, control and output tubes. And hence, great flexibility in matching the rest of your audio system! I would highly recommend!"
Louis from Uruguay (Mystra)"I’ve been an audiophile for more than 30 years and have the chance to listen to many audio systems. I could not believe how much the sound improved, it was day and night, the sound totally changed for the better, even when my previous CD player costed almost twice the money. I am very happy with my Mystra"
Gary from Bristol (Chrysalis)"Dac sounds very organic and warm and now its hard to listen to anything else" .
Steve from Yorkshire
I would like to provide information for potential Veracity Audio customers giving some details about my system and the sound reproduction that I experience as an owner of Veracity Audio components and also a word about the customer care and service I have received.
I have owned many well regarded and also expensive audio components over the last 20 years, I have experience working at various specialist audio dealerships which has given me the opportunity to hear many hundreds of audio systems in various locations in that time.
I have included some photos of the Veracity Aztec and Chrysalis in the system. Both my PC and CD transports are located off to the sides out of view but digital are my main source components these day's.
Veracity Chrysalis DAC, Veracity Aztec Amplifier. OTA Rebuilt Stacked Quad ESL57, Rel Stentor Receiving Stereo Signal From Aztec, BK Electronics XXLS400 Left And Right Mono Subwoofers. Townshend Audio Supertweeters. Custom Built PC Transport, Tag Mclaren DVD32R CD Transport. Nordost Mains Cables And Power Distribution, Custom Built Equipment Supports And Cables.
As an owner of the Veracity Chrysalis DAC since launch and now living with the Aztec amplifier in my system for over six months, the best way I could describe the sound of the Veracity Aztec and Chrysalis pairing would be to say they are components which are skilled communicators of the musical message and delivering the truth about what is inside your recordings. I feel that they pass the signal through in as pure and transparent way as possible, My audio system at this moment in time is as close to an open window of my music collection that I have been able to achieve and It is obvious that the synergy between Veracity Aztec and Chrysalis as a combination is wonderful. My speakers are a professionally rebuilt pair of stacked Quad ESL57 with the incorporation of subwoofers and super tweeters. I have dedicated a great deal of time into careful speaker positioning and also acoustic treatments which makes the room noticeably quieter and has paid dividends especially when pushing the volume helping to keep the system well under control and producing quicker transients, further fine tuning of cables and isolation supports has also been well worth the effort and the benefit is very easily detectable. The subwoofers are wired directly to the Aztec amplifiers speaker outputs so they receive the exact same signal as the main speakers. The addition of the subwoofers and super tweeters brings another dimension of depth, freedom, openness, definition, control, and enhanced frequency response which is painfully absent in comparison when listening to the stacked ESL57 on their own. It was obvious from the start that Aztec is a match made in heaven with the Quad 57 speakers and I get the impression that this amplifier brings the very best performance out of them. This speaker system when coupled with Chrysalis and Aztec produces a large holographic image, These speakers are very fussy about where the listener is seated but in the sweet spot you have a very focused centre image, and evident with certain recordings is an illusion that you are in a larger space than the small listening room that the system is located in. I hear improved extension at the high and low end compared to my previous amplifiers, there is a sense of space, a presence of sound and ambiance that fills the room creating an almost wrap around effect beyond the boundary of the front and side walls and also extends out to the sides of the listening position. Music is revealed in such a manner as you can peer inside the recording focusing on individual elements at will. I am experiencing an almost spooky rendition of familiar recordings which sound vivid, engaging and true to life, The system as a complete package really does bring the the musical message across allowing a higher level of communication of the recording been played which in turn brings greater understanding about how close to top analog reproduction is possible from compact disk and in particular digital music files played from the PC transport.
The musical occasion that is produced from the stacked Quad speaker system when driven by the Aztec amplifier is for me personally something to behold, delicate and nuanced, natural and organic with a wonderful openness and beautiful coherence top to bottom, great mid range tone, true to life sounding vocals, an effortlessness and musicality that flows freely drawing you inside the music. I hear a wonderful definition in the mid range and bass regions that I have not previously experienced before through the stacked Quads, dynamics drive and punch like this from Quads would have many people scratching their heads. I find the stacked ESL57 are in a whole different world when compared to my old Linn Isobarik or Kef Model 4.2 The Aztec amplifier is able to play at a higher sonic level overall compared to my previous 845 50W SET monoblocks. This shocked me because I already had preconceptions beforehand that a solid state amplifier simply could not compete with high quality 50kg each mono 845 valve amplifiers running expensive 845 and driver valves. I understand now that as much as I enjoyed the 845 sound for many years they possessed a certain colouration and less focused sound overall especially noticeable at the bottom octaves. In direct comparison to the Aztec, The 845 showed obvious signs of slowness and compression at higher volume, although the ESL57 is also a limiting factor here. The 845 amplifiers were also not able to unveil the same level of micro information and fine detail which was been previously smeared or masked. Aztec still provides the substance weight and body but with faster transient response and a greater perceived sense of effortlessness, I suspect because of the huge power reserves Aztec has available and the tricky load that stacked ESL57 can present to an amplifier is a major contributor. I often find myself having those WOW are you kidding me moments how can this album sound that way, a clear transformation of familiar recordings has taken place for me ever since I bought the Quad's and Veracity components into my life. It is an eye opening experience when albums you think you know inside out can hold many new surprises. When listening to certain music especially from the PC transport even though it is been played from a digital source there is an analog master tape quality to the sound which is totally none digital in presentation delivering a wonderful portrayal of the musical message it feels like you are more in touch with what the sound engineer and musical artist perhaps had in mind.
In the past I have not had great results using a DAC or CD player equipped with a variable output connected directly to the power amplifier, using a dedicated high quality preamplifier always gave a much better result in my opinion. The last CD player and DAC that I owned when trying this connection were from the brands Krell and Esoteric but they were both very good as stand alone components. I believe that because I have now bypassed the need for a dedicated preamplifier altogether and with Chrysalis having a very high quality valve output stage driving directly into the Aztec amplifier is a major contribution towards the system synergy and perfect component matching as they are specifically designed to work well together. I strongly feel that the less is more approach is appropriate to mention here. Having the ability of tube rolling with the Chrysalis DAC also gives the user further ability to fine tune to there personal taste or better match with other system components, I can testify from trying many different valve combinations that Chrysalis is very revealing of any changes made here and is well worth pursuing.
I am a previous vinyl enthusiast and collector but due to a change of circumstance and space restraints at the time I sold my turntables and large vinyl collection. I always envisaged myself returning back to vinyl again someday but since I put my current system together I have decided to keep digital as my main way of listening, I think that statement says allot. I have access to thousands of vinyl recordings transferred from a top analog source stored on hard drive and the characteristics of those recordings really communicates well when played back through the audio system. Whether you are playing CD, DSD, Vinyl rips, or high resolution music files the sound is free of digital nastiness. I have also found the system does not favour any one genre of music it just gets on with the job at hand and draws you into the recordings so much so that you don't want to stop listening, in fact there is many a time where I will listen to the same album again straight after, if that is not a sign the system is doing something right then I don't know what is.
The veracity components can be as delicate or explosive and dynamic as the music demands they help the whole system to simply disappear allowing a musical event to unfold in front of you that you can focus on with your eyes as well as your ears.
They are assembled from scratch all hand built here in England and offer a high standard of build quality, the wood front panels are a superb piece of woodworking craftsmanship. I believe the Veracity Aztec amplifier and Chrysalis DAC either as stand alone components or in combination offer a glimpse into the world of what is possible from a cost no object design but at a price which is attainable for a much wider market. But as always peoples taste and preference will vary quite wildly and it will be the auditioners personal preference whether they prefer one manufacturers component or the other.
Final Word And Customer Service
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I have been an owner of Veracity Audio products since they were first launched under the brand name Valve Audio Devices during the development of there first DAC the TAD-1. I have never encountered any issues with regards to reliability during my ownership and they also offer an easy upgrade path in the future should updates and improvements to the designs become available. If you finally want to stop box swapping the Veracity Aztec and Chrysalis DAC should be on your shortlist as the last amplifier and digital source component you ever need to get the best experience from your music collection.
I have always received second to none customer care and after sales service with speedy informative communication and helpful advice. I believe the equipment represents an honest no nonsense approach to audio engineering and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gregor and Jacqueline. I plan to continue my audio journey into the future with Veracity Audio's products. Steve Forrest
Simon Maggs: May 2016
My Mystra dac:
Recently I decided to count the number of dacs that I've had. Including CD players which can act as a dac - i.e. have a digital input - I've had 22 dacs over the last decade or so. Why so many dacs and, indeed so many amplifiers, cd players and speakers? I guess I've tended to upgrade on the basis of the sound of the new kit being better than the old kit and, then, in time, I've grown frustrated with the sound and issues playing certain CDs or tracks.
Thank god I finally now have a sound system to keep.
Over 5 years ago I found Aurum Cantus Volla speakers. A first item that I knew I'd have to keep. This was the first speaker I'd found that was definitely better – not worse or different – than the Spendor BC1s. But changes in source and power continued. Soon I bought a Chord QBD76 dac, the Yulong ESS9018 D8 dac and a couple of similarly priced valve output CD players. I found the Chord as not for me and sold it on. The Yulong gave me at that point more detail than I'd ever heard from a CD but it didn't sound as natural as the valve-based Shanling player. I now knew I needed a valve-based source and, when I could find it, if possible, I knew I wanted the level of detail that ESS9018 based dac gave me.
I then improved on the wonderful Shanling player by finding your Ten Audio TAD1 Dac. I could have lived with this dac for good, but I still wanted more detail. How have I found the Mystra DAC? I knew straight away that I had the detail I wanted and a top valve-based output stage. The Mystra sound was detailed like the best dacs I`ve heard, but with the warmth of a top record player, this itself was a superb start but I wasn't sure whether all my system was the best I could imagine. But I kept in mind that your dac had sounded even better to my ears using your valve-based amplifier than my own Marantz Reference bi-amped set up and hadn't had the slightest hint of `digital` signature at your place. So I marked the Mystra DAC, like my speakers, as a keeper and finally upgraded my system's power to a valve-based Pathos Inpol 2. Now your DAC sounded like it did using your system and was as good as I could imagine. Phew.
The sound of my hi-fi based on your Mystra is now what I want. I can't imagine it being any better. My system sounds like a live performance. I completely believe that my hi-fi's only practical limitations are now the room it is in, the CDs I play and sadly, my hearing. So I'm done. I've finally got a final music system. It only took 20 years for me to get here. Your latest dac is probably the best dac I've heard and, is probably one of the best dacs available in the world. Thank you.
Kind Regards, Simon
Emmanuel Benazeraf: December 2015
'' ....To own it and know it is to love it. In a nutshell, that is what I call the Gregor factor, inherent in all the machines I've bought from him so far: a mixture of honesty humility and paradoxically an impression of supreme confidence in their ability to reproduce music as it is meant to sound.......This DAC really lets the music breathe and prove its point without adding extra coloration, without altering or flattering it: it is never intrusive or pushy. There is air between the notes, as well as a well rounded quality to the sound and a sense of unerring timing and pace.....''
Steve Forrest, September 2015
';...This is comparable with high end vinyl replay.....even more apparent when listening to DSD recordings. I feel that this would be a golden opportunity for vinyl fans who have previously not considered investing in digital for obvious reasons, they would be able to switch back and forth from analog and digital playback and still be completely satisfied. To simply sum things up would be to say, this is not like digital replay that I have experienced before.Music played back played through [this DAC] has a sense of rightness, a sense of believability that a real musical event is taking place in front of you...
Music that I know so well and have heard countless times over the years hold's new surprises for me in terms of musical information retrieval. You can hear the difference in the instrumental texture and detect great insight and depth in a recording. The human voice is also presented with greater realism a more realistic capture of vocal inflections and greater insight overall than what I experienced previously with DAC-10. I hear an improvement in tune playing ability especially when playing DSD, still I have the same emotional connection and involvement but enhanced to an even higher level.''
Aesthetically I find the quality of this DAC to be excellent; also the level of customer care and service that I have received from VAD is second to none. I feel privileged to own this piece and am convinced that many other high end DAC's that are available would look very overpriced in comparison to this. DAC-10 has certainly not been a cheap purchase for me, I had to save up for a while to be able to afford to buy this, but music and the quality of sound reproduction are extremely important to me. I felt that DAC-10 was able to fulfill and surpass my expectations, I also feel like I am receiving excellent value for money. My previous transport and DAC was more expensive than DAC-10, but the performance was not in the same league.
I have also found that DAC-10 does not favor any particular genres of music but is a superb all rounder, In my opinion used with a high quality transport or as part of a high end PC based music system DAC-10 will be the last digital device that you ever need to enjoy your music collection.
Andy Patel, August 2015
''I have been using the dac now for nearly 2 years and it is a wonderful product, I have tried a few other high end dacs since, and i always come back to my VAD. Gregor gives a very personal service, which is lacking in this industry. I dont think i will be looking at other dacs anymore im just wasting my time and energy. The engaging organic sound i get from Gregor`s dac is very difficult to replicate. Thank you for designing such a wonderful product straight from the heart.''
Nigel Frederick Long, December 2015
''Never ever been so happy with a piece of equipment you can just forget about and really enjoy the music. You are a star''
Notes from Nigel Frederick Long: at home, auditioning DAC December 2015
'' (Pink Floyd 'Wish you Were Here) When the guitar comes in it is a real surprise. The DAC brings life to the music. (Lene Martin: A Place Nearby) This DAC brings total realism into the whole thing. Vocal is perfect. Depth is amazing. Every instrument in its place. (Yello- Rhythm) is divine. Just play it and see. ( Shirley Bassey) Vocals in this track OUTSTANDING! WHERE HAS ALL THIS DETAIL BEEN? This DAC is amazing..
( George Michael) The first line vocals: George's every breath can be heard on this track. So natural. Piano is detailed and true. Cymbals are there and they weren't there before! I'm impressed.''
Customer feedback posted on What's Best Forum
IT OUT VINYLS THE VINYL
Auditions of the prototype Veracity Dac in home systems are proving useful. But there's an unexpected reaction which keeps repeating. Here is what happened the first time:
He leaves happily clutching the Dac in it's flight-case looking forward to a bake off weekend with friends. He returns on Monday evening:
''I cannot bear this for another weekend. Take it back''.
''Why? What's wrong?''
''It's making me feel ....grrr..I spent £10.000 on a new vinyl turntable and phonostage... IT OUT VINYLS THE VINYL''
There was no intention to compete with vinyl. But the end result: 'It out vinyls the vinyl'. So be it.