Here, we have been enthused concerning the Vermeer Audio Model TWO. But the Model TWO is a heavy hitter; not everybody wants that sort of firepower of their programs. Perhaps you have got a smaller system with out the necessity for analogue inputs. Maybe all you want is a streamer or DAC. And you need these items with out compromising high quality. Say ‘bonjour’ to the Vermeer Audio Model THREE D streaming DAC!
The Vermeer apple doesn’t fall removed from the tree. Much of what went into the Model TWO trickled all the way down to the Model THREE D. This additionally means the Model THREE D pulls in an awesome deal from the late, lamented Audio Aero LaFontaine. I’d like to say this conclusion got here from painstaking listening, evaluating circuits and background analysis. But I can’t; Vermeer Audio makes this clear by itself website. “The Model THREE D is totally primarily based on the Model TWO and the elements which have made this uncompromising unit successful.”
Like Model TWO, it helps 32bit, 384kHZ PCM audio and DSD128 via its USB and LAN connections. The Vermeer Audio Model THREE D goes as much as 24bit, 192kHz and DSD64 on S/PDIF and AES/EBU. The large variations between the 2 are eradicating analogue inputs and utilizing a far lighter case.
Let’s not underplay that ‘lighter case’, nevertheless. It doesn’t imply the DAC is light-weight or that its trio of armour-piercing cones don’t add as much as highly effective construct high quality in and of itself. However, not like Model TWO, something shy of ‘battleship construct’ is discovered wanting. The distinction is you’ll be able to raise the Model THREE D out of its field with out visiting an osteopath.
Having no analogue inputs advantages the Vermeer Audio Model THREE D because it permits full Leedh integration. Leedh processing is an progressive all-digital quantity management. It took place as a result of digital audio nonetheless suffers from quantity controls that degrade the sound sign by modifying its form.
A digital quantity management’s downside sounds round however is misplaced data attributable to itself. That misplaced data is said to modifying the amplitude of a digital datastream, referred to as ‘truncation’ and even ‘bit chopping’. How this truncation seems to the listener is a drop in low amplitude sign, making the sound seem ‘flat’ and ‘missing heat’; a few of the baseline common criticisms of ‘digital audio’ typically mentioned by analogue music lovers.
What if a few of these limitations of digital audio have been purely features of attempting to make a no-noise digital quantity management? This would go some solution to clarify the peculiar facet of high-end audio that whereas good digital gamers typically have digital quantity controls, many audiophiles nonetheless choose passing the sign via an analogue preamplifier. This intrinsically provides noise however is made as a result of pragmatic choice that it merely sounds higher.
Leedh makes an attempt to handle this well-documented downside by making a quantity algorithm to minimise the variety of extra bits in a datastream to scale back truncation loss. This is an awfully intelligent – and very complicated – manner of modifying the amplitude with out altering the waveform utilized by a few of the brightest stars within the digital heavens, corresponding to Lumin, Métronome, Soulution… and Vermeer.
So, why is it Vermeer Audio isn’t spoken of with the identical hushed tones folks apply when discussing one of the best of these different Leedh sign-ups? If you informed a fellow audio traveller you owned a kind of different three names, you’d get a nod of recognition and respect to your discerning alternative. Do the identical with Vermeer Audio, and you’ll in all probability get a ‘who?’ Partly, it’s for all the proper causes; even in an business with a popularity for a bespoke construct, Vermeer Audio’s merchandise are resolutely hand-made. The firm is sufficiently small to make sure one engineer can comply with a product from inception to closing sign-off, testing and aligning exactly alongside the way in which. Where different firms of Vermeer’s measurement normally have one or two folks in advertising and gross sales, it’s all about constructing one of the best they’ll.
In that manner, Vermeer Audio operates like Henry Poole & Co. This small Savile Row tailor is famously understated (it doesn’t even have its personal label to stitch into its clothes), but invented the dinner go well with and had Winston Churchill, Napoleon III, and lists quite a few Kings, Queens, Emperors and Princes as shoppers. Personally, I’d take timeless craftsmanship and understatement over flashy and trashy!
Of course, simply as a tailor is simply nearly as good as its final sew, so Vermeer Audio depends on the standard of its two merchandise, and the Model THREE D is greater than adequate. However, there are a few operational ‘quirks’ such because the rear-mounted headphone socket. From an aesthetic perspective, I approve because it makes the entrance panel’s strains look clear and uncluttered, however from a logistical place, having to achieve across the again of the Model THREE D – particularly if it isn’t on the highest shelf of your system – isn’t the most suitable choice.
I’m cautious of going over previous floor right here, however a lot of what applies to the Vermeer Audio Model TWO applies to the efficiency of the Model THREE D. It makes use of the identical high quality boards, substantial PCB tracks and high-grade elements. I didn’t have each merchandise at hand, so counting on a long-standing aural reminiscence of basically related merchandise is troublesome. Still, I believe the variations in efficiency are comparatively slight. Model TWO largely provides weight and line inputs… and makes a much bigger gap within the financial institution steadiness. This is an excellent achievement for Model THREE D as a result of Model TWO was a stellar digital replay machine, and this will get inside “a midge’s minim” or “a gnat’s crotchet” (thanks, Humph, and the I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue staff) of the Big Boy’s efficiency. In explicit, Model THREE D retains that ‘drawing you in’ property that pulls you nearer to the music, just about no matter file kind or musical style. I discovered myself listening to a variety of listening pleasures and having fun with and understanding them completely.
Mentioning ‘Clue’ above was for a motive; it’s a deep pool of a long time of foolish, freely out there and readily streamable half-hour slices of fried gold through BBC Sounds, and I discovered myself chuckling alongside to some basic early night stupidity (singing the lyrics of ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ to the tune of ‘The Muppet Show’) and double entendre (“Samantha has to nip out now as she’s received a brand new job working within the sound archive because the supervisor. It’s her first day, so apparently she’s going to present a speech within the again room and hand jobs out within the workplace”). Toward the top of his life, former host Humphrey Lyttleton’s voice turned just a little vague. Model THREE D helps carry out sufficient vocal high quality to pay attention joyously. You really feel as if you’re a part of the viewers and much more occasion to the jokes.
I learn via the Model TWO evaluation and did the identical factor; I frolicked discussing a BBC broadcast. There’s a great motive for this and one which I didn’t essentially discover the primary time round. The Vermeer simply stayed on on a regular basis. You play Model THREE D at each alternative. It accompanies your digital music and makes a really fluid, participating and enticing sound. This digital replay machine is on the complete aspect moderately than stark, with a simple rhythm and loads of element. Still, finally none of these issues is as essential as simply what number of hours you log with the Model THREE D. And this listening throughout the demise (pronounced ‘dem-EEZ’ as a substitute of ‘de-MIZE’) of the Crown, the place all issues British went maudlin.
Good instances dangerous instances!
There’s solely a lot of that one can take, and periodically one’s pipes want a great cleanout. Nothing appeared extra applicable than taking part in the entire first eponymous Led Zeppelin [Atlantic] album from one finish to the opposite, beginning with ‘Good Times Bad Times’… and it sounded prefer it was the primary time I had ever heard it. Wow!
THREE D by identify, THREE D by nature. The Vermeer Model THREE D produces a particularly holographic soundstage. If that have been all, it will in all probability be sufficient, however because it follows carefully within the footsteps trodden by its greater brother, at a fraction of the price and one-third the burden, it’s a tough factor to not love.
- Digital inputs Asynchronous USB, AES/EBU (XLR), S/PDIF (optical and BNC coaxial)
- Analogue outputs Single-ended RCA, Balanced XLR
- Digital precision to 32bit, 384kHz PCM (utilizing Vermeer Audio resampling module), DSD 64/2.8Mhz
- Output Voltage 2, 3 or 4Vrms in fastened output mode. Up to 7Vrms in variable output mode
- Output Impedance 100Ω
- Signal-to-noise ratio 129dB
- THD < 0.1%
- Dimensions (W×H×D) 450 × 130 × 440mm
- Weight 9kg
- Price £13,995
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