EAR Acute Classic

Hi Fi Choice


This superbly built valve CD player/ DAC with preamp prowess reminds us that the potential arms race over

ever-greater processing power in more and more advanced DACs, playing rare files counts for nothing if

you donít enjoy the sound that comes out of the box. EAR isnít pushing any new processing boundaries and the

DAC section maxes out at 24/192 via USB, but its analogue mastery seems to make even modest data feeds

sound sublime. This playerís valve section is clearly kind to digital files, but donít for a moment think that

weak files are somehow being smoothed over by some sort of tube magic, removing digital edginess at

the expense of insight. Quite the opposite, CDs, computer files and streamed music all sound marvellous

through the Acute Classic. Vocals and acoustic instruments sound that little bit more real, grunge sounds grittier,

jazz jazzier and electropop more electrified. Everything flows effortlessly and musically. If you love

musicality and enjoy the convenience of your CD collection, then this is for you. Thoroughly recommended.