Aries Cerat Kassandra II Ref DAC: Wow!

musicfirst1

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Mar 8, 2015
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This is just an initial report on the Aries Cerat Kassandra II ref DAC and it contains only one word. WOW! And this is only the "baby" dac from AC.

View attachment 67676
Actually the new "baby" AC DAC is the Helene. It's prolly my next purchase..
 

Believe High Fidelity

[Industry Expert]
Nov 19, 2015
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Billygxx

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2015
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Hi
Josh, you could have told me you posted a question In this forum. I do own the MSB Select 2 with dual power supplies and upgraded clock. I also have the LE Kassandra. On weight the Kassandra certainly wins being that I cannot even lift the power supply while I can lift all 3 MSB modules. The problem with making a call of “best” for me is that I have not compared them directly. The MSB lives in my transistor based system and the Kassandra lives in my tubed based system. Since both rooms are flawed I like to compare via phones. Through the phones, they both can sound stunning but even the phones are very different. The MSB Select headphone amp only allows for electrostatic drivers(Stax SR009 S) while the gigantic Aires Cerat amps drive more conventional phones(Focal Utopia). Additionally the MSB is driven by a Taiko Extreme server while the Aires Cerat is driven by an Aurender SW 20 SE. Hence, it’s impossible to say which is the best. So, maybe one day I will insert the MSB into the Aires Cerat system or vice versa(Josh would have to do the lifting in that case) and then I could officially pronounce a winner. Ultimately though I think it will boil down to a matter of personal preference-they are both exceptional products. Since Aires Cerat is introducing a new top of the line DAC, that could change the whole paradigm.
 

christoph

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Dec 12, 2015
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Hi
Josh, you could have told me you posted a question In this forum. I do own the MSB Select 2 with dual power supplies and upgraded clock. I also have the LE Kassandra. On weight the Kassandra certainly wins being that I cannot even lift the power supply while I can lift all 3 MSB modules. The problem with making a call of “best” for me is that I have not compared them directly. The MSB lives in my transistor based system and the Kassandra lives in my tubed based system. Since both rooms are flawed I like to compare via phones. Through the phones, they both can sound stunning but even the phones are very different. The MSB Select headphone amp only allows for electrostatic drivers(Stax SR009 S) while the gigantic Aires Cerat amps drive more conventional phones(Focal Utopia). Additionally the MSB is driven by a Taiko Extreme server while the Aires Cerat is driven by an Aurender SW 20 SE. Hence, it’s impossible to say which is the best. So, maybe one day I will insert the MSB into the Aires Cerat system or vice versa(Josh would have to do the lifting in that case) and then I could officially pronounce a winner. Ultimately though I think it will boil down to a matter of personal preference-they are both exceptional products. Since Aires Cerat is introducing a new top of the line DAC, that could change the whole paradigm.

How diplomatic :D
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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Christoph, you weren't really expecting an answer, were you?
 
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christoph

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plasmod3

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Aug 28, 2020
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Thanks Billy, guess the verdict is still up in the air on this one. The Aries Cerat sounds like good build quality but i must admit - not too convinced on the weight . A higher bmi does not necessarily mean better in every regards:) it sounds a champion on the scales:)
 

verita7

New Member
Oct 2, 2020
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Yes the Kassandra Mk 11 is a phenomenal DAC. Have one in my reference system along with the Pink Faun 2.16X server and Technical Brain Preamp and Monoblocks
 

verita7

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Oct 2, 2020
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The other 2 DACs that are amazing are the WaDAX Atlantis and Reference DACs and the Trinity Reference and the Silver Series DACS. Both also mind blowing.
 

lordcloud

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Jul 5, 2016
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Yes the Kassandra Mk 11 is a phenomenal DAC. Have one in my reference system along with the Pink Faun 2.16X server and Technical Brain Preamp and Monoblocks

The Technical Brain monoblocks are one of my dream amps!
 

RdW

Well-Known Member
Apr 8, 2018
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Once you are dialed-in on the MSB program below Select, the Kassandra needs to be really good to knock-out the MSB. Unless your dealer is happy trade in against MSB new price.... Having said that, if you are in the market for one of these fantastic DACs, you might have a hard time to choose...
 

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