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Legendary Studio Meets the Unrivaled Performance of DAM1

Updated: May 29, 2023

From offline exhibitions to enthusiasts' homes, DAM1 has encountered a wide range of impressive setups. However, when DAM1 is introduced into a genuine professional audio field working environment, what kind of experience does it offer?

Seizing the opportunity while conducting business in Shanghai, we took advantage of the convenience to visit Asia's largest recording studio at that time for a brief DAM1 audition. Fortunately, we had the privilege of encountering a professional sound engineer on-site, and we extended an invitation to him to experience the sound of DAM1.

The studio equipment is highly professional, featuring the rare and sought-after all-analog SSL9000J mixer, which can be considered the pinnacle of luxury configurations in China. Moreover, the instructor is a seasoned recording expert within the country. The studio's sound reproduction is both lifelike and natural, capturing notable works such as the music for the World Expo's opening and closing ceremonies, the CICA Summit's inauguration, and soundtracks from renowned movies like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Perhaps Love", "The Continent", and "The Captain". Additionally, the recording studio houses compositions from the popular game "Genshin Impact".

(U87 for studio use)

For this particular occasion, we utilized the DAM1 + PA1 reference version configuration, with the MAC being the primary sound source typically employed in the recording studio, utilizing Apple Music streaming media.

Regarding the wire materials, aside from the tuna USB cable, the analog cable employed our recording studio's self-made cable, while the PA1 power cable utilized a computer cable due to compatibility reasons. For the DC wire, a comparison was made between copper-silver alloy wire and 6N oxygen-free copper wire. Notably, the recording studio we visited demonstrated exceptional attention to detail in managing the power supply aspect. As we are aware, the impact of power supply on the overall sound quality is evidently significant for a HI-END system.

Due to the limitation of the on-site space environment, DAM1 and PA1 are forced to be stacked. It is strongly not recommended for users to stack them, otherwise it will have a significant impact on low frequency, dynamics and overtones

Because of the limitation of the socket, the PA1 reference power cord uses the computer power cord used by the recording studio. This effect is second only to the DC line, so be very careful.

(studio-use MAC)

During the audition, as soon as the sound was activated, the performance of DAM1 under ALL DSD proved to be highly commendable. The professional design of the recording studio itself contributed to an exceptional listening experience, leading the recording teacher to perceive it as truly remarkable. The overall impression was akin to that of the smaller devices present in the recording studio. Even with 100,000 decodings, the similarities were surprisingly striking, with minimal differences. Unless one listens attentively, the distinctions between the two are virtually indistinguishable. This left the recording teacher in awe, regarding DAM1 with great admiration.

Furthermore, we conducted auditions to evaluate the sound performance with the noise reduction module of DAM1 turned on and off, and discovered a noticeable distinction. The sound quality significantly improves when the noise reduction module of DAM1 is activated compared to when it is deactivated. The recording teacher also recognized this disparity and expressed their appreciation for the practicality of this noise reduction module.

Although constrained by the on-site setup and environment, the straightforward connection audition did not fully showcase the optimal capabilities of DAM1. Nevertheless, even with this basic setup, the impact was significant, igniting a heightened interest in DAM1 within the recording teacher. They conducted repeated auditions twice, extending over an hour, yet remained hesitant. In fact, they went so far as to replace the 8351 speakers and experienced entirely distinct effects under NOS.

(The recording teacher is talking about DAM1 with Mr. Lin of xs_horizon)

(Studio decoding equipment Pro Tools MTRX)

(using macOS, Apple Music)

It is worth mentioning that we also encountered some interesting situations during the audition and comparison process. Fans who have experienced DAM1+LPX may understand that each of the three official DC cables launched by Soundaware has its own sound characteristics. In this professional recording environment, where the power supply is meticulously handled, we did not give excessive consideration to the impact of the power cord on the sound.

When we informed the recording teacher that replacing the DC cable would result in a different auditory experience, the teacher consistently emphasized being a materialist and expressed skepticism about the perceived improvement in sound quality due to cable changes. However, it was only after we actually replaced the DC cable that the difference in auditory perception became apparent, leaving the recording teacher truly puzzled yet intrigued. It was as if a door to a new world had been opened, prompting multiple rounds of auditions and comparisons.

It must be said that in this professional environment, the difference in sound perception resulting from cable replacement is much more pronounced compared to the general audition setting. We were also filled with excitement during the session. In our personal environments, the impact on the listening experience caused by replacing the DC cable is not as evident. However, in this professional setting, a mere substitution of the DC cable can yield a significant difference in the listening experience, highlighting the recording studio's professionalism.

(Replace two different DC wires)

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