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Review Sonnet Audio Pasithea d/a converter – the beauty of silence

Pros

  • Sound-technically perfect
  • Measurement perfect
  • Reasonable price considering the performance

Cons

  • Bit of a dull box
  • Prijs: € 5900

    Build quality
    Usability
    Sound
    Price
    Sonnet Pasithea

    The Sound

    How can we describe silence and “blackness” without falling into clichés? It’s incredibly difficult. And yet that’s the first thing we think of when we think of the Sonnet Pasithea. Everything feels so ordinary because it is presented with such calmness, stillness and ease. And in doing so, it doesn’t matter if we’re playing a very minimalist piece of singer songwriter, or a full orchestra with multiple layers and big differences in dynamics.

    Sleek and insightful

    What we had to get used to – if we are honest – is how tight the Sonnet Pasithea plays. This converter – though largely similar in design – really does play differently from our Metrum Acoustics Pavane. It is definately a lot tighter throughout the whole bandwidth. Now you may read: analytical, dry, clinical…. but no… that is where you are mistaken! We actually get much more insight into the various layers, instruments, harmonics of an instrument. And that makes it that we can actually follow what is happening much better, which makes me get more into the music.

    Compare it to a pair of glasses that you look through when you want to admire a work of art.

    Do you prefer to wear the right prescription glasses and clean, clear glasses without a (color) filter, or do you prefer to look just a little out of focus and through a color filter? We leave the answer up to you.

    We dream away with some Angus & Julia Stone (the entire album passes by without us noticing). And then Beth Gibbons… beautiful. And so another two hours has flown by. Only when we notice that we really need some coffee, we let some black gold simmer through a filter and put on some harder work: Amplifier. And then Conjure One (All that you can Leave behind remains a great track). Yup… we’re awake again. Remarkable how this dac can effortlessly handle any genre…. but yes: good hi-fi ‘dances’ along with the music. What is also remarkable, however, is how the rest of our system becomes friends with this dac so quickly…. Could it be because the Pasithea fits in like a chameleon? Hmm…

    The limit…

    The insightfulness, calmness, control and authority we hear gets us thinking: where are the limits? When does the progression stop? A noise floor of around -160dB is incredible. That’s well below our Bryston and Pass labs XP-12 which are around -130dB if we remember correctly. In short: that is where the weak link now lies. Yet we hear the extra silence and control that the Pasithea brings compared to the Pavane with DAC3. How that is possible is again another question we have to find an answer for. The more we hear, discover and know…. the more questions we have. It’s part of life.

    Video Sonnet Pasithea vs Pavane (DAC3)

    Download lossless samples

    Sonnet Pasithea

    Metrum Acoustics Pavane (DAC3)

    4 Comments

    1. Hello Guys,

      As always what a great review !

      I have a Denafrips Athena preamp & Terminator -II using HQP to PCM 1.536mhz and that is the way the Terminator-II seems to squeeze its best bits.

      I have this itch with the Pasithea, and wonder how good would it be to switch to it from where im standing now ( T-II ), any suggestions ?

      Have you tried Pasithea with HQP ?

      These are the DACs im considering:

      – Lampizator Baltic 3
      – Sonnet Pasithea
      – SW1X DAC II BALANCED

      fingers crossed
      Regards to You all

      Miguel ( Mexico )

      1. Sorry for the late answer. The Sonnet Pasithea is – for me – the best dac in terms of ‘silence’ / noise floor and detailing. It’s crazy. Combine it with the lossless volume control and you have a resolution master. The T-II is also very nice. It’s up with the best.

        The thing is: how is the rest of the chain. Other dacs make a difference. But is that your weak link?

        1. Thank you

          I feel at this time there is no REAL weak link in my system, this has been a long journey for me, more than 13 years of looking here and going there and learning the hard way, trying and selling an even sometimes going for things that one should look later once you have the more impactful gear on front, that said, my server has been the last piece of the sound base, no matter how good the system is, if the source is poor, pum.

          The T-II is very good but what has been shown with the Paul Hynes DR7T powering the server is a magnificent upgrade in sound ( an eye opener ) is what is making me think that if I now upgrade this DAC to Lampizator Baltic 3 or Pasithea, after what I have been reading from folks with the same T-II upgrading to B-3 makes you itch your head, hahaha

          You know how it is

          I wish you guys could have a chance to try the Lampizator Baltic 3

          Besr regards

          Miguel

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