NEW! STM Review:
- Unboxing video of Stereo Maraschino (STM) 2 channel amp: (LINK)
- Video review of the STM performance: (LINK)
“Well not to be a copy cat but the Magnepan LRS’s. Wow! At first just like you guys, I didn’t really like them. Whether it was break in time needed new electronics or just room and finding the right placement, I nearly returned them within the 90 day period. I’m glad I didn’t give up on them. Love them! I got in early on them. Right after Steve’s review of them. Anyway I’m in love with the sound once I got an amp that wouldn’t shut down and go into protection mode. They’re very demanding of clean high quality amplification. That brings me to my next best heard products of 2019, my amplifier and DAC come from a company called The Digital Amplifier Company. Man oh man, his stuff is special. Used both my ZU Audio Dirty Weekends and my Maggie’s with his electronics and I was blown away.
The amplifier is called the STM, for Stereo Maraschino and the DAC is the DAC DAS 1HS. This combo hasn’t left my two channel room since I got them, and that was almost a year ago! The people who know me on the forums know that electronics don’t stay with me long because I eventually find a flaw that I can’t live with. Nothing yet! And last but not least the way not affordable Alsyvox Botticelli planar speaker! Heard them at RMAF and holy guacamole, this is a bold statement but it’s quite possibly the best speaker I have ever heard! Couldn’t pull myself away from that room plus the Alsyvox dudes were way cool! I know you like Planars so give them a go!”
I reviewed STM King and after 300 hours, changing my DAC, changing all power cables, and with final deq adjustment, I'm so much satisfied now, that I can not write anything detailed or comparing, without trashing my previous equipments...
I have also the previous room correction measurements and they are also the proof of my thoughts... That's why I not sending you my real detailed review before selling my previous amplifier and DAC.
But I have few words:
I'm using Holo Audio Cyan DAC now. After 200 hours burn in (yes it took that much) and changing it's stock power cable to Pangea 14 awg, and putting a new Supra Lorad mkii power cable with Sonar Quest euro plug in, Cherry STM is even better.
I believed in burn in process in electronics and speakers but power cables??? they can make changes??? but they did. Especially not using the 115V to 230V adapters...
In that period I didn't like the sound very much and never made a critical listening more than 10 minutes, not to adjust my ears... but I measured it. That's why I had to re-equalize the room response again and again. (I did it 3 times) after the burn-in process and cables changed, the sound has less db bumps and spikes. Not my ear but the mic detected near to 3 db corrections in 25hz - 35 hz area and 17khz - 20 khz area. And that affected the sound in a very weird, positive way. Now there is less bumps and spikes to equilize in my hearing area...that means less deq corrections, less interference, the better the overall sound...
Your STM made my speakers sing. I knew they were very detailed but not this much!
I haven't heard anything more detailed and smooth and fast at the same time, not only it's price range, but 3x price range! The air between instruments is more than I can describe. But the detail in mid-section, that was the real surprise for me, something I never expected...
It got very good friends with Holo Cyan DAC. (In Nos mode)
The connection is made with Mogami XLR balanced cable. (I liked it very much) Together with STM King; they especially make string instruments (cello, violin) become alive! (I can easily say without any hesitation; I haven't heard any partners better in this department) I play violin and the sound literally made me cry... A few times...
I prefer the total sound with all of my equipment more than 25.000 dollar ATC SCM 100 Actives with Bluesound node 2 streaming Tidal. Yes they are still better in detail department (just by hair) but not in fluidity and organic tonality... not in musicality. Instrument separation was very good in that system (the best I've heard up to now) but I have more stage deepness. More 3D...
DAC DAC Reviews:
Jeremy Kipnis - Positive Feedback.com: (LINK)
"On a cost vs. sound quality basis (alone), Digital Amplifier Company DAC DAC may be the best digital to analog converter to come along in 3 decades; all the way back to the extremely costly & extraordinary $12,000 Stax DAC-X1t Vacuum Tube Output Reference D/A Processor (1989)!"
Jeremy Kipnis - Kipnis Studio Standard : (LINK)
"....AND these amps can even render an MP3-320k very nearly indistinguishable from an identical FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF by delivering the complete dynamic envelope and frequency range contained in the recording without falling victim to inaudiable data reduction or added harmonic distortion!"
6Moons Srajan Ebaen : (LINK)
"....the baby cherries do the air thing better"
"....speed, open-sky treble and translucence"
"Desk-top users with inefficient Mark+Daniel type monitors could fall very hard for Maraschino indeed due to ultra-compact size, good power and low-Ω drive."
"There's nothing hasty, nervous, jittery, jagged or small about him or this...."
6Moons Marja & Henk : (LINK)
King 60V Maraschino
"....we noticed a slightly heavier low end....and somewhat of a sparkle on top."
"....Remarkable to say the least!"
"....It did appear that the Maraschinos offered the super tweeters more material to process. The resultant sound was more fluid and resolved. More analog perhaps?"
TONE Audio: (LINK)
"....wonderfully open, clear, transparent, and precise sound"
"....very quickly addicting such that even familiar recordings come alive with a fresh perspective. This may be due to the Maraschinos’ incredibly quiet background."
"Peter Gabriel’s New Blood, featuring new interpretations of some of his classic songs, is a hair-raising showpiece through the Maraschinos."
"The recent 96 kHz remaster of Nick Drake’s three sublime albums are ravishing through the Maraschinos."
"....the Maraschinos greatest strength is coherence. Bass notes are deep and punchy yet speedy and nimble, with high frequencies sounding extended and smooth."
"They are amazingly refined with low distortion."
"....they have speed to spare."
"It is like cleaning a dirty windshield to get a better view of the road."
"....a product that defies the imagined rules.
"I was not imagining it. In my years of reviewing gear, I can’t think of a single occasion when a change of amp more surprised me, and all this in a budget system. Don’t ever doubt that well-designed amplification can make a real difference!"
"These amps easily compete with other great amps I’ve heard."
"The amps belie their size to deliver a sonic wallop...."
"Expensive investment in cables seem unnecessary, which is actually a major cost-saving in the long run."
"Small in size, huge in sonics, I find myself seduced by the quality of music provided by the Digital Amp Company’s Maraschinos. Recommended for music lovers."
Stereo Times: (LINK)
"A ride cymbal tapped modestly at the back of a stage comes through with perfect clarity, and violins, which can sound strident on even some of the best recordings, are wonderfully fluid."
"These are also the quietest amplifiers I’ve ever had in my house. Between tracks, the Maraschinos make absolutely no sound: no soft background static, no hum, nothing."
"Driving my Verities, the bass was punchy, defined, and very well controlled"
"....the Maraschinos own some of the nicest sounding upper registers I’ve had the pleasure of listening to."
" I found the Maraschino’s presentation to be coherent, refined, powerful when the music required it, and delicate when things quieted down."
"The soundstage is enormous, the presentation is clean and clear...."
Big Cherry Reviews:
“Personally, I consider the Cherry Plus to be among the best sounding amplifiers I have heard and an absolute bargain for five grand. It's strengths lie in its incredibly low noise and soundstage capabilities.”
“Easily my 'Publisher's Choice! Most Wanted Component' for 2010!”
Clement Perry, Stereo Times
“There is no doubt in my mind that the DAC Cherry Ultra stereo amplifier is the best example of a high-end Class “D” amplifier I have had the pleasure of hearing. This amplifier impressed me in so many ways. It is fast, clean, and dynamic, it runs ice cold, and is also very quiet. At times, it brought my Eficion F300 to life like no other amplifier I have tried.”
Ray Seda, Dagogo
“Over the last two years I’ve lived with Class-D amps from Wyred4Sound, PS Audio, Nuforce, Spectron and now DAC.
First, and I am sure the most obvious impression that will be remarked upon by anyone who tries it, this amp does bass, possibly in a way that you’ve not heard before. The effect is quite unmistakable in my system as the DAC seems to extract greater low range articulation than I’m accustomed to hearing. But to be clear, this is not simply stronger, boomier or ‘more’ bass presence; this is clean, articulated, vibrant low-frequency tones. They seemingly come from someplace below your regularly acquainted range... more akin to the sound of a live bass guitar than you expect from a recording.
I’ve been enjoying some great Howard Roberts albums over the last few months, grooving on that 1960’s vibe of Whatever’s Fair and All-time Great Instrumental Hits, repackaged as a single CD by Euphoria (Sundazed, 2001). Chuck Berghofer’s bass underpins the quartet while Roberts pulls off the near-impossible trick of playing stock hits in a challenging but deliberately non-frightening fashion for the easy-listening crowd. The Cherry gives this music its full due, revealing the masterly interplay of each instrumental voice, with Roberts and the boys almost appearing live in your room.
At its price, it is closer to the Nuforce Stereo 8.5 I reviewed last year, and while I enjoyed that little power amp and feel it shares some of the Cherry’s upper-range voice, if I had to pick one to live with, I’d go with the Cherry.”
Patrick Dillon, Affordable Audio
Distortion in music reproduction bothers me. It takes away from my enjoyment. A clean precise reproduction of a note or word from whence it came excites me. The "Cherry Amp" from Digital Amplifier Company excites me. This is a piece of equipment that when added to my system it made me want to listen to my entire music collection all over again. It is like switching from a cone to an electrostat or a first generation cd player to a high end Sacd player.Power in my system had been coming from a pair of Cary slam 100 monoblocks and a DAC 4800a ($3600 from digital amp). After listening to a pair of Apogee Caliper Signatures I felt I needed more to open them up. In comes the "Cherry" amp. While waiting I listened to my tube amps exclusively to give myself a solid reference point.Right out of the box it is impressive. The front panel is Cherry red and minimalist in its design. It is heavy for its size, very solid, no wasted air inside this chassis. Set up is easy.I love a female voice. First up "Spanish Harlem" sung by Rebecca Pigeon. The disc is "The worlds Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings" produced by Chesky records. A solo bass starts out, each note is defined and clear. Rebeccas voice chimes in, she is there full bodied with plenty of depth. Percussion followed by strings and then piano. Every note is distinct with good placement on the stage. A wonderful recording and this amp laid it out beautifully.Piano is very difficult to reproduce. The keys, the way they are touched and the after sound can be captured. This is where some ss amps have accuracy but lose the felling. Each note feels hollow. I start with Red Rose recordings of "In a sentimental mood" and " Misty". Then on to George Winstons
I am SERIOUSLY considering using a Cherry amp as the amp in my REFERENCE R&D system.
I think that says it all.
Ben, MOJO Audio
Youthman- unboxing video