Review of Altmann Attraction DAC

Hi Bruno, Malcolm, Vicky, James, Tony, Keith, Mike and Bob,

David Chesky and I have been spending a lot of time with the Altmann Attraction DAC in our respective listening spaces.

Now, I understand that this DAC is heretical, blasphemous, and mathematically incorrect.

It does everything wrong. It's a 16-bit R2R chip with no reconstruction filter added.

However, it sounds so natural and so real that it makes my other DACs (Weiss DAC2, Lavry DA11) sound wrong.

My Lavry Gold DA924 is the only one that holds its own against the Altmann, but even there, the Altmann has the upper hand.

The Attraction is not bright, but it sounds clearer.

After a time with it, going back to the filtered, ASRC'd, noise-shaped delta-sigma DACs brings back all the old criticisms of digital audio - glaring, hard sounding, dynamically incorrect, fatiguing, unsatisfying.

The definition of fast musical passages, and the dynamic feel of transients sound much more real on the Altmann.

The ear is re-educated, and the short-comings of digital filtering become apparent again. Transients sound folded back on themselves. Perhaps pre-post ringing are far more damaging to the auditory experience than theory would predict.

Now, I understand that sampling theory is proven and incontrovertible, but this DAC seems to say that the artifacts of reconstruction filtering are detrimental to the listening experience.

What ever truncation and aliasing going on with the Altmann Attraction (yes, it's there, I can hear it with -50dBFs program and the monitor level boosted to +25dB over normal) has a far smaller impact on the ear than what is caused by the reconstruction filtering in the "correct" DACs.

Color us confused. Why should this be? I do not think we are fooling ourselves. Time will tell, but for now, the two of us are heretics.

Very best regards,



This is a review of the Altmann BYOB Amplifier, Attraction DAC, Creation ADC, Altmann Phono Stage, , BYOB Speaker System, Altmann Acoustic Panel, Altmann UPCI (Ultra Precision Clock Injector) or Altmann JISCO (Jitter Scrambling Decorrelator).