Review of Altmann Attraction DAC


This evening I’m reveling in the sound of my new computer-based digital source that features the Attraction DAC. I’ve had it for about a week and a half, averaging about 4 hours a day, so I figure I’m up to about 40 hours. Every day it’s sounding better and better. Personally, I feel that manufacturer statements about burn-in are too minimalist and tentative. Every time I get a brand new piece of audio gear, I’m surprised at how much change it goes through. In my opinion, NO critical listening should be attempted before 25 hours, period. It will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Now don’t get me wrong. I would have been happy if the quality froze where it was 5 days ago, but everyday, it’s getting juicier and juicier.

As I told you, my previous CD player was a Naim CDS3, a fine piece of hardware. For about half of the price that I sold it for (less than 1&Mac218;4 of new retail price), I have a computer-based system that sounds better in all aspects: soundstage, natural tone and timber, detail, even PRaT and musicality, which are Naim’s claim to fame. A cello sounds like a cello and a muted trumpet sounds like a muted trumpet. Hallelujah!

As you know, I initially had trouble getting the MacBook using Toslink cable to sound right. I had already discovered your little baby’s capabilities using my cheap Samsung DVD player and coaxial cable connection, so it was frustrating that I couldn’t get the MacBook/iTunes/Toslink combination sounding as good. After discovering that the internal iTunes equalizer was on and preset for use with the tiny little internal speakers, a click of the mouse solved the problem and now all is well. There’s a bunch of little “gotchas” in this new world of computer audio, but the rewards are great. Fortunately, you were very helpful, as was Chris over at I couldn’t have made the switch to a computer-based system without either of you.

The bottom line is that all the high praise directed at the Attraction is absolutely valid. As I said, after about 4 days, this bested my Naim CDS-3. I suspect if I had upgraded the Naim’s power supply (about an $8000 USD uprgrade) the result would have been similar to what I’ve got now.

I won’t go into everything that the Attraction does right. For me, the most important quality is what I call the “ensemble” effect. A group of acoustic instruments each have their own “life” on the soundstage, they each have their own timber signature, yet together they are a coherent whole playing beautiful music.

Here’s the best part. There’s absolutely no snob-appeal in this little piece of magic. It’s very reasonably priced (especially considering the fact that it seems to be indifferent to the transport), and rather than looking like it belongs on the deck of the Starship Enterprise, it would be quite comfortable in your average trailer park (no offense). I’m pleased as punch knowing that the glorious music that I’m hearing in my home is an elite experience that will be rejected by most appearance-obsessed elitists. It’s like the best champagne on a beer budget.

Thank you for your devotion to the advancement of high value/low budget musical reproduction for the rest of us.

Glenn G.

Associated equipment: Thor TA-1000 preamp, Art Audio 20 wpc Jota monoblocks, Merlin VSM speakers.


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).