RUPERT NEVE DESIGNS FIDELICE RANGE DEBUT AT CANJAM LONDON 2019
Rupert Neve Designs unveiled its brand new Fidelice product range at CanJam London last weekend, and we were there to take it for a spin.
The pro-audio heavyweight aimed squarely at the hi-fi market. Last year it was the RNHP Headphone Amplifier that was exciting us, this year we were eager to check out the Fidelice series. The new range from Rupert Neve Designs pairs the company’s reputation for sonic excellence with a retro-futurist steel and wood construction that will look equally great in your listening room or living room.
We at StereoNET are digging the styling that will remain looking timelessly cool for years to come.
The initial line-up comprises three American-made products: the Precision Headphone Amplifier, Precision Phono Pre-Amplifier, and Precision Digital-to-Analogue Converter.
Precision Digital-to-Analogue Converter
The Fidelice DAC and Headphone amplifier is the one we made a beeline for.
As you would expect from the master of analogue, the flagship DAC is built on a Class-A design. The DAC uses an AKM converter chip to reproduce both DSD (Direct Stream Digital) audio in its highest-quality standard, DSD512 (22.4MHz), as well as 24-bit, 384 kHz PCM audio. During our quick listening session at CanJam London, we were feeding the unit through Tidal but are looking forward to spending more quality time with it soon.
Your output options are transformer-balanced XLR, balanced Pentaconn, 1/4-inch unbalanced jacks and a high-powered headphone out based on the company’s excellent RNHP headphone amp.
The sound from the DAC headphone out was as we expected after experiencing the RNHP. Output had a naturally warm analogue sound but was also extraordinarily revealing and precise.
Precision Headphone Amplifier
Again, building upon the award-winning RNHP design, the Precision Headphone Amplifier boasts 24V operation and is calibrated for optimal level and impedance. The result is a wide-open sonic performance with plenty enough power to drive any headphones.
Precision Phono Pre-Amplifier
An intriguing addition is the Fidelice Phono Pre-Amp that takes the preamp designs that made Rupert Neve a household name to elevate your turntable setup with the classic Neve sound.
With purpose-built low-noise JFET-based discrete Class-A amplifiers, an 18dB/octave rumble filter and selectable capacitance to work with a wide range of cartridges, this should be a winner for all vinyl lovers.
Josh Thomas, Rupert Neve Designs’ General Manager, told StereoNET:
We are extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with the Fidelice range of products, and it’s exciting to be able to provide what has become the reference in world-class studios to the audiophile and hi-fi communities. This brings Rupert’s designs full circle, as his first commercial endeavour was actually CQ Audio, a British Hi-Fi company.
Price and availability
The Precision Phone Pre-Amplifier and Precision Headphone Amplifier will be shipping at the end of August, while the Precision DAC will be available by the end of September.
Pricing is not yet confirmed, but we were told that Rupert Neve Designs are aiming for a sub £5,000 price point for the DAC headphone amp, making it even more tempting.
Check out the gallery for the professional press shots.
StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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