This must be one of those eye candy product that caught my eye about two years ago at the KLAV then. At that time, I am willing to take it back home without even listening to it seriously. This year, at Munich High End Audio show, fate have me met up with the designer of Loit, Mr. Kam. I said to him that he must be one of those very hardworking gentleman since he worked at so many shows and far away events to promote his creation. In the recent KLAV show, we decided to have the Loit Passeri cd player for review. I asked some willing volunteers to bring over their top DACs for comparison. I have here the following DACs: the MSB Diamond IV Select, the CH Precision C1 and the Vitus Masterpiece MPD-201. I believe all these DACs are formidable and are at the top of their game. I will have the Loit Passeri cd player output (balance) to the pre amp direct into my Vitus Masterpiece system and its digital output (AES) to the respective DAC in consideration. The cables used remain the same throughout the session.
The design and shape of this player is amazingly stylish, like a nicely shape sport car or a sculptured art. In the look department, even the wife will have it display in the living hall. Thing this beautiful deserves to be seen. The built quality of it is at par with any top notch product out there or to be expected at its price category. Mr.Kam assured me that all his customers are assured of the finest craftsmanship available out there.
Its Beauty is not just skin deep...
I was advised to leave the player running for at least a day in order to reach optimum performance. There are a few reasons for this; the electronics, the tubes, the settling in of the gel compound which the cd transport mechanism is fitted upon, and the settling in of the footers. This must be one of those wait that I hope to be avoided but in the world of high end audio component, this is the usual practice.
As the time approaches the serious listening session, I have Mr.Kam came over to do his final touch up on the player. He was given the honor to place a cd into the player and there he showed us a neat trick to bend the cd ever so slightly downward with the label facing up, to improve its playback.
Initial impression is the seductiveness of the human voice. There is a layer of bloom over the voice but not a cloud over the detail. What is expected from the recording can be heard here. To me, given the Vitus MPD-201 is my choice in comparison here, that will give a good balance tonal with a cleaner and better delineated vocal line compare to the Loit Passeri. But the Loit Passeri is more towards the expressiveness of the vocal and I believe that this lend an extra ounce of emotion on the presentation. In term of the artistry of the artist concerned, I must say it allows the listener to enjoy it but with a slight touch more and this, to some is a plus.
Timing is considered to be the forte of the CH Precision C1 (at least to me) and that it never fail to impressed me with its presentation of any instrumentation. The start and stop of every tone is clearly presented with the next tone in line. The C1's act is hard to beat by any DAC that I have come in contact with. The Loit Passeri is no slouch in this department but not its forte either. You can expect it to present the musical instrument in its glory and full bodied ness and that these are considered by many to be a plus factor. All of the string lines and bass lines are presented in the appropriate timing but not call into attention as C1. To some, the C1 may be a bit too concerned with the timing but to me, that timing is what hold the music piece together to bring forth the essence of musicality. The Loit Passeri will not rob anyone of the musicality of the presentation instead it will present the music as a whole with all the facet intact gloriously.
The MSB is among here the most expensive DAC and that is not without justification. It is able to present music behind the quietest (not black) background. This extreme low noise floor allow so much information from the High high to the Low low to freely spring forth that images are able to float out freely within good spacing and air, and that dynamic and transient of bass are so quick paced that are true to the recording. The Loit Passeri will not present your favorite cd in this extreme low noise level but at an acceptable level to be expected at its price point. Any owner of the Loit Passeri will not be short changed in any form of performance that is to be expected. The detailing of the presentation will be as good as the recording permits but not as spaced out as the MSB. In term of dynamic and transient, It is able to excite any listener and that to want more will be to the bottom of most wallet.
Beauty at a cost...
The effort of Mr.Kam to bring forth this design and product into this ever challenging market is admirable. Much has been sacrificed and the result is encouraging, considering a number of satisfied customers out there. All of us whom are present at this session are satisfied with what we have heard from this fine product. I dare say that the asking price for the Loit Passeri cd player will give any owner and on looker a Beauty to behold and enjoy.
Text and photos: Dato' Danon Han