It's hard to know how to list the Aesthetix Romulus. It incorporates all the features and functions of the highly reviewed Aesthetix Pandora DAC plus it has a built-in CD player. It also has the $1,000 option of an innovative variable output that unlike normal volume controls has no loss of resolution at any volume level. This allows the Romulus to act as a digital preamp for all its digital inputs as well as the CD player. If you want to use a separate preamp, you can adjust the volume to get the best results for whatever preamp you're using.
The Romulus has a vacuum tube output which avoids the edginess common in digital playback. Two years ago I did a major tube upgrade putting in NOS Telefunken ECC83s (12AX7) and 6Dj8s. Like all Aesthetic gear, the Romulus is known for its natural sound that combines transparency with full-bodied richness.
The Romulus is the winner of The Absolute Sound's Editor's Choice and Product of the Year Awards and has been listed in Stereophile as a Class A disk player. Robert Harley calls the Romulus a "giant killer" in his TAS review, able to match or exceed far more expensive high-end products. See his review below:
In his Stereophile review, John Iverson says the Romulus has "deep bass and dynamic impacts as good as I've heard, with clear details and depth." See his review below.
I'm estimating the shipping cost. If it costs less, I'll refund the difference; if it costs more, I'll cover it. 3% additional for PayPal.
Card-based DAC with three digital input slots.
AES/EBU, RCA Coax, Toslink standard on digital
input 1 slot.
AES/EBU and RCA Coax SPDIF capable of 192KHz /
Digital section capable of the following
frequencies: 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, all with
24 bit resolution.
USB standard on digital input 2 slot.
USB capable of class 1 audio (96KHz, 24bit) and
class 2 audio (192KHz, 24bit).
2nd USB input optional.
Asynchronous transfer mode for USB input,
licensed from Gordon Rankin / Wavelength Technologies. This technology allows
for jitter levels over a hundred times lower than previous USB solutions.
DSP based digital section using Motorola
DSP56362 for digital filters.
DAC section based on Burr-Brown PCM1792A.
Analog section featuring four vacuum tubes in
differential configuration (2x 12AX7, 2x 6DJ8/6922).
Zero feedback analog circuitry.
Balanced and single-ended outputs.
Relay-based switched resistor analog/digital
design volume control.
Remote control of all functions.
Multiple stainless steel faraday cages isolate
critical digital, analog and power supply sections.
Three transformers, one for critical digital
circuits, one for analog circuits and one for control functions.
All aluminum chassis construction.