This week HIFICRITIC launched their new website and it looks great.

We’ve worked for many Years with Paul Messenger, who has written many reviews about Vertex AQ and also invested a fair wedge of his own money in our products. And Martin Colloms has followed us for many years, listening very intently to our products too.

When the Aletheia dac-1 went to Critic for review, Paul did the writeup. At the time he was telling all and sundry how smitten he was with the dac-1, but we also knew by comments on the Critic forum that Martin also really liked it. But for some reason, at that time, we did not see that Martin gave the Aletheia one of his ‘Colloms Sound Quality Ratings’ – presumably it was published in a magazine copy that we missed. But now, on the new Critic website, there’s a lot more of the general magazine data available without subscription, including the Colloms score listings. The listing for digital equipment, which includes the Vertex Aletheia (the dac-1) is here

When I saw the listing this week, it reminded me again just what a great machine the Aletheia dac-1 is. In my personal view it’s fantastic for the price. But like many unsung heroes, it doesn’t give up its inner depths too quickly. You have to spend time with it, live with it, go through your music collection with it. You have to take time because your brain has to re-adjust away from the slightly broken and brash offerings of most of the other machines out there.

Aletheia oblique 1

If you look at the scoring that Martin has given that extensive listing of products, you’ll see just how well the Aletheia stands up against the competition. There are other great machines on there that score even more, but I think they’re all more expensive than the Aletheia. And many machines that you might think would score highly, actually fall massively short in Martin’s opinion.

Aletheia rear 1

And consider the process that the serious reviewers go through. They never rush, they try the equipment in different setups and with different ancillaries, and they are listening in their home (not just a dealer’s studio or at a hifi show). They have lots of experience with all the mainstream technologies, the old and the new, and they’re not easily drawn in by marketing of the latest gizmos. And ultimately they assess a machine’s audio performance – the ability of a machine to give exceptional long-term listening pleasure. A really high-scorer is going to get under your skin, it’s going to make you fall in love with your music collection again. it’s going to stop you going to bed at night.

We don’t sell many Aletheia DACs. We don’t try to. They are painstakingly hand built with many man-hours needed to complete all the ‘system-of-system’s’ architecture thats required to give it that staggering performance. But those customers who have invested in an Aletheia absolutely love it. I mean deeply, truly love it.

P.S. The Aletheia dac-1.5 is even better.

P.P.S See original Critic review of the Aletheia dac-1.

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