January 2015 – Reviews from HiFi Critic

Over many years now, HiFi Critic has reviewed quite a few of the Vertex products. Also, Paul Messenger has purchased the items he has really liked (couldn’t do without!) for permanent use in his system. Martin Colloms has also followed our progress over the years and has been particularly impressed with the Aletheia products. In particular, they have a love for our Aletheia DACs:

HiFi Critic takes a much more holistic view with their analysis of products than many other publications. First they have a rolling retrospective awards scheme to which, every year, they add new winners. This gives much more relevant context for potential buyers because here you have the combined experience of two expert reviewers, over the 8 years, of components that really stand out. They have three categories for the awards, Audio Excellence, Recommended and Best Buy. Furthermore, they have the Colloms Sound Quality Ratings in which Martin Colloms lists his sound quality scores for all the products he has assessed over the years.

HiFi Critic Awards

So here is the summary of all the awards and scores for Vertex AQ and LeadingEdge products.

Critic excellence logo

In this category:
1. The Vertex AQ Aletheia dac-1
2. The Vertex AQ Aletheia dac-1.5 MkII
2. The Vertex AQ HiRez Solfonn analogue interconnects
3. The Vertex AQ HiRez Moncayo speaker leads

Critic recommended logo

In this category:
1. The LeadingEdge support platform (with couplers)
2. The Vertex AQ Kinabalu support platform (now superseded by the LeadingEdge platform)

Critic best buy logo

In this category:
1. The Vertex AQ Standard Moncayo speaker leads

HiFi Critic Sound Quality Ratings

In the Colloms Sound Quality ratings, in the digital components listing, the Aletheia dac-1 scores an incredibly high 250 points. Hardly any of the other machines on the list get anywhere near that score, and most of those that do (or better it), are vastly more costly than the Aletheia DAC.

Links to the HiFi Critic Listings

See here for the full HiFi Critic awards listings.

See here for the full HiFi Critic sound quality ratings (digital). The Vertex AQ Aletheia dac-1 is near the bottom of the right hand column.