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Thread: A short review of some SW1X products

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,253
    I'm Chris.

    Default A short review of some SW1X products

    This review was posted elsewhere on the forum, but was within another thread and rapidly disappeared out of sight.

    I have been collecting and listening to Hi Fi for about 45 years. The move to digital, and up-sampling in particular, has been a big disappointment in the last 15 years. Like many I am not enamoured by the digital ’headache’. Previously this annoyance has been somewhat ameliorated by the use of valve amps (McIntosh 225, Audionote Meishu, EAR 861), transistor NOS DACs and horn speakers, but there are times when I contemplated giving up trying to improve my system.
    Then, by chance, I spotted an advert for SW1X, carried out extensive auditioning, and finally entered a new world. Below is my best attempt to review the kit I have bought. I am no technical expert and I leave Slawa of SW1X to fend off any technical question.

    USB1 Signature

    Almost all interfaces to computers rely on USB connection and the job of the USB1 is to convert that signal to SP/DIF and hence onward to the DAC. It does clever things with the clocking and predominantly makes use of valves. It doesn’t have a sound in the absolute sense and can only be judged when in line with a good DAC. It’s a smart well finished box. In my case it is brushed aluminium which I like as it diminishes the sort of minor marks that occur on black boxes over time. Connection is minimalist with a USB cable in and an SP/DIF cable out. A mains switch makes up the compliment and this is placed at the rear to encourage one to leave it on 24/7, particularly with the internal Black Gate capacitors. In operation it was immediately recognised by my Raspberry Pi.

    DAC 1 Signature
    This is where the magic reveals itself. There is an SP/DIF cable in and phonos out, and again there is just the mains switch on the rear. If you are looking for an analogue sound from a digital source then the search is over. I used to own a Linn Sondek, Ittok etc and its memory has been truly laid to rest. CDs that were unlistenable are now enjoyable and discs that were once enjoyable are now wonderful. I have learnt over the years to avoid over focussing on details within the sound, being old enough to remember that Naim sold a thousand amps based predominantly on the reproduction of a rim shot on a drum. Well this DAC just makes music, overwhelming, foot tapping, sing along music. It does high and low frequencies and a lovely valve-like fluid midrange, but at no times does it draw undue attention to specific elements. Its just a pleasure to own it.

    Silver cables
    If the electronics are the icing on the cake, then these cables are the cherry on top. In the past I have often played lip service to the choice of cables not really hearing too much in the way of differences but happy to settle for Audionote silver ANV cables so I didn’t have to worry about missing out on something! Suddenly I was hearing differences. SW1X cables bettered the Audionote cables which went on E Bay. The real revelation were the silver mains cables. Slawa has his own recipe for cables using strands of silver wire of mixed radiuses in what is essentially an air dielectric. A key element is their (zero) impedance. I cant begin to guess why 1m of silver mains cable can impact on several miles of supply cable to the house, but it does. I would say the interconnect between computer and USB1 is the cable to get in order to share the insight and at about £100 it’s a steal. Each change of cable allows the system to breath more easily. The soundstage opens up and just becomes more real. Eventually the speakers disappear - Amazing.

    In conclusion
    Slawa is one of the nicest people I have met in Hi Fi. For creativity and innovative thought I would put him alongside the likes of Peter Qvortrup and Tim De Paravicini who I had the pleasure to meet when they were both starting out in the industry. Yet he is friendly and happy to talk through any naïve questions I may have.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 99,005
    I'm Grant.


    It is in his trade area now Chris... These things should now go there. Thanks
    Grant .... ؠ ......Don't be such a big girl's blouse

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply-doesn't-work
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

    Oh my god! There's nothing wrong with the bidet is there?

    “Nothing discloses real character like the use of power. It is easy for the weak to be gentle. Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test. It is the glory of Lincoln that, having almost absolute power, he never abused it, except on the side of mercy".

    “You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police ... yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home -- all the more powerful because forbidden -- terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”

    "You don't have free will. You have the appearance of free will.”

    “There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!”

    ***SMILE, BE HAPPY***

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,253
    I'm Chris.


    Bit confused now Grant.

    Does it mean that once a trade area is set up that none of that persons products can be mentioned on the main forum area

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 110,012
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.


    I've moved it into the area of the forum, reserved for user reviews of products.

    Grant's right, and you're also partly right too, Chris. The proper place for manufacturers/dealers to promote their products is in their sub-forum within the trade area, but it can also be done, where appropriate, on the main part of the forum during discussions, such as when it is relevant to the thread topic.

    Anyway, all's fine now

    Main System

    Turntable: Heavily-modified Technics SL-1210MK5G [Mike New bearing/ETP platter/Paul Hynes SR7 PSU & reg mods]. Funk Firm APM Achromat/Nagaoka GL-601 Crystal Record Weight/Isonoe feet & boots/Ortofon RS-212D/Denon DL-103GL in Denon PCL-300 headshell with Funk Firm Houdini/Kondo SL-115 pure-silver cartridge leads.

    Paul Hynes MC head amp/SR5 PSU. Also modded Lentek head amp/Denon AU-310 SUT.

    Other Cartridges: Nippon Columbia (NOS 1987) Denon DL-103. USA-made Shure SC35C with NOS stylus. Goldring G820 with NOS stylus. Shure M55E with NOS stylus.

    CD Player: Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 DAC.

    Tape Deck: Tandberg TCD 310, fully restored and recalibrated as new, by RDE, plus upgraded with heads from the TCD-420a. Also with matching TM4 Norway microphones.

    Preamps: Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X. LDR Stereo Coffee. Power Amps: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp fitted with Tungsol KT-150s. Quad 306.

    Cables & Sundries: Mark Grant HDX1 interconnects and digital coaxial cable, plus Mark Grant 6mm UP-LCOFC Van Damme speaker cable. MCRU 'Ultimate' mains leads. Lehmann clone headphone amp with vintage Koss PRO-4AAA headphones.

    Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW16.5 record cleaning machine.

    Speakers: Tannoy 15MGs in Lockwood cabinets with modified crossovers. 1967 Celestion Ditton 15.


    Also **SAY NO** to unjust 'vaccine passports' or certificates, which are totally incompatible with a FREE society!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Bishops Stortford

    Posts: 1,253
    I'm Chris.


    Thanks Marco. There are at least two Chris's posting about SW1X products.

    Let me assure everyone that this particular Chris is a customer and nothing more. I have no affiliation to SW1X other than to love the products I bought and reviewed.

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