Graham Slee Majestic DAC Quick Review
Thanks to Graham Slee for the loan.
Brief: A DAC for all your stuff
Price: £1600 to £1700
Specification: See here http://www.gspaudio.co.uk/majestic-dac.htm
Accessories: A fancy PSU1 power supply.
Build Quality: Solid. A block of aluminium.
Aesthetics: Plain, a little utilitarian.
Sound: It’s a little warm, rich, smooth with a lush flair that is what we have generally come to expect from things with Wolfson bits on the inside. I’m never sure how much is due to Wolfson and how much is due to all the bits surrounding it. Either way it’s what we have simply come to expect when seeing it mentioned and normally when their stuff is used, it is mentioned. Graham Slee have taken their chips and turned it into a block of metal that wants to be the digital to analogue converter for every piece of audio source equipment you possess. For me I’ll admit that the only source I want it to act on behalf of is my computer. I don’t have a fancy separate CD player, mini disc player, audio streamer, turntable and so on and so forth. The Majestic wants to do it all for you. It wants to stand and tell you it has just the one task, one skill in its repertoire, one thing that is does better than all of your other components can. That is to turn a purely digital signal into an analogue one. The premise being that your CD player has to read the CD and convert that signal, the Majestic says let your CD player stick to just the CD reading. Let it treat its digital output and all you’re other things be treated to the same. The primary advantage of this is not only to be “better” than the DAC’s in your myriad of components but to give them all the same, level and behaviour. You can take your hodgepodge assortment of things and set them all on a perfectly level field. That level is a high one too. The audio quality that the Majestic outputs is excellent and I cannot fault it in anyway. It’s a smooth, lush, mellow yet detailed sound full of depth and space. It’s all digital yet it has that “valvey” type sound quality. That is so desired, particularly by those who are ever so fond of vinyl. That analogue, rich organicy type sound and the Majestic delivers that with aplomb.
Value: Well it’s not aimed at me. I’d use one maybe possibly two at most of its inputs. I just don’t have the full scale set up to make fullest use of the Majestic so most of its value is lost on me. At £1600 to £1700 it’s a fair chunk of money and I don’t think I’d ever make full enough use of it to justify its cost. Its target market is not me.
Pro’s: Sounds great, Multitude of inputs.
Con’s: It’s not cheap.