we just had to post this review on the outstanding streaming system comprised of the Aaavik S280dac/streamer along with the ansuz power swich and powered ethernet cables the result of this entire pairing and a throughly well engineered streaming system is a joy.


aavik is one of the very few audio companies to make every device in the chain amplifier dac streamer ethernet switch ethernet cables loudspeakers powere conditioner power cables and the result is pure magic


n a nutshell, I feel spoiled with the Aavik S-280 digital streamer and the Ansuz PowerSwitch ethernet hub and all those Ansuz digital cables. This is what I’ve always wanted digital streaming to be–effortless in operation, magnificent in sound quality. This is the set-up, along with the U-280, that could make me sell all my CDs and just go with streaming and LPs for the rest of my life.


Dave and troy

Audio intellect nj

AAvik ansuz borrenson dealers


@arafiq I concur with you regarding the T+A DAC 200 and the Terminator from Denafrips. The former is incredibly measured yet realistic with vocals in particular. Yet when instruments enter the fray, the DAC 200 has this rather curious habit of pushing the vocals much more back on stage , leaving a bit more weight and impact than normal with the instruments. If listening to vocals exclusively , the DAC 200 would be an excellent choice. In addition the lower midrange and top bass note freqs seem to  cluster all elements of the music performance. With the latter, the Terminator might be better labelled the Taminator , this is one of the most underwhelming DACs in quite some time. Visually built like a tank , just with a mid size sedan engine under the hood. 

In my research , the Aavik D 180 was auditioned vs the T+A DAC 200, the Aqua La Scala , Aurender N200, Grimm MU!, Holo May Kte and a Mola Mola DAC. 

Just three made the cut : The Aavik, the T+A and the Aqua la Scala. The Aavik was the most exuberant, bold and in doing so defined it's own signature sound quite well. Only shortcomings seemed to be in the area of microdynamics and dynamic swings. This DAC was happy going forward full throttle for most of the time. My interest was piqued with the D 280 as it seems to offer a more mature and insightful presentation and captures the overall  musical flow better . Definitely a contender in my books for my next DAC along with the Aqua La Scala , devoid of any digital filters, nor any visual display for that matter, this minimalist approach does not extend to the music performance. At times addicting, smoothing any harshness or hard edges with the tube warmth. 

Do you find the U 280 musically engaging, immersive in the music experience , non fatiguing ?. Aavik claim their low and mid tiers DACs to be warm , musical with good soundstage. Would you agree given your own experience with the U 280 DAC section?

@auroravengeance I had a brief listen to the very excellent Borresen M1 bookshelf speakers at an audio show and found them to be exemplary bookshelf speakers. The Z1 cyro have received quite favorable reviews too since their release. 

@arafiq yes I owned one and no it is not the best. @dbagstrick yes I owned one for a year and sold it. Did not hold a candle to my current gear. Perfect name also dbag. 


Are you going to try Weiss Dac502 MKII, MSB Discreet, Rockna Wavedream, and Lab12 Dac1 Reference as well? I tried all these as well and went with Lab12. 

I listened to the La Scala as well and liked it very much. To be honest La Scala, Weiss, and Lab12 sounded identical to my ears. So I just went with the cheapest option which is Lab12. 

I tried the Weiss 502 and 501, found them to be competent yet lackluster given their stellar reviews. The Rockna Wavedream, heavy warm almost viscous sound with the Wavelight all things considered the better of the two. Lab12 is one to take a look into along the way. As is another , the Audio Research DAC 9, which is clearly on the radar given the positive feedback received from owners and the audio press alike. 


Do you find the U 280 musically engaging, immersive in the music experience , non fatiguing ?. Aavik claim their low and mid tiers DACs to be warm , musical with good soundstage. Would you agree given your own experience with the U 280 DAC section?

The U-280 is the first amp where I don't miss tubes in my system. I have always loved tubes and owned several tube integrated amplifier (Audio Research GSi75, VAC 160, Audio Hungary Qualiton a50i, Rogue, Raven, and a few more). I also tried SS amps a few times, with the more recent ones being Luxman 590AXII, Naim Supernait3, etc.. But I always went back to tubes. The U-280 is the only amp where I don't miss the familiar tube sound. I feel that it takes the best of both worlds and creates its own unique sound signature.

I can't really say how the D-280 sounds by itself since I haven't tried it, but the U-280 combo is definitely very musical and has a warmth which I never expected to find in a class D amp to be honest. I was actually very skeptical and planned to return the amp to my dealer after a few days of auditioning. But please keep in mind that, despite the warmth, it's not lush sounding like many tube amplifiers. It takes the holographic imaging, the dense cut-with-a-knife palpability of tubes and marries it with the resolution and bass response of a very good SS amp. But it does not masquerade as a tube amp by any means. If someone wants the lushness of tubes then they're better off with tubes. The Aavik focuses more on the purity of sound and lets you peer into the music and present every bit of detail albeit in a very layered, smooth and non-fatiguing way. Last night I listened for 4 hours straight and had to force myself to turn it off so I could get some sleep. So, no I don't find it fatiguing at all.

Hope this helps. Good luck in your search :)