Aries Cerat Helena or Mola Mola Tambaqui?

I am deciding which dac I should take. Mola Mola(8000 euro) I can audition, Aries Cerat Helena (11000 euros) I can not, only direct sale. Mola has volume regulator, Helena not, but it is R2R with tubes like Lampizator, weighs 40kg oppose to 6kg of Mola. Mola is more commercially known and very very good reputation. Both have also reputation as a killer of very expensive dacs.  My system is Tannoy westminssters Roayal and tube monoblocks ith Se-833(similar to Wavac Se-833))Any thoughts or experiences with these dacs? 

The thing is, I am going from Tambaqui to tube single ended 80w monoblocks SE-833 and I think it had a great synergy this way..... going with great cables Kimber KS 1036 and KS 3038 bring so much resolution and natural and precise sound with so much air and 3d that I can not imagine to get more of that with tube dac.... but who knows 

Sounds great...yes, we already tubes in the system, that probably was a better step. Lovely music too...


just a very quick note. We are the North American importer for Aries Cerat.

I have actually had both DACs in my home side-by-side and we have done a direct A/B comparison. I would say they are almost polar opposite. The Mola Mola is much more analytical sounding with tons of detail. It is super small and super well-built. Fit and finish is absolutely stunning.

The Helene is also super well-built and fit and finish is more of a statement piece rather than just another piece of equipment in appearance. Sound wise the Helene is much more analog sounding. The Helene has more resolution and harmonics. It sounds more like a turntable with the right source. It does not sound tubey, like the Lampizator DAC's. There is a clarity to the sound and when you hear an artist tap on the side of an acoustic guitar you can hear the wood sound on the acoustic guitar. The detail is more life like versus other DACs we have tested.

I personally have owned and tested over 100 DAC's. Most of the testing we do is direct A/B testing. I have never kept a DAC longer than three months until I put the Kassandra Ref 2 in my reference system. I've had it 18 months and it's not going anywhere.

One thing I always tell people when they're testing DAC's is to never underestimate the actual source that you're using with the DAC. They work together and the source is just as important as the DAC. When properly put together it can be pure magic.


Please remember "it is easy to build a system that can play music but very difficult to build a system that is musical".

Robert Neill


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