Kondo DAC : Why no reviews ??

I am surprised that one of the best DACs in hifi, the Kondo DAC has no/very little review in the press. Why is that so ? I dont even get to read more than a few user opinions. What is the mystery ?

Have any of you heard it ? Please share your views on this DAC and how does it compare to other good DACs like the Audio Note 4.1X, Playback Design and the likes ?
Dac's being built today can sound as good or better than the Kondo/Audio Note gear at a faction of the $$$.

Know one owner of the AN 4x that can not listen to it as his Lampizator L4 Dac outruns it.
They sell all they make and there's a waiting list to boot!

The point is not how much they sell. In fact the fact that they are such a well known, well respected product should attract at least a few reviewers to review the product in their magazines ? I know many of the reviews is actually done only when the manufacturer pursues it with the magazine company and may be even pay some money to these companies or buy ad space in these magazines. But then I hope there are also magazines which take up reviews of a product simply because it is outstanding sonically and that will also add to the value of the magazine. I mean how is it possible that the touted best DAC in the world has no reviews ?????????????? That too made by a manufacturer like Kondo who is there for decades and has the highest pedigree ???????
What is really the blocking factor ?
Dac's being built today can sound as good or better than the Kondo/Audio Note gear at a faction of the $$$.

Know one owner of the AN 4x that can not listen to it as his Lampizator L4 Dac outruns it.

Glory I agree with you that such a thing is possible. But how many such examples do you know ? Lampizator is one, can you add many more to this list ?
The legends like Kondo are one in many decades and if he makes one dac which many consider the best in the world, where are the reviews ???????? Man today even a new pencil has a review on the internet :). We are talking about the best digital audio player in the world....unbelievable
DAC's are always problematic, the next generation has better processors for half price. The only way to survive for a manufacturer is to keep the ball rolling with an update 2x a year. And a "legend" can hold the price much better, specially when no one compares it or is interested in that. Those who can afford, buy it and are not really mad to hear it is average, colored or slow (or whatever) to this and that. And: touched from the Master counts more than anything else... :-)
AP, the other HYPOTHESIS I have is that this DAC from Kondo-san is much like a Rolls-Royce Phantom automobile - there are people who simply know that they want a RR Phantom car come what may & they simply go out & buy & then use it. These sort of people (so flush with discretionary income) are not the sort of people to sit down in front of a computer & write a user-review. They are simply not that breed of people.
Additionally, Audio-Note Kondo has always been a rather low profile company & I believe that reviewers approach them rather than the other way around. In this case, the reviewers might have judged (in all their infinite wisdom) that under these market conditions the price-to-performance ratio of this item is not in-line with what the market is looking for given that several much lower priced options will rival Kondo DAC's perf & possibly exceed it.
Yet another factor could be that everybody's headed to computer audio & the Kondo DAC does not support that....
Bombaywalle.....your hypothesis is very accurate. Most customers of Kondo are not your average audiophiles, they are music lovers and really are not after the most accurate sound (whatever that is) but after a musical experience that let's them get immersed in sound and enjoy the experience. For accuracy there are many other brands to choose.
Kondo never "requests" reviews again they are just too busy hand-building their gear and besides, you are right again where a reviewer may not fully understand one piece of Kondo gear where a "system" of Kondo gear would speak the truth.
Dealer disclaimer noted!
my guess: since they can't keep up with the demand so they probably need no promotion; so no reviewers samples are made available.

come to think of it, who wants to have so much $$$$$ sitting with the reviewers for months?
I spoke with Audio Note UK owner at a show. He said he doesn't care about reviews. Sometimes reviewers do a poor job anyway, so they can hurt a decent product. As a manufacturer you have to be really careful who reviews your products. Their systems are often much worse than mine IME.

If you have plenty of orders due to word of mouth, why spend money on advertising and reviews? It just increases product cost.

If your products and brand-name are unknown, then reviews are useful. They can sometimes replace the role that bricks and mortar stereo store played in the past, but should be filtered based on their system and experience.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

You are King of buying/ trying wire so why not grap the Kondo dac and A/B it with your dac. You carry a lot of weight on the 'Gon and we all would love to read what you hear. It may even suck and then you would have to report that.

How much $$$ are they going for 80K?
Steve, Kondo and the products bearing the "Audio Note UK" brand are completely different, and the two companies have had nothing to do with one another for over a decade. This link will explain.

Steve`s point is still valid. Kondo has such a strong market niche and following(waiting list)they don`t need to bother with the whole review/opinion/personal bias bandwagon. People who buy this brand know what they want and are getting it. The Rolls Royce analogy stated in an above post is on the mark.
Glory, even the price of a Kondo DAC is not easily available on the internet. I read somewhere that it costs about 30k. Far away from my budget. Yes if I ever get to hear one I would definitely write about it. It is interesting that not many have heard it either :-)
There are brands like Zanden, Jadis and few others who all have expensive line up of digital players but I also see a lot of reviews, user reviews and information about these players. Agree that Kondo may not be hungry fro reviews but reviewers ? Are they not interested in a Kondo either ?
>>Agree that Kondo may not be hungry fro reviews but reviewers ? Are they not interested in a Kondo either ?<<

Not if they have to buy the review sample, especially at the prices Kondo charges.
>>Agree that Kondo may not be hungry fro reviews but reviewers ? Are they not interested in a Kondo either ?<<

Not if they have to buy the review sample, especially at the prices Kondo charges

Uhhhhh, true.
And when the Importer does not give one for free, the audiophile world will stay in digital darkness then....
Someone has to pay...
So here's the "deal". Someone buy one (I'll sell one unit at cost) you will have to prepay then wait between 2 - 3 months before it arrives in the States, then it will go off to a reviewer for upto 3 months when it would be returned to me and shipped off to the lucky customer. (this offer is only good in the US of A).
Anyone up for the offer?
The retail price hasn't changed in many years, it's 3,300,000 Yen. The retail price has gone up in US dollars based on the value of the Yen to dollar and at today's (8-16-11) exchange rate the US retail would be $43,000.
Thank you Steve. I am not really surprised by this price because high end hifi has always been this expensive and more. Cables like Nordost Odin, Siltech Emperor etc cost even more :-). I will want to listen to this Kondo DAC at the earliest opportunity, not to say that I an buy one now but just to hear what it can do.
I've owned the Kondo KSL DAC for the past 5 years or so. Personally, Bombaywalla's analogy to the Phantom I think is a good one. To me, it sounds excellent, but I also do not chase the market and have no idea if there are other units available that are "better". There could well be. Pride of ownership is important to me, and this unit, as with other Kondo-san units, at least to me, represents the man's life's work at the time. I feel the same way about Don Garber's Fi products, which I have owned for some time now in a second system. Having said this, I purchased my KSL DAC pre-owned at a significant investment, but far, far below current Yen-to-USD retail prices. There is much in current hi-end audio that just blows me away as to suggested retail.
Well you know it's nice to have a good car instead of a budget beater and it's nice to have a good digital player instead of a $180 OPPO or NAD but I can't afford a Lamborghini or a Kondo nor can most people on the planet. Now a fairly new Caddie and a Marantz SA 8400 gets me to pretty darn good. I admit if I was rich I'd be getting the best whatever that is.
Rich does not equal the best quality nor the best in taste. It just means they spend more money.

Is it finally proper 24/96 at least? 20 bit DAC chips from yesteryear don’t cut it anymore...