What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 5 Nov 2009, 4:00pm

Beresford Caiman

Tested at £220
100100
5

Digital sources deserve decent DACs – here’s another for your shortlist

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For

  • Good spec
  • sturdy build and inoffensive looks
  • open, detailed and fluent sound

Against

  • Fractionally short of punch and drive

The Caiman is the latest, and most expensive, of a burgeoning line of Beresford digital-to-analogue converters, and it's an adaptable little device.

It features a pair of digital coaxial inputs alongside both digital optical and USB inputs (the latter a Type B), so any digital source should be catered for.

There's a stereo RCA line-level output, stereo RCA variable output (so the Caiman, which features a gain control on the fascia, can be used as a preamplifier) and a headphone socket too.

This is as flexible a DAC as the money can buy.

A fine performer
It's also a fine performer. There's perhaps a hint of dynamic reticence when compared to the best of its price-comparable rivals, but that's easily spun as refinement if your taste errs that way.

Otherwise, it's strong pretty much across the board: it proves a detailed and spacious performer, delivering a wide, well defined soundstage with plenty of room for individual instruments to breathe.

Vocalists sound expressive, and the Caiman's rhythmically adept too.

Some may hanker after a little more punch to accompany low frequencies' undoubted mass and momentum, though, so a degree of system-matching is definitely in order.

Fitted into a price- and tonally-appropriate system, the Caiman can make most digital sources or storage methods sound far, far more agreeable. Job done, then

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