For the first time, the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer Kalista presents the new Kalista DreamPlay X, a Super Audio CD player. What’s more, it is actually a 4-in-1 device of the highest quality, as it combines an SACD player, streamer, DAC and a digital preamplifier.
The new Kalista DreamPlay X is nothing less than a revolution for Kalista, says the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer on the occasion of the presentation of this new solution. But that’s not all, they even go one step further and speak of a revolutionary solution for the high-end HiFi segment as a whole, because the new Kalista DreamPlay X actually represents much more than just the first Super Audio CD player of the Kalista brand.
The Kalista DreamPlay X is even a 4-in-1 device, because it combines an SACD player, a streamer, a D/A converter plus a digital preamplifier, and that on an outstanding quality level and with a simply remarkable design.
With the expertise of Metronome Technologie
As many people know, the French company Metronome Technologie is behind the Kalista brand. Metronome Technologie sees itself as a proven digital specialist, in this field it even claims a leading role in the entire industry, especially in the high-end segment.
Based near Toulouse in the south of France, Metronome Technologie’s employees, under the direction of Jean Marie Clauzel, owner and designer of the company, develop and produce products of the highest precision with the aim of achieving the most natural sound.
Metronome Technologie can therefore offer all relevant solutions that can be classified under the term “digital” in the hi-fi segment, whether CD transport, D/A converter or streamer.
Of course, the solutions of the Kalista brand also benefit from this decades-long experience, although the standards for the development and production of the products are even higher than those of Metronome Technologie itself. Kalista can therefore be seen as the luxury brand of Metronome Technologie, which specialises in developing products without compromise.
Kalista DreamPlay Collection
So far, Kalista’s product range includes first and foremost source devices of the Kalista DreamPlay Collection, namely the Kalista DreamPlay ONE as an outstanding audio CD player, the streaming client Kalista DreamPlay STREAM, as well as, and this is astonishing, the Kalista DreamPlay Twenty-Twenty. Astonishing because this is a record player, which is something unusual in the repertoire of a proven digital specialist.
It is all the more understandable that lovers of the Kalista brand have been confronting the company for years with the demand for a designated Super Audio CD player, a wish that Jean Marie Clauzel is now fulfilling with the new Kalista DreamPlay X.
At Kalista, however, they did not want to be content with simply developing a Super Audio CD transport or even a Super Audio CD player; rather, they wanted it to be a truly outstanding system that could fully live up to the claim of the Kalista brand.
Kalista DreamPlay X – The 4-in-1 System
Once again, the new Kalista DreamPlay X is the first Super Audio CD player of the Kalista brand. But that’s not all, it wasn’t meant to be just a “simple” SACD player, it was meant to offer high-end hi-fi enthusiasts a true 4-in-1 system, dedicated to all aspects of digital data processing.
As an SACD player, the Kalista DreamPlay X forms the basis to also function as a D/A converter and streamer and can even be used as a digital preamplifier.
A revolutionary product
The manufacturer is right to call the new Kalista DreamPlay X a revolutionary product, not only for Kalista itself, but for the entire high-end hi-fi segment.
The heart of the new Kalista DreamPlay X is an SACD pick-up mechanism from D&M, which has been optimised according to the specifications of Metronome Technologie. This offers a resampling function and the highest precision when reading data from optical media.
The second option for digital data is streaming, where UPnP is the only industry standard, but TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify and Deezer are also directly implemented to cover a broad spectrum, even if these offerings do not always meet the high-end standards that this solution would actually deserve. However, it is important to the manufacturer that music can be consumed as flexibly as possible, so the user can also listen to Internet radio via vTuner.
Content can be in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, and also in DSD with up to DSD256. Content encoded in MQA is also processed.
Integration into the network can be done either via a network cable and an Ethernet interface, or simply via the integrated WiFi module. Of course, data stored on a USB storage medium can also be played back directly; this is mentioned for the sake of completeness.
Audio signals are output via an AES/EBU interface, S/PDIF or an I2S, unless you opt for the optional large expansion stage of the Kalista DreamPlay X, which is available in the form of the Kalista DreamPlay XC.
Kalista DreamPlay XC
With the Kalista DreamPlay XC, the manufacturer goes one step further than with the “normal” Kalista DreamPlay X and delivers the, as described, unique 4-in-1 system with an additional D/A converter.
As a further special feature, this solution also has a digital preamplifier and thus a volume control, whereby a very special variant of the specialist Leedh Processing is used for particularly accurate results.
External power supply
It goes without saying that an external power supply is used in this class, with a sophisticated design to deliver the best possible results.
Kalista solutions are all characterised by outstanding design, and the new Kalista DreamPlay X is no exception.
The designers have ingeniously combined materials such as aluminium, stainless steel and transparent plastic. The Kalista DreamPlay X with its very special shape resembles a work of art, is a prime example of innovative industrial design, skilfully taking up the design language followed so far, but giving it new, fresh-looking accents.
The silver tripod as a base, the black anodised or likewise silver aluminium for the actual housing, wrapped in transparent plastic, then on the top the cover of the drive again in silver or black, and on the front a generously dimensioned, round touchscreen display, again flanked by silver or black elements, all this has a noble and stylish effect and underlines the high demands the manufacturer places on this solution.
Even if it is actually irrelevant in this class, it should still be mentioned for the sake of completeness: the new Kalista DreamPlay X weighs a whopping 17 kg with dimensions of 445 mm in width, 420 mm in depth and a height of 125 mm. It should be explicitly mentioned that this only applies to the actual drive; the power supply is hidden in a separate unit, which measures another 440 x 430 x 160 mm and weighs an impressive 22 kg.
Remote control part of the scope of delivery
It goes without saying that a remote control is part of the scope of delivery. Equally self-evident is that this is a particularly high-quality solution, made entirely of metal, which conveys a high-end feel when you hold it in your hands.
“It’s not every day that we launch such an outstanding product, even though the last few years have been rich in new products, such as DreamPlay STREAM or the Twenty-Twenty turntable. For me, the DreamPlay X is confirmation that Kalista is in the premier league, or rather that we are one of the leading suppliers in this field. There is currently no comparable device on the market.”
Jean Marie Clauzel, owner and designer of Metronome Technology
The new Kalista DreamPlay X is expected to be available soon from selected retailers, in silver or Black Pearl, as the manufacturer calls the black version. The recommended retail price is stated at € 59,900. Those who want the full version will have to be patient for a few more weeks until the Kalista DreamPlay XC with integrated D/A converter and digital preamplifier is available. The manufacturer’s recommended retail price is € 68,700. It should also be mentioned that customised versions are available on request and for a corresponding surcharge.
Getting to the point
Solutions like the new Kalista DreamPlay X are in a league of their own in every respect. They are systems that are developed and manufactured without compromise, where the developers are guided solely by the intention to create nothing less than the best and are completely committed to the goal of realising perfect sound. The fact that Kalista relies on an outstanding design, which is without a doubt in a class of its own, is probably due in no small part to the tradition of French hi-fi manufacturers, who are known for their fine work in almost all classes and would never show any weakness in this reference class.
|PRODUCT||KALISTA DREAMPLAY X UND KALISTA DREAMPLAY XC|
|Price||Kalista DreamPlay X € 59.900,-|
Kalista DreamPlay XC € 68.700,-
|Distribution Austria||Audio Exclusive GmbH|
|Distribution Germany||Metronome Technologie|
|Distribution Switzerland||Metronome Technologie|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|