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Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter

Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter, with these two solutions, Métronome Technologie surprised at the High End 2024 in Munich. These new systems from the Métronome AQWO range are now available from specialist retailers and are aimed at particularly ambitious HiFi enthusiasts.

Story Highlights
  • Métronome Technologie is expanding its Métronome AQWO range with two exciting new solutions: the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter.

Métronome Technologie already presented a new solution from the so-called Métronome AQWO range at High End 2023 last year, namely the Métronome AQWO 2 Hybrid DAC SACD/CD Streamer. This system was to succeed the All-in-One system Métronome AQWO, which was introduced in 2018, and present itself as a particularly flexible All-in-One solution of the highest quality.

However, the systems that Métronome Technologie, as a proven specialist, has brought to market based on the aforementioned Métronome AQWO in the Métronome AQWO range have remained unchanged, namely the solutions Métronome t|AQWO SACD Transport and Métronome c|AQWO D/A Converter, a team that is aimed at those users who want a separate, specialised solution for each task.

The new specialists in the Métronome AQWO range – Métronome t|AQWO 2 and Métronome c|AQWO 2

The new Métronome AQWO 2+ Hybrid DAC SACD/CD Streamer celebrated its premiere at High End 2024, whereby the solution presented in Munich is by no means intended to replace the Métronome AQWO 2 Hybrid DAC SACD/CD Streamer, but rather to serve as an alternative for particularly demanding users.

And that’s not all: the French High-end HiFi manufacturer also used the trade fair in Munich to present the latest generation of the specialists in the Métronome AQWO Series, which is aimed at those HiFi enthusiasts who are looking for an alternative to the All-in-One system that has been available to date, in the form of the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter systems.

The holy grail of High-end HiFi

The French company claims that the separation of functions, such as a pure SACD transport and a separate converter, is a kind of holy grail of High-end HiFi. The Métronome AQWO 2 and Métronome AQWO 2+ are perfect state-of-the-art systems, but “only” for those users who want an All-in-One system.

However, according to Métronome Technologie, there are many customers who are not satisfied with this and for whom the company offers the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter.

The latest generation of both systems has little in common with their predecessors, apart from their name and their restrained, timelessly elegant design. According to Métronome Technologie, the latest generation offers important improvements and additional possibilities in all relevant areas that were sometimes sought in vain with the first generation.

Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport

The new Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport has the same outstanding SACD pickup mechanism as its predecessor, so there was little room for real improvements, but it does have completely new electronics.

One essential feature is the ability to output digital audio data, primarily via I2S in the form of an HDMI, which is simply the best option for outputting data to an external D/A converter in an unaltered and interference-free form, up to Hi-res audio in linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, as well as DSD256 natively. Alternatively, a coaxial S/PDIF and an AES/EBU are also available. An optical S/PDIF interface has been deliberately omitted.

Another new feature is that the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport relies on an external power supply, which is included in the scope of delivery in the form of the so-called Métronome Elektra.

Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter

The new Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter also looks familiar at first glance, but inside everything is new. It is immediately apparent that two types of converters are used here, and that the manufacturer is not content with just one DAC from the specialist ESS Technology Inc. but also offers a DAC from the specialist Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation as an additional option for signal conversion.

This means that users can switch between the two converters as they please, and benefit from the individual characteristics of the two converters – ESS ES9039M PRO or AKM 4499EX – depending on the source material.

Of course, a range of different filters are available to take advantage of the various options for signal processing, which extend up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, as well as DSD512 and MQA. The option of upsampling should not be forgotten either.

As if all this were not enough, the new Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter can of course be optionally expanded with a tube output stage, so that you can choose between solid-state and tube at the touch of a button.

Optional streaming board for the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter

What is particularly exciting is that the new systems in the Métronome AQWO range can be upgraded with a streaming board if required. This is particularly exciting because this option is actually available for both solutions, not just for the SACD transport or the D/A converter. This means that customers can choose which of the two systems they want to have the streaming board installed in.

The streaming board initially has an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet interface, but also a WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11ac, so here too the aim is to offer the customer the greatest possible flexibility when integrating into the network.

In the simplest case, the solutions function in the network as dlna-certified UPnP streaming clients, but they also support TIDAL via TIDAL Connect, Spotify via Spotify Connect, allow access to Qobuz, Deezer, vTuner and are certified as Roon-ready and as Plāys with Audirvāna.
It should also be mentioned that corresponding storage media can be integrated via a USB 2.0 port implemented as a USB-A and that audio data stored on it can be played directly.

When it comes to selecting the app, Métronome Technologie leaves it entirely up to the user to decide which solution to choose. The company believes that the market offers countless products for Apple iOS and Google Android, and that no separate app is needed anymore.

The new Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter is also supplied with an external power supply, which the manufacturer emphasises and says allows the Métronome Elektra to offer optimal sound quality free from any sound-damaging influences on the signal processing.

Prices and availability

As already announced at the High End 2024 in Munich, the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter systems should be available from specialist retailers in the next few days. For both solutions, customers can choose between black, silver and gold, with the aluminium material making this possible through different anodising.

The recommended retail price for the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport is € 30.650,-, while the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter costs € 29.350,-.

The optional streaming module costs € 2.000,-, and, as already mentioned, can be built into both the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter.

The optional valve output stage is available for the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter only, and costs € 2.190,-.

Getting to the point

In May 2024, the French High-end HiFi manufacturer Métronome Technologie presented the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter, the latest generation of the proven specialists of the Métronome AQWO Series. Like the new All-in-One system in this product line, the SACD transport and the converter now feature the latest electronics and an external power supply. The new converter even goes so far as to offer the user maximum flexibility by integrating converters from both leading suppliers in this segment – ESS Technologie Inc. and Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation. In the tried and tested manner, it is also possible to upgrade the converter with a valve output stage. Both the Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and the Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter can also be equipped with an optional streaming module.

PRODUCTMétronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport and Métronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter
PriceMétronome c|AQWO 2 D/A Converter € 29.350,- 
Métronome t|AQWO 2 SACD Transport € 30.650,-
Streaming Modul for Métronome c|AQWO 2 and Métronome t|AQWO 2 € 2.000,-
Optional tube output stage for Métronome c|AQWO 2 € 2.190,-
BrandMETRONOME
ManufacturerMetronome Technologie
Distribution AustriaAudio Exclusive GmbH
Distribution GermanyH.E.A.R. GmbH
Distribution SwitzerlandPortier Hi-Fi
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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