Dividing the world of sound into two parts is rather novel idea, and not a new one. Take for instance Sony and Sony Esprit (for us old timers) or Emm Labs and Meitner or Teac and Esoteric and even StereoDesk and Audio Prana. : )
And so it is with Audiobyte and Rockna. Audiobyte is some of the finest affordable digital on the market today. With a certain amount of trickle up and trickle down, came Rockna; an all out assault on transcendent ear candy. With FPGAs playing a major role in both disciplines, with OEM work from MSB, all the parts are there for a tasty dish. But, great parts alone does not great gear make. So many new comers to the world of audio, do just that; put in an impressive array of parts, and rise all the way to the level of 'meh'.
What then sets apart this newcomer, the founder of Rockna and Audiobyte, Nicolae (Nucu) Jitariu. Well firstly, he's not a newcomer. Rockna has been around since 2000. Secondly, over a rather prodigious career, Nucu has done OEM work for Audio Mirror, Acoustic Precision, Fase, Jadis, Nonsolomusica, PS Audio (PerfectWave transport), Wadia, Goldmund and MSB. That's walking in pretty tall cotton. So in fact, many of you may be familiar with his work without knowing it.
We at Audio Prana and StereoDesk are rather careful about who we take on...it's a huge responsibility, commitment, and no small amount of hard work. We deliberated over Rockna for about 30 seconds after hooking up the Hydra into our digital chain. A similar effect was felt when we heard his entry level and later reference dac.
It's the real deal. It's not overly dressed, (though attractive it's not intended to be on display at Shreve, Crump & Low) but what it will do is get you into the rarified air of the very very best, at far less than we've seen before now.
A Wavedream Dac will be at home in your system whether you are sporting a top integrated and some nice monitors, or the very finest Kondo separates into Living Voice Vox Olympian/Elysian horns. It is that rare.
So then, welcome and thank you Nucu. We're elated to have your equipment and an opportunity to show your glory around the new world.