Anyone using the Aries Cerat Kassandra Reference dac

I am currently using an Aqua Formula xHD dac with my K50 G4 as I like the organic nature of the sound. I have been thinking about the Aries Cerat Kassandra Reference dac and wanted to see if anyone is using it or has used it in their system and what they thought of it.

I’m using the AC Hele’ne with the K50 G4. It works similar to the Kassandra. I am using the USB output of the K50. The Hele’ne double clocks the USB input but it also has SPDIF input- Coax and AES. I have the option to reclock these inputs or not. My DAC does not have DSD capability. So when I play a DSD music file in my library, Squeezebox converts it to PCM 176.4kHz/24bit. I am using Roon with the server and Squeezebox with the player. If I use Roon for the player it converts DSD to PCM 352.8kHz/32bit. It sounds great.
My biggest impression with the Hele’ne/K50 combo is the natural flow of the music- the Rhythm and Pace of the music. I used to play mostly vinyl and would notice a change in the Rhythm and Pace of the music when switching to digital. I also find this combo is much more pleasing than my old digital set-up. I experience no digital glare or graininess- no more cringing when highs hit a crescendo.
Unfortunately, I have not heard the Aqua Formula DAC and so I have no reference point to compare. I haven’t listened to vinyl since I got the Hele’ne 7 weeks ago. That’s means I will need to let my phono preamp warm up for several hours when I get back to vinyl but right now I can’t stop streaming.

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Kass II/Oladra here. Best sounding dac I’ve had in my room and I’ve tried a few…

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Have heard the Helene (next level down from Kassandra) in a system with an Oladra, usb output. Helene has the option to reclock signal or not done on the fly…

To be honest can’t say i have heard anything much better than this combination.

And personnaly i love having the magic tubes add in the Dac itself. Some of the other really high end solid state dacs sound to my ears sterile/clinical in comparison. Having a tube preamplifiers helps to moderate this, but having tubes in a high quality dac like the Helene or my Ayon stratos for my tastes is best.

If money is no object, then Kassandra plus Oladra is i would imagine pretty much the very ultimate, with K50 combination not far behind.

But if there were budgetary constraints, based on having heard all three of the four (including owning a K50) i’m near certain i would pick an oladra plus helene over a kassandra plus k50.

Reason being…i’ve heard signifucantly greater differences with high end music servers than i have with high end dacs. Another way of saying this is that i have reached diminishing $ returns for more quickly with Dacs than i have with music serves.

Just some idle Friday musings for what they are worth. Have a good weekend.