AXPONA 2010 Coverage

March 8, 2010
The April Music/Audes Display

The Audes Credo loudspeakers were paired up with the Stello Ai500 integrated amplifier/DAC and CDA 500 CD player/DAC.

I hate to say it, but I thought the fit and finish of the Audes Credos left a lot to be desired. They just looked cheap. I would look elsewhere for a pair of $4,500 speakers.

The Stello CDA 500 ($2,999) (top) from April Music is another CD player/preamp/DAC. This combination in a single unit is a continuing a trend which began at CEDIA. It has two analog inputs and a DAC which upsamples to 24-bit/192KHz on its coax, optical and USB inputs. It also has a digital out in the event you want to use it just as a transport.

The Stello Ai500 ($3,499) is a combination integrated amplifier/DAC with three unbalanced and one balanced analog inputs, and a full complement of digital inputs. It generates 150 watts/channel into 8 ohms and doubles that into 4 ohms, and is Class AB. Both units are well constructed and stylish.

Not shown at the show is the diminutive Stello 24-bit/96KHz USB to coax digital converter ($285). I would not recommend purchasing it. It will not play 24-bit/88.2 files without resampling them to 24-bit/96Hz. [stock photo]

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