The 432 ESSENCE features a high-end soundcard from Asus, which also exists in a DAC version. The DAC version of this soundcard won EISA awards, and after reading their review “an honest and compelling sound that puts many traditional hi-fi marques to shame!”, we wanted this technology in our integrated model.
The DAC inside the Essence easily surpasses many other similarly priced standalone DAC’s, sounding closer to high end analogue with no hint of digital harshness thanks to the 432 Hz plugin.
The Essence runs full Roon or Logitech Media Server and our sublime 432 Hz enabled player, which can also play bit perfect to the highest possible quality. It also features a bit perfect Teac CD drive for ripping your CD collection.
The 432 EVO Essence features a high-end 24/192 DAC card from Asus. The DAC chips used are the Texas Instruments PCM1792A which deliver an industry leading signal to noise ratio of 124dB.
Texas Instruments uses it’s own DAC architecture which has a built-in digital clock, and in the Essence is combined with a TCXO (temperature compensated crystal oscillator) for the lowest jitter, a feature usually found in much more expensive DAC’s.
The DAC board also uses high fidelity low dropout (LDO) regulators, and several capacitors are from WIMA. The output section uses MUSES 8920 and 8820 opamps, which are J-FET amplifiers from New Japan Radio Co.
The Essence has high-quality RCA analog outputs, a combined optical & high-end coaxial S/PDIF output port, and also supports external DACs with USB or HDMI inputs.
The USB ports when hooked up to one or more USB DAC’s can be combined with the internal DAC, to create more than one output zones. The analog output RCA and S/PDIF (coaxial and optical via an adapter) can work simultaneously on the 432 EVO ESSENCE as one output zone!
432 Hz is one of the ways to tune musical instruments, and is also known as the Tuning Note “A” and A = 432. Music tuned to 432 Hz sounds better than contemporary music which is tuned at A = 440. The famous Stradivarius for example was tuned to 432 Hz according to the Verdi tuning
During historical periods when instrumental music rose in prominence (relative to the voice), there was a continuous tendency for pitch levels to rise, also known as the pitch inflation. A higher pitch such as our current A = 440 standard sounds sharper, louder and more “fresh”, but also more aggressive, which is not a quality audiophiles are looking for.
The 432 EVO offer you the possibility to convert your existing music on the fly into the better sounding 432 Hz, without any resolution loss. Several best of show awards we have won are the ultimate proof, and recent research by Maria Renold and a group of 2000 people showed that 90% preferred 432 Hz.
For purists we still offer bit perfect mode on par with the best CD transports, or upsample only mode for those who want to tune the sound. All these modes are live switchable.
432 EVO uses a custom realtime Linux OS tuned for ultra low software jitter and reduced entropy.
The 432 EVO can be optionally be ordered with single or dual noise filtered audio grade SSD’s, leading to a 100% silent solution. Can be ordered with 2 TB, 4 TB or 8 TB of total SSD storage.
Bit Perfect Ripper
The bit perfect Teac rip drive is hand tested and compared against test CD’s for perfect operation.
The HWBOOST option doubles the RAM, and has a faster CPU and better clock. It must be ordered as an option with the Essence.
Texas Instruments PCM1792A DAC chips with a very high SNR of 124dB.
Oven controlled clock for optimal stability.
High quality opamps.
SBooster External Power Supply
The importance of a pure and clean power supply for digital audio cannot be stressed enough. Digital audio’s enemy is noise, and much of that comes from poorly designed power supplies or cheap SMPS (switched mode power supplies). In fact a dirty power supply can not only ruin the sonic performance of a server, it can also inject noise down the mains to infect the rest of your system!
The power supply is silent and free from any transformer noise.
Comes pre-installed with a recent full Roon Core (not just endpoint). A separate Roon license is required.
Compatible with Tidal subscription-based music streaming service that combines lossless audio and high-definition music.
Compatible with Qobuz streaming service with more than 40 million tracks available, and also offers true 24 bit streaming.
Supports thousands of internet radio stations, and common formats including AAC, AACv2, MP3 and lossless FLAC stations.
Logitech Media Server
LMS is a very stable music server with two decades of software improvements, and is still supported.
Compatible with Spotify, currently the biggest digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs.
LMS users can use several control apps, including iPeng or the LMS web interface.
Squeezepad is another controller, and like iPeng can control the LMS library manager.
The remarkable story behind 432hz tuning.
432 Hz refers to a possible frequency used to tune instruments with, and is a slightly lower frequency than the current 440 Hz standard. Research by Maria Renold has shown that 90% prefers the 432 Hz tuning over 440 Hz. Today’s music is mostly composed and performed using the frequency of 440Hz as tuning reference, officially written as A4=440Hz (also know as the Stuttgart Pitch). This is the musical note of A above middle C and serves as a general tuning standard for musical pitch. The International Organization for Standardization classifies it as ISO 16.
The pitch inflation
In the past the tuning frequency was typically lower than the current standard and also region specific. However, generally the tuning frequency rose gradually over the years. The main reason for this is quite simple, an orchestra cannot play louder, so the only way to increase the apparent loudness was to increase the pitch. As such in an unamplified setting, a higher pitch sounded sharper and louder. In the Baroque Era some of the pitches used were A-415 pitch, but levels as high as A-465 (17th century Venice) and as low as A-392 (18th century France) are known to have existed. The French used several frequencies which were frequently inflated, from 404 Hz in 1680 up to 435 Hz in 1859, with 430 Hz being the classical pitch and 435 Hz the diapason normal pitch. In the 19th century Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi tried to stop the increase in pitch to which orchestras were tuned, he suggested the use of A5=864Hz (thus A4=432Hz), a concert pitch subsequently named “the Verdi Pitch” after Verdi himself. In 1874 he wrote his Requiem using the official national French standard of A4=435Hz also called the “Diapason Normal”. Later, he indicated that A4=432Hz might be slightly better for orchestras. The famous Stradivarius violins are said to have been build to be in tune to A=432 Hz.
So why did we at 432 EVO choose 432 Hz?
Long before the brand 432 EVO was founded we discovered that Geert Huinink, a Dutch musical composer famous for working with DJ Tiësto, was using 432 Hz. At the time DJ Tiësto was one of the top DJ’s worldwide so this got our attention. Working as audio dealers Klinkt Beter, we began testing various ways to convert our 440 Hz based music from several genres into 432 Hz, and organized small focus groups. Combining our research results, 58 out of 60 listeners found 432 Hz versions of our test tracks sounding better than the originals in 440 Hz. There are many blogs & video’s about the 432 Hz tuning, but we stick to the facts: our research shows it sounds better, and this has also been confirmed by real musicians. Amazingly scientific research also shows it has health benefits.
Our own 432 Hz conversion method was used on Jazz Profilactika’s debut album Tick Tock, and the band gave the following feedback.
“So, why did we choose a lower pitch? Well, the shortest and simplest answer to that question is it sounds better to our ears. We have compared the 440Hz and 432Hz versions by ear on various sound systems, from PA to high-end Hi-Fi (using Martin Logan electrostatic speakers and others like KEF and PSB). The 432 Hz exports sounded and felt more cored in the low-end, warmer in the mid-range and more transparent and spacious in the high-range relative to the 440Hz exports. In case you wish to read a more detailed (technical) explanation, please read Roel’s World article ‘Why using a lower pitch then the standard of A4 = 440Hz’.”
Melody Gardot about tuning in 432 Hz, for her album “CURRENCY of MAN”
“Even the tuning of the album is unusual as we cut the record in 432 Hz. I had started to experiment with frequency and research what this does within the body. I loved the idea that one could calm, soothe and rejuvenate the spirit just with exposure to certain frequencies… I rang up the tuner for the piano one day, and asked if he could change everything to 432 Hz. He laughed, came over and 6 hours later we had our first attempt at rejuvenating this old idea of what some call ‘original tuning’. Once we set the instrument up like this – I never changed it. Frankly, it felt better. The frequency was more alive, the feeling was like witnessing more colours in the resonance – and to my ears when there was an ensemble playing, it felt more relaxed, more appealing. Once every musician who came upon it loved it, I decided we would keep it that way.”
Composer Leszek Możdżer about working together with Holland Baroque in 432 Hz
“For some time, I have been experimenting with different vocal pitches. At the moment, my default tuning frequency of my grand piano is 432 Hz. It’s almost impossible to find an ensemble which would sing in this frequency. And look at that: the musicians of Holland Baroque play on antique instruments and proclaim that the 432 Hz frequency is the optimal tuning for their instruments. These days we listen to music in a higher tuning (440 Hz) than at the time Beethoven, Bach or Mozart composed this music!”
What are the benefits of 432 Hz?
432 Hz sounds warmer, more pleasing, more like analog and more relaxing compared to the sharper 440 Hz.
Expect to listen a lot longer and rediscover your music in a new way.
How does the 432 EVO implement 432 Hz?
The 432 EVO stores all of your CD rips in it’s original pitch. We do not alter the music during ripping via the bitperfect Teac drive. The same applies for your files on the local storage of the EVO.
It’s all happening on the fly, in realtime:
During playback, users can either choose between live on the fly 432 Hz conversion (default factory setting), upsample only mode, or bitperfect mode. These modes work with any music the 432 EVO can play, independent of the source such as Tidal, Qobuz, Internet Radio, files etc.
What about the science?
In the study “Music Tuned to 440 Hz Versus 432 Hz and the Health Effects: A Double-blind Cross-over Pilot Study.” done by Calamassi D, Pomponi GP, they measured a marked decrease in the mean of heart rate and found that the subjects were more focused about listening to music and more generally satisfied after the sessions in which they listened to 432 Hz tuned music.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31031095