Kalista DreamPlay ONE CD player Lab Report

There are three output levels on offer here, the ‘1.4Vrms’, ‘2.5V’ and ‘3V’ equating to 2.8V, 4.87V and 5.79V, respectively, via the balanced outputs. The usefully low 19ohm source impedance remains unchanged but distortion necessarily reduces with reduced stress on the analogue output stage, falling from 0.0085-0.012% at the maximum ‘3V’ setting to 0.0024-0.0038% at the minimum ‘1.4V’ setting (all 20Hz-20kHz). High frequency distortion is also influenced by choice of digital filter with reduced harmonic distortion from the more rolled-off treble of the ‘Slow roll-off’ modes, traded here for increased intermodulation from the poorer stopband rejection [see The Kalista Twist sidebar]. Tested in the default ‘2.5V/Sharp roll-off’ mode the DreamPlay ONE delivered its lowest harmonic distortion at about –25dBFs of 0.0015% [see Graph 1], a very low 0.0003% intermodulation distortion and an impressively wide 115dB A-wtd S/N ratio. Channel separation is good to 100dB through bass and midrange and 85dB/20kHz.


Distortion versus digital signal level over a 120dB dynamic range (1kHz, black and 20kHz, blue)


High res. 16-bit jitter spectrum – zoomed 500Hz frequency scale – with sidebands marked

As discussed in the boxout, the DreamPlay ONE’s response features an obvious treble roll-off in all modes, amounting to –4.5dB to –9.5dB/20kHz and more than sufficient to account for the player’s ‘relaxed’ sound quality! The AK4497 DACs are capable of handling far higher sample rates, of course, but as the DreamPlay has no digital inputs its performance envelope is bounded entirely by CD’s 16-bit ‘Red Book’. The DACs are also capable of realising far lower jitter than the 720psec recorded here but, as the principal sidebands are all very low-rate in nature [see Graph 2], their impact will not be in any perceived ‘grittiness’. The main sidebands are at ±5Hz, ±8Hz, (and ±16Hz, ±24Hz, etc) with ±100Hz and ±200Hz PSU components. PM

Maximum output level / Impedance: 2.8-5.8Vrms / 19ohm (XLR)
A-wtd S/N ratio: 114.7dB
Distortion (1kHz, 0dBFs/–30dBFs): 0.0086% / 0.0016%
Distortion & Noise (20kHz, 0dBFs/–30dBFs): 0.023% / 0.0032%
Frequency response (20Hz-20kHz): +0.0 to –4.5dB (to –9.5dB)
Digital jitter: 720psec
Resolution @ –100dB / –110dB (re. 1kHz): ±0.1dB / ±1.0dB
Power consumption: 10W (1W standby)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight: 450x135x460mm / 24kg
Price: £31,998

Métronome Technologie
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909