Neodio Origine S2 CD Player/DAC Lab Report

Lab Report

The S2's core digital (audio) chips are sourced from Cirrus Logic and include the CS8416 input receiver, CS8421 sample rate converter and 'legacy' CS4398 DAC (launched in 2002). This is a tried-and-tested 192kHz/24-bit DAC that, in junction with an analogue filter/output stage based on video-bandwidth op-amps, brings a very solid foundation to the Origine S2. Full o/p is 4.6V from a 100ohm source impedance, with a wide 114.3dB A-wtd S/N ratio and distortion that drops as low as 0.0001% through bass and midrange and 0.00015% at 20kHz (all –10dBFs). THD is fractionally higher via CD than the 24-bit inputs, but 0.00033% vs. 0.00012% at 1kHz/0dBFs is of academic interest only! The post-DAC filtering also removes high, odd-order harmonics so THD via CD appears lower at 20kHz [blue trace, Graph 1] than at midband (1kHz) frequencies [black trace].

One of the CS4398's linear-phase digital filters is employed, the superb 124dB stopband rejection traded for the inevitable pre-ringing artefacts that I've discussed at length before in these lab reports. The frequency responses peak slightly at HF to reach +0.5dB/20kHz with CD and 48kHz media. With 96kHz/192kHz inputs the responses exceed +1dB from 33kHz-40kHz, though this is unlikely to exert any subjective impact. Unlike, it must be said, the moderate level of jitter [see Graph 2]. Possibly because Neodio uses unscreened wire links between its digital and analogue boards, with an unscreened LC resonator/clock source, jitter is consistent at ~2600psec from CD, USB and S/PDIF inputs with principal sidebands at ±10/20Hz and ±50/100Hz. Experience suggests this will correlate with an added warmth or bloom to the sound. PM


Distortion vs. digital signal level over a 120dB dynamic range – 48kHz/24-bit LPCM (1kHz, red) versus 16-bit CD (1kHz, black; 20kHz, blue)


High resolution (zoom) jitter spectrum – the Origine S2's key sidebands all fall within ±1kHz

Maximum output level / Impedance 4.63Vrms / 104ohm (XLR)
A-wtd S/N ratio (USB / CD) 114.3dB / 114.3dB
Distortion (1kHz, 0dBFs/–30dBFs) 0.00012% / 0.00032%
Distortion & Noise (20kHz, 0dBFs/–30dBFs) 0.00067% / 0.00038%
Freq. resp. (20Hz-20kHz/45kHz/90kHz) +0.0 to +0.5dB/+0.8dB/–8.4dB
Digital jitter (48kHz / CD) 2640psec / 2650psec
Resolution @ –100dB (USB / CD) ±0.5dB / ±0.3dB
Power consumption 10W (1W standby)
Dimensions (WHD) / Weight 460x172x405mm / 25kg
Price: £15,000

Neodio (Seven Audio)
Bordeaux, France
Supplied by: Elite Audio Ltd, Fife
01334 570 666