Rockna Simplicity in Complexity

Insightful, Enjoyable, Inspiring Music Reproduction from Romania

Rockna is the mother company of Audiobyte. It’s founder Nicolae Jitariu is regarded as a digital wizard having designed for PS Audio, Goldmund and MSB. Rockna has two products in it’s portfolio; the Wavedream Net a CD/DVD/Blu-ray transport with Roon and in-built storage and the Wavedream DAC available with both single ended and balanced XLR outputs.

Roon Core
Roon Ready
The Ear Best of 2016

Wavedream NET

Wavedream NET 64gig £7,495
Wavedream NET 1TB £8,250
Wavedream NET 2TB £8,595
The Rockna Wavedream Network Enhanced Transport is a new class of product combining a network playback system with a world-class quality disc transport. Rockna’s philosophy is to separate complex network and disc playback, potentially noisy process, from sensitive digital to analogue circuitry. Instead of building everything in one box, separate chassis are used, making the way for elevated audio performance.

But it’s the Wavedream NET’s features that make it a real winner. It’s Roon Core, and has 1TB or 2TB of inbuilt storage for music files, network playback and CD, DVD and Blu-Ray music playback.

Together with the solid HD-Link connection to the DAC, the Wavedream combo sets new standards of audio reproduction.

The Ear Best of 2016

Wavedream DAC

Rockna’s current flagship in digital audio reproduction is it’s Wavedream DAC with the right sound to honour it’s name. The Wavedream DAC pushes the limits of performance, design and sound quality.

The Wavedream DAC incorporates Jitariu’s proprietary R2R ladder DAC modules with switchable dither and a clock system dubbed Femtovox that claims to have “probably” the lowest jitter “where it actually matters”, at the point of digital to analogue conversion. It has custom upsampling filter options that can be selected via the front panel and include linear, minimum phase and hybrid phase as well as a non upsampled option. The Hybrid option offers the best combination of resolution and timing. It incorporates a volume control with half decibel steps and alternative clock settings. The Wavedream DAC can be purchased in two flavours, single ended or balanced out which has twice as many R2R DACs.

Ladder DACs are the preserve of high end converters, unlike the majority they don’t use conventional converter chips but are discrete devices built form the ground up by companies like MSB and of course Rockna among others. Unlike chip based DACs which are delta/sigma one-bit designs ladder DACs are multibit types, an older but highly respected approach to D/A conversion. The consensus seems to be that the more actual DACs you use the better the sound, hence the higher price of the balanced output version of the Wavedream, however, the single ended, two module ladder DAC is more than remarkable.

How does it sound?

The bass is incredible as it has exploding impact, excellent detail, goes very deep when it should and seems to be controlled by an iron hand. Also, it seemed very natural to me and I often had the impression I felt the material the drums were made of. I could feel the drums in my body, and no, I wasn’t using speakers, just headphones.
One of the best mids I have ever heard in my life. All is at superlative with this DAC. Every instrument is alive and kicking and the voices are out of this world. You can hear every tone in the singer voice, every emotion, passing it to you, making you feel the song and the emotions he wants to transfer.
As you expect the treble is top notch as well. The sparkle is crystal clear and full of life and extension.
Transient response
This is another breathtaking aspect of the Wavedream as it has very fast and natural decay and incredible attack.
Details & Micro Details
With the Wavedream you discover a lot of interesting new sounds in your favourite songs, things you may have never heard before. Besides the obvious things you will hear improve like instrument & voice extension, sometimes an instrument playing subtle in a deep layer you have never heard before, you may hear a car passing by the recording studio or the artist scratching his face. Some say that don’t like analytical sound. Well, the good news is all those details come in a very natural way and I don’t consider the sound to become analytical. Nothing is pushed in front by force, all comes naturally. This helps passing the emotions from the song to the listener with better efficiency, as you can hear the whole extension of the instruments and all the tonalities and effort of the singer’s voice.
Soundstage, Instrument separation, layering & positioning 
The instruments are extremely well separated and layered. Even in the most crowded passages you don’t feel that the layers blend in, as the Wavedream seems to decompress them in a much larger scene, leaving a lot of air between the instruments. I can’t even refer to stereo presentation any longer as 3D or holographic would be a much more accurate description. Also, the soundstage is incredibly spacious and airy.
Dynamics & Micro-dynamics
This is another amazing aspect about the Wavedream. I often noticed some instruments in the orchestra that are meant to be subtle, it manages to do this but still gives them life. You can feel every instrument however subtle it is and however further in the back it may be.
Energy & Tactility
Some of the features from above result into something I love very much. I am referring to the tactility of the sounds. I can feel the guitar like I am plucking it myself, I can feel the drums and the material they are made of, the voice singing into my ear and sometimes feeling the warmth of the breath, the violin and cello chords vibrating. So every sound has it’s energy, however subtle it may be. You can imagine that when the song wants to be energetic, the Wavedream makes it explode with energy.
It transposes you in your favourite concert hall or it opens the window directly into your music and helps you lose yourself into your favourite songs.

(reproduced from Headmania Review)

Wavedream Edition DAC – SE £4,895
Wavedream Edition DAC – XLR £6,650
Wavedream Signature DAC – SE £8,995
Wavedream Signature DAC – XLR £11,995

Available in black and silver

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