By David Ponce
The Neuhaus T-2 amplifier is designed to work with a variety of inputs, most notably your PC. It features USB as well as optical SPDIF inputs and the spiel on the product page makes a point of pitting the T-2 against regular PC speakers that “simply won’t sound good, because computers are not meant to deliver superior sound quality. The sound cards on most computers are terrible.” Right, so the T-2 entirely bypasses your sound card by connecting through USB and processing the data itself. Here’s where things get screwy for me. From the page:
The T-2 Amplifier has a built in Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, converts digital information — 0′s and 1′s — into analog music signals.
In other words, it does exactly what a sound card does, except that it does it with vacuum tubes…
No offense here, but I find that audiophiles are an odd bunch. Perhaps because I’ve never felt the eargasms they clearly experience daily, I can’t grasp why anyone would spend the obscene sums this little clique feels justified in dropping on a regular basis. In this particular case, Neuhaus wants you to part with $800 for what is essentially a 20W amplifier with tubes that performs part time sound card duty.
Heck, maybe it’s worth it. Any audiophiles out there who can convince us muffle-eared mortals?