Cocktail Audio X45 ! Media Server/CD Ripper/DAC/ADC/Preamplifier. (English Version)
You are kidding! (What? No?)
Year 2020… the music industry has changed… the main way of playing music for the average music lover is through intangible media. Vinyl records became CDs, CDs became computer files and computer files became streaming services. But what about those who want to keep up with the developments but at the same time continue to enjoy their music discography which can be an investment of years (and even guaranteed sound quality)?
Do they need to compromise one way or another? The answer is of course no, as the market offers solutions for every need and one of them is the Cocktail Audio X45, a seemingly complete device, which aspires to meet the most of the requirements one could ever have for to enjoy music in every way.
It does it all… (We’re not kidding!)
So what exactly is the X45? It is a Media Server / Streamer/ CD Ripper / DAC / Phono, with preamplifier capabilities. Yes, this title is the definition of “does it all” and that was the goal of Cocktail Audio which specializes in this type of multimedia since 2013. It is a device that aspires to become the heart of the sound system of a audiophile, offering an excellent variety of features that would probably take many pages to analyze in depth.
The X45 incorporates a DAC with an ESSS ES9018K2M Saber 32 chip per channel and the ability to play ultra-high resolution PCM (32 bit / 384 kHz), DSD (256) and DXD (24 bit / 352.8 kHz) files. The connection possibilities are excellent, with a variety of digital inputs (USB, optical, coaxial, AES / EBU) while two USB / host ports are provided for connection to portable storage media.
The main function of the X45 is to have the role of music server in which all music files will be stored and for this reason it can accept hard drives and SSD drives with a size of either 3.5 or 2.5 inches and maximum capacity 8 TB, plenty of storage which will be useful if you choose to rip the CDs in your collection, something that can be done as easily as playing them by selecting form the relevant menu.
Most traditional users will use to connect their turntable to the X45 and use it as a phono preamplifier or even listen to the radio via the built-in Fm tuner, while the more modern ones will want to stream either local files via UPnP or play with one of the available streaming services such as Tidal (note that the X45 is compatible with MQA), Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz etc. For the “analog” the good news is that they can transfer their discs, cassettes and even their radio shows (and general, whatever they connect), to the analog input, to the hard disk of the device and even with a sample rate at 192 kHz. In terms of outpus, balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analog outputs are available for connection to amplifiers or active speakers as well as digital outputs (optical, coaxial, AES / EBU and HDMI) for connection to another DAC.
… Value for money (Surely this is the price?)
What stands out at first glance is the large 7-inch screen while very positive is the ability to connect the device to the TBV via HDMI to display the menu on it. So navigating is quite easy even from long distances although the remote control could be less loaded with some if the relevant options available in the menu and the layout of the buttons could be more logical. In fact, the remote control is more useful for psychological / legacy reasons. The real power user will use the X45 either through the special Novatron Music X application or through the web interface and a computer (especially if they want to manage / maintain the device database).
In any case, all this would not be very important, if in addition to so many functions the device is not able to offer a satisfactory sound effect. The answer to this crucial question is “yes”. We can say that the X45 is at a good level with a sound character similar to those we have encountered in other implementations with integrated technology of ESS Sabre.
The sound of the X45 tends to the analytical character with good possibilities of rendering the details of the recordings, very satisfactory clarity and clear stratification of instruments with the distances between them being clear. In terms of tonal balance, the low frequency range was rendered with a good sense of volume without exaggeration or emphasis to impress and delight the listener, while the higher frequencies showed a slight emphasis but without get tired. The whole would be characterized by a homogeneous with a light close of brilliance, so probably the ideal curling would be with balanced / smooth and maybe slightly warm accompaniments.
Finally, the flexibility, the ease and the sound effect that the Cocktail Audio multifunction machine delivers make it a competitive and efficient solution for every living room and every need. The price is not at all to prohibitive for what it offers, especially if one takes into account the cost that would be required if one chose to have separate devices for each of the features of the X45. Sure the sound character is a matter of taste and “chemistry” with the rest of the system but it would not be difficult to recommend the X45 without a second thought to anyone looking for an all-in-one solution for their system so they can enjoy music without materials or intangible restrictions. Analog sources, vinyl CD, network streaming, high resolution files, and even radio (with recording capabilities!) are all available without the use of a computer so you can include in music. After all, this is the most important…
Cocktail Audio X45
Description: Media Server/CD Ripper/DAC/ADC/Preamplifier
Composition: CD Player/Ripper, Radio Receiver DAB/DAB+, FM Stereo, DAC, ADC, Phono (MM), Server, Network player/Streamer
Digital inputs: 1x coaxial (RCA), 1x optical (Toslink), 1x AES/EBU (XLR)
Streaming: 1xUSB (v2.0, Client/Type B), 3x USB (Host/Type A), Ethernet (RJ45/Giga)
Analog inputs: 1x Phono (MM, RCA), 1x Line (RCA)
Digital outputs: 1x coaxial (RCA), 1x optical (Toslink), 1x AES/EBU (XLR), 1x USB (v2.0, Host/Type A), 1x HDMI (Audio/Video)
Analog outputs: 1x single ended (RCA), 1x balanced (XLR), 1x Headphone (TRS, 6.35mm)
Sample rates: 24-bit/192kHz (conventional digital inputs), 32-bit/384kHz/DXD/DSD256 (Streaming), 24-bit/192kHz (ADC/Record)
Network: Ethernet (Wi-Fi with optional adapter), compatible with UPnP, DLNA, Samba Server/Client, FTP, Web
Optical disc compatibility: CD, CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R/RW
Hard disk: 3.5”/2.5” SATA/SSD, Maximum capacity 8ΤΒ
Control: Remote control, Αpp Novatron Music X (iOS/Android), Web Interface)
Dimensions: 441x330x111 (mm, LxWxH)
info: Orpheus Audio, tel.: 210-5221.524, http://www.orpheusaudio.gr/, https://www.cocktailaudio.com/