Stahl-Tek Vekian DAC ($20,000) Review on 6moons

Monday, October 6, 2008

6moons has reviewed the Stahl-Tek Vekian DAC ($20,000). This is a US-made DAC with a claimed 127dB S/N ratio. Reviewer Linnman compared the unit to the Zanden Model 5000s and Orpheus Labs Heritage DACs. His conclusions are mixed, but his final assessment of the Vekian includes the following:

In my humble opinion, the Vekian DAC by Stahl-Tec is a true breakthrough product in digital high-end converters.

Read the entire review, then check out Linnman’s reviews of the Zanden and Orpheus DACs mentioned in the review.

hotbird October 6, 2008 at 4:39 pm

I am suspicious when all 3 DACs come from a single distributor in HK which Linnman is close to. He can’t say bad conclusions about them, can he? 😉
Just check
I will consider that 90% of his reviews are endorsement products for Audioexotics

hotbird October 6, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Oops, slight sentence sequencing problem. I meant to write
“I will consider that 90% of his reviews are product endorsements for Audioexotics”

Mark Wieman October 6, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Hi Hotbird. Not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying the reviewer can’t be objective because most of the products he reviews come from the same distributor?

hotbird October 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Well, you can call me a highly suspicious doubting thomas if you want 😉
I have been following Linnman’s reviews ever since he started writing for 6moons, so more or less I know what equipment he has reviewed, and I can safely say that most if not all, the equipment that he reviews in recent years are from Audio Exotics.
Just check
and the article itself on Audioexotics
and also google these quote below (removing the quotation marks)
“linnman site:

HongKong is kind of like the hifi capital in the world and has at least a 100 hifi dealers distributing audio equipment ranging from high-end to low-end. A Hongkong reviewer restricting his reviews to only products carried by one dealer doesn’t measure well for objectivity in my books. If 6moons was the government of a country, such practices smacks of cronyism 😉

hotbird October 6, 2008 at 6:12 pm

I just found the url for listing reviews by individual reviewer.
Just check the reviews that Linnman has written
For the reader to judge for themselves whether what I wrote above is just baloney or worthy of suspicion 😉

Srajan Ebaen October 7, 2008 at 2:03 am

Linnman has purchased all the equipment he writes about. It goes without saying that he likes it. And yes, he deals exclusively with J. Lam of Audio Exotics. While I can appreciate your suspicion, you need to know that Linnman acquires all this gear for himself. He is not asking for manufacturer’s loans. To my mind, this entitles him to share his opinion on the equipment and I for one don’t really care where he buys it. When all is said and done, putting your pen where your wallet is speaks quite loudly for itself…

hotbird October 7, 2008 at 2:44 am

In other words, I consider his reviews as insiduous advertisements for AudioExotics. 😉

skeptic October 8, 2008 at 9:00 am

Srajan: whether or not a reviewer buys “all the equipment he writes about” doesn’t address the issue of objectivity (brought up by hotbird). afterall, he/she could be getting “sweetheart deals” for providing free advertising.

furthermore, the question is – if 6moons is willing to be so blatant about such arrangements, why not just recruit dealers, distributors, or even manufacturers (to become “reviewers”) & let them wax lyrical abt their own products??!

hotbird October 8, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Such a practice is quite vulnerable to abuse.
Below is tall story how I may do it given the opportunity.
I may be a rich bloke wanting to buy all the best equipment in the world. So I negotiate a deal with my favorite shop to become the distributor for it after lots of consultation with the principals of the equipment for a good review with a highly regarded magazine. In return, instead of this equipment going to other dealers whom I may not have sweetheart deal agreements, sole distributorship goes to my favourite dealer from I may highly expect to buy it for a nominal fee and not only that, trade it in later for the next best equipment to come along as long as I continuously practise such a cozy arrangement.
And I still own the equipment I review, so nobody can lay a finger on my objectivity 😉

shelby October 9, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Lindemann is Audio Exotics. Everybody in Hong Kong know that !

shanti September 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I want to know how the DAC is ?

Any one have any experiance ?