It is probably one of the most up to date preamps you can buy right now. I mean that in a holistic way, not just technically:
For me, the S50 Pro+ has solved a long term issue of unity, that Ive probably spent 10 years trying to get closer and closer to.
Trying various products from hifi specialists, the big electronics names, to diy, all had some area of variable compromise, from rediculous cost, dropping support, no updates, proprietary software, or systems, etc.
To summarise, what this does… it integrates all the modern needs in a slick package and… importantly the price is very reasonable, ‘normal’, not the way a lot of specialist hifi is these days. It is not a status purchase, it is just a really good little thing.
Technically, functionally, aesthetically, it just works, major streaming services, from nas, plus manual inputs, sounds good, does what I need, so far entrirely reliable, stable, doesnt get in the way of life, is a neat little case that uses very little power.
General context comparison.
‘Hifi’ products, can be great, but are often uneccessarily expensive, targeted a traditional ‘stack’, separates approach which is increasingly out of touch, or at least to a dying market…, often a lot of money goes to inbuilt dac, super 'clean’power supplies and case… etc… navigating a lot of marketing and magic.
Chasing sound quality +0.1% at 500% cost.
Big electronics - logitech , wd
Can be slick, but they dont care about the details and as they target mainstream, are media products, not music focused and lacking features, bit really for music, often lacking several functions, plus lock you into their ecosystem, product line… and cannot be separated.
Diy: - raspberry pi, just boom & allo digi, picoreplayer, volumio.
The nearest to a unified solution, except one major problem…faff! it just never consistently worked for extended periods., and any day it could have a new issue. Hard to set up, hard to change if something goes wrong. Only I could use it (not my family)…
As a reference point to comments above, if needed - im using this unit with Proac studio monitors (atc drivers) which have Hypex Fusion digital amp/crossover. I’m 40, can still hear as expected for this age and been into hifi since a teenager, tried a huge range of equipment, spent loads, sold loads - had stuff from Chord, Naim, Sugden, Neat, Proac, etc., got into diy, built amps and dacs with 1k materials budget, Hackernap, Buffalo dac, ncore.
I listen to a very broad range of music, almost anything, that isnt just marketing rehash. I have a NAS with flac of all cds, but mostly listen to Spotify to be honest these days. Maybe I got off the sq train somewhat, or maybe realised it only goes so far and that life is more important.
Until writing this review, I hadnt thought about the S50 pro + at all and perhaps that is the best point to be made.
It has just sat there working as I hoped, looking nice and letting me and my family enjoy music when I need.
Anything to change?
Using line in, it doesnt seem to go back to streaming very easily. Maybe just me.