It has been coming for a while now. The convergence not only of a top quality bypass DAC but the merging of the DAC and Amp into a single portable solution by Cypher Labs has now taken form in the new Theorem 720 DAC/AMP recently launched and I for one was very interested indeed.
Yes you can argue that Sony and Fostex are there already with their convergence i-devices, the HP-P1 and the PHA-1, but Cypher Labs got there first with the CLAS SOLO and blazed the initial path and we all loved them for this brave new world where the igadget actually became a weapon of choice for the audiophile and not a casual listener’s HD for music on the go. I actually bought my first Flac music playing app for my old iPhone due to Cypher Labs CLAS SOLO – that is saying something since I hate buying apps.
What you get
The Theorem 720 is not cheap though coming in at $899 SRP but for that you get the same DAC setup as you got in the last iteration of the CLAS SOLO, the -DB as well as an integrated portable amp with balanced and single ended settings, a L/M/H gain switch at the back and a line out rear connection for system integration. What you will notice though is that the Theorem 720 looses the rear coaxial output from the CLAS Solo which I am not entirely sure I can see as a huge loss since the Theorem 720 is really geared much more to the portable audiophile market.