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Clones Audio ready ‘reference’ Sheva DAC

  • They call him Funjoe. A humorous nickname for someone who makes seriously good hifi products. How do I know? The Clones Audio 25i integrated is a smashing little Gainclone descendant that I’d peg as superior to the NAD D 3020, the Rega Brio R and Wadia’s 151PowerDac Mini. The formal review train will tumble down the line in due course.


    In the meantime, Funjoe has readied his ‘reference’ DAC under his Hong Kong-based Clones Audio banner. Enter the Sheva.

    Under the hood (of a fairly utilitarian box) you’ll find ESS Labs’ Reference Sabre 9018 converter chip which sees data clocked in with Femto precision. The analogue and digital sections each enjoy their own dedicated toroidal power supply.


    Digital input options are broad: AES/EBU, Coaxial, BNC, Toslink, I2S and USB (an Amanero board). So too is file format support: DSD64/DSD128, DXD (aka 24bit/384KHz PCM) and good old fashioned PCM up to 24bit/192kHz. You’ll be shoehorned into using USB or I2S for DSD playback. Source selection, filter choices and 100 step digital volume attenuation are handled by a front-facing rotary encoder.


    Outputs come in two flavours: unbalanced RCAs and balanced XLR.

    The Sheva DAC is available in black or silver finish for €1799 (~US$2500) and comes with a three year warranty.

    Further information: Clones Audio

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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    One Comment

    1. A whole new playing field for Funjoe in terms of price point but this new DAC certainly has the specs & build quality to justify the higher price. Can’t wait for your formal review to see how it competes with the other DACS in its price range. The new casework & silver finish appears quite handsome in the photos.

      I wish Funjoe would build a “reference” amp as well utilizing this new casework (with the option of a silver finish) with a display to show input/volume level & a nice metal remote to top it off.

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