Anyone heard of this product, the “Helen” from Titan Audio (China?) It purports to be compatible with HDMI output from the DMP as well as other digital sources, and also to output I2S via HDMI (possibly using the PS Audio protocol?) Here’s information from an expired audiogon ad and a link to the product page:
Meet Helen, and transform your digital experience.
Helen is winning the “Editor’s Choice” and “Most Wanted Component” award from Stereotimes, new review pending. We have one last unit selling at introductory price $1495 (see my other audiogon ad) and starting from 2018 it will be sold at full MSRP $1699.
Helen is a high-performance digital processing unit that works between your digital sources and DAC, it enhances the performance of your current DAC, to the point that you may not have known what your DAC can really do.
Helen is the result of 3 years of relentless research on fundamental digital audio performance. It features Ultra-Fast Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), Platinum Grade Hybrid Phase-Locked Loop (PLL), State-Of-The-Art circuit design, and first-rate fit-and-finish/craftsmanship. Helen reduces jitter to 0.6 picosecond, or 600 femtosecond (10Hz – 100kHz), and generates a bit-perfect, virtually jitter-free output to feed your favorite DAC.
Helen is not a DAC, it does not have analog output.
Helen is not a USB interface, it does not have USB input.
Helen is not a network player or server, it does not connect to your network.
Helen is not an equalizer, it passes through the digital signal in a bit-perfect fashion.
Instead, Helen is a revolutionary product that instantly upgrades ALL your digital sources, such as your CD transport, network player, music server, and USB/SPDIF interface.
A few other brands produced “re-clocking boxes”, but none of them represents a thorough solution like Helen.
What are the benefits?
(1) Eliminate digital etch/edge and make your DAC sound more natural.
(2) Enrich density and fullness, making the sound more complete and lively.
(3) Enhance the sound stage width, depth and imaging specificity.
(4) Enhance bass impact, depth, detail and tightness.
(5) Enhance micro-dynamics and macro-dynamics.
(6) Enhance overall resolution and definition.
Do I need Helen with an ultra-High-end digital front end?
Contrary to common belief, the better your front end, the more it benefits from Helen, thanks to the extra resolution and definition such systems are capable of.
Helen is itself a cost-no-objective design. Our clients use it with CH Precision/Orpheus transport/DAC, Esoteric separates, Linn Klimax DSM, dCS/MSB/Playback Designs/Emm Labs top DAC, and consistently achieve positive results. Adding Helen bettered external atomic clocks that cost 5x the price, and many audiophiles who heard Helen the first time think it should cost at least $6000.
Our demo system consists of PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player (DSMP) as the digital source and COS Engineering D1 DAC/preamp (see my other audiogon ad for detail). Consider the DSMP has a FPGA buffered output, the COS D1 has a 2-second-buffer input memory, and both claim extremely low-jitter, you would think adding the Helen in between offers little to no help. Yet it only takes 5 seconds of A/B to tell the difference.
Helen has two modes: the Standard Mode (SM) and the Precision Mode (PM). While the PM will grace a million-dollar audio system, the SM will enhance mid-Fi digital sources such as an ordinary DVD player or a digital TV receiver box.
What are the inputs and what formats are supported?
Helen has 4 digital inputs:
AES/EBU: Up to to 24bit/768k or DOP256
Coaxial: Up to to 24bit/768k or DOP256
Toslink: Up to to 24bit/192k or DOP64
HDMI*: Up to to 32bit/768k or DOP512
*Native PCM and DSD Over HDMI (LVDS Transceiver) is only compatible to Titan’s Audio Lab’s own definition.
What are the outputs?
AES/EBU, Coaxial SPDIF, BNC, Toslink, HDMI*, and (4)-SMA*
*I2S transmission via HDMI and (4)-SMA is reserved for compatible DAC from Titans Audio Lab. How much jitter does it suppress?
Normal Mode: 200:1 above 100Hz & 3000:1 above 700Hz;
Precision Mode: 8000:1 above 100Hz & 1000000:1 above 700Hz.
Dimentions: 11 x 7 x 2.3 inch (W x D x H);
Weight: 4 LB;
Finish: Silver only;
Manufacturer’s website: www.titansaudiolab.com