Plinius - Tiki
With digital audio moving away from optical disc playback, nearly every company in the high end is scrambling to offer up solutions of every flavor. Those solutions range from USB DACs, music servers with onboard storage, network media players, and file players, as well as hybrids of all these approaches. The task of standing out is a difficult one for digital source component designers due to the lack of any consensus as to the best approach, the myriad of variables, and the constantly changing landscape.
Plinius has entered the fray with its own spin on things. It has introduced the Tiki network player, priced at $5550, in a purist approach. It has decided to eliminate all unnecessary parts and so-called features that have the potential to harm sonics. This means there is no WiFi and no display. This is commonly known as a “headless” approach, with control exclusively via smart device.
On the back panel there is an Ethernet jack, a pair of RCA and XLR outputs, an IEC inlet, and a ground switch. That is it. No digital inputs or outputs. One could call this a “closed” approach. Admittedly, one can also be forgiven for being a bit skeptical at this design, but as you will see, based on performance of the Tiki, Plinius clearly is on to something.
The Tiki handles PCM up to 192 Khz, 24 bits and is compatible with FLAC, AIFF, WAV, and MP3. The unit is DLNA compliant and can be used with a variety of server software. One can use a number of free and paid controller apps for Android, iPad, or iPhone. Plinius offers its own unique app called Arataki, which is available for sale at the iTunes store. More on that later.
The Tiki is ruggedly built, with clean lines and a beautiful half-inch thick curved front and side panel. The top panel is ventilated, so the unit still runs cool if left on 24/7. The Plinius logo is engraved on the front, and there is a single blue LED power indicator. The Tiki is available in black or silver. The review sample was finished in a chic matte black.
The RJ45 connector allows network connection for playback of digital music over a home network. Network input was chosen as the most suitable way to transfer digital audio due to ease of setup, ability for wireless communication and advantages over S/PDIF and USB.
BURR BROWN DAC
The DAC and interface receiver are high performance Burr Brown components with a proven record of quality digital sound reproduction.
The chosen DAC allows playback of popular file types up to 24bit/192ks/s.
MULTIPLE FILE CAPABILITY
Playback is supported for FLAC, MP3, AIFF and LPCM
By working within these guidelines the unit is capable of interfacing to a number of different home network devices.
WBT AND NEUTRIK CONNECTORS
High quality WBT RCA and Neutrik XLR output connectors ensure a high performance, low distortion interface between your cables and the player.
Audience AV supply the Auricap XO capacitors used in key areas of the circuit. The Auricap was chosen for its superior clarity and dynamic ability.
Mechanical damping is applied to the chassis to arrest vibration that can lead to microphonic interference and impact on the audio signals.
The aluminium lid and panels provide a non-magnetic cover to reduce unwanted magnetic fields that can interfere with the sensitive audio signals.
SUPPORTED AUDIO FILE SERVERDLNA Digital Media Servers
SUPPORTED PLAYBACK CONTROLDLNA Digital Media Controllers
DLNA Mobile Digital Media Controllers
UPnP smartphone applications
DAC CAPABILITY24 bit, 192ks/s
AUDIO CODEC SUPPORTFLAC (up to 24/192), LPCM (up to 24/192), AIFF, MP3
ANALOGUE OUTPUT1 x RCA stereo pair
1 x XLR stereo pair
FREQUENCY RESPONSE20Hz to 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
DISTORTION<0.01% THD at Rated Input Level
HUM & NOISE-100dB at Rated Input Level, A Weighted
INPUT1 x RJ45 connector
MAXIUM OUTPUT LEVEL2V RMS Into 10k or higher
OUTPUT SOURCE IMPEDENCETypically 100R
POWER/CURRENT CONSUMPTION30W 0.09A (22W) Idle
DIMENSIONSHeight: 80mm (3.5")
Width: 450mm (17.75")
Depth: 400mm (15.75")
Weight: 5.5kg (12lbs)