Introduced to me by a friend, the Caprice Audio Mosaic Hybrid Filter is A Passive Low Noise Optimization Filter Designed to push your High-end system to its ultimate in quality audio perception.
This unique and exquisite audio component comes in two forms; The Elite at $900 and The Reference at $1500. While this filtering component allows you to use your cables, Caprice Audio does make dedicated cables, called “slipstream cables” for their components. The Slipstream cables form an important link between the Mosaic and each component in your system. The Slipstream action further reduces the noise floor of your system.
This “shunting system” spurns noise away from circuits, using their unique Wave Stream Technology, “The Wave Stream Hybrid Technology is Caprice’s solution to the problem of elevated noise floor that exists in all electronics. According to proprietor Luis, the system “lowers the noise plane, reduces impedance issues, and helps create a sound field that is both pleasant and immersive.” all of which affects low-level information, thereby improving resolution, transient response, and dynamics. “The goal is to provide an enveloping experience for the listener.”
Speaking to Luis, I learned that I can attach not only a DAC but my amplifier as well as a phono stage to the MOSAIC. Eventually, I connected the MOSAIC to just about everything in my system.
The Mosaic features include proprietary digital filtering technology, impedance matching topology and a supremely low noise platform for high-quality playback at any resolution level. This should, theoretically, result in digital files having a feeling of analog warmth and transparency. The includes a much clearer form of vinyl playback.
What I observed, along with the above, comes the promise of more subtle instrumental tonality, some spicy sizzle, pace, and quite a bit of emotion. There’s more synergy and less noise, leading to longer listening sessions with less fatigue.
ABOUT THE HOOKUP
The Mosaic is a compact 10.5” x 8.5” x 2” piece of gear that weighs in at about five pounds and ironically, it does not have any LED’s, electrical, or battery hookups. What it has is only the name on the front panel and three RCA connectors on the rear.
There are multiple ways of hooking up the Mosaic to your system. If you only have one Elite or Reference Mosaic, you can hook it up to both speakers and one component or three components if desired. You can daisy chain (blast from the past) multiple Mosaics in any configuration you can think of
Connections to your speakers are to the negative terminal and/or any unused input on your preferred components. You cannot purchase the Mosaic online as Luis wants to talk to you and discuss your system and what you are looking for sound-wise; this a nice bit of hands-on customer service.
Besides being able to connect to your speakers and components in your two-channel system, the Mosaics may also work their magic in your home theater system.
Here is the system used for this review:
Norma IPA-140 integrated amp ~~ L.K.S. DH-DA004 DAC ~~ Jay’s Audio CDT2 mk2 transport ~~ Rosso Fiorentino Volterra speakers
Organic Audio Reference interconnects and speaker cables ~~ Organic Audio Reference, Cullen and Triode Wire Labs power cables
Roadhouses & Automobiles by Chris Jones ~~ Cantate Domino on the Proprius label ~~ If You Wait by London Grammar ~~
Temptation by Chantal Chamberland ~~ Last Live at Dug by Grace Mahya ~~ Ultimate Collection by Katie Melua
Sera una Noche by La Segunda
The Mosaic has the same overall system effect on any component it is mated to, so I will give my evaluations based on each of the above component configurations used in my system.
ELITE USED ON THE VOLTERRA LOUDSPEAKER SYSTEM
Connecting the Elites using the supplied “slipstream cables” to the Volterras required the RCA connection fit to the center RCA input on the Elite and the spade connection to the negative terminal of each speaker. Immediately upon my first audition, there was a notable increase in fullness of the sound with increased sound stage width, depth, and height. Imaging was spot on coming from an intensely silent background.
Both female and male voices were ever so natural in timbre, which also extended to instruments, with the grand piano sounding impressively authentic and brass instruments having their trademark “bite” to them. This was brought out by the La Segunda and London Grammar CD. I found that the Elites did not add any particular signature of their own to the music other than the improvements in the areas listed above.
With the improvements offered by the Elites, something kept nagging me that maybe I could squeeze something extra out of the improved overall clarity of my system. Then it dawned on me that sometimes changing components and cables and possibly– a readjustment of speaker placement might be worth trying. Well, I can tell you that I fully embarked on this task and was majestically rewarded with another level of enhanced sound quality.
ELITE ON THE L.K.S DAC
After receiving an overly pleasant experience with the Elites connected to my speakers, I went on to connect one elite to my DAC. The single Elite on the DAC had the same basic sonic characteristics as the two Elites on the loudspeakers.
What I did notice was the imaging was a little less laser-focused, with just a slight blurring of the image localization. The sound stage was slightly smaller with an impression of being not as full as the twin Elites. Otherwise, I loved the sound of Katie Melua and Grace Mahya which contained rich textures and subtle shadings of their voices. Mind you this is splitting hairs as the sound was still decent enough.
THE REFERENCE ON THE L.K.S DAC
Substituting in the Reference for the Elite on the L.K.S DAC brought an exceptionally expansive sound stage, pinpoint imaging, and a noiseless background that even surpassed that of the two Elites connected to my speakers. This substitution also brought forth a different sound perception, becoming a bit less warm than the Elite with a much sharper presentation and intonation around the music. The combination still maintained a sweet timbre to instruments brought to light with the Chris Jones CD. Which presentation you may prefer probably comes down to the overall balance of your system and the type of music you listen to. If I were buying only one unit, I would go for the Reference.
ELITES, LOUDSPEAKERS, and THE REFERENCE – THE BEST?
If you have the coin, I think this is the route to go with the three units. The sound stage extends in height, width, and front to back depth with prodigiously focused imaging. There is a sense of good timing and also a feeling that the music just sounds right.
Here are my thoughts on one individual song above: Getting a feel for male vocals on Chris Jones’ Roadhouses and Automobiles, and listening to the title track, the guitar emanates from a very dark, muted background which is almost kind of creepy, but in a good way.
Now, the sound stage was incisively three-dimensional, tonality was spot on, and Chris’s voice had a crispness to it that made me want to listen all night. Bass was deep, tight, and very articulate which made for a nice foundation.
On Thank You (R.J. Reynolds), I could tell the improved overall pace and rhythm of my system, which made for a good toe-tapping session. The absurdly quiet background on the La Segunda CD was eerily spooky which made the instruments really pop. Cantate Domino showcased tonality and three-dimensional sound stage and razor sharp imaging which had me sitting back with raised eyebrows.
I like to play chess and if you also play, then you know that there are countless combinations of moves at any time in the game, therefore we use the chess clock. As I pondered how to write this review, I started to think of all the combinations of connecting the Mosaics to my system and how I would never finish the review. Now what I did was to implement my chess clock and limit my choices so I wouldn’t lose precious time!
In conclusion, whatever unit or combination of components you decide on to give a spin in your system you may be amazed and happy with the enjoyment these units will bring. I could detect no ill effect to my system when introducing the Mosaics.
The improvements I did notice was an exceptionally expanded sound stage, instruments had a better timbre or tonality, the bass is cleaner (less bloated), and lastly, digital files and CD’s had less of an edge or more of that vinyl sound – a small price to pay for such enhancements.
The one thing I do regret is that I didn’t have two Reference units to try on my Volterra loudspeakers—oh such regret.! I know that audio enthusiasts will have endless hours of enjoyment playing the “game” of Mosiac as the combinations available will keep you involved in the love of music. That is our goal, is it not?
I can safely recommend the Mosaics to anyone who wants to improve the sound of their system without taking out a car note. Please don’t forget before you purchase a unit to give Luis a call to discuss your system with him to determine what’s right for you. If nothing else you will have a great time discussing this hobby with him, I know I did.
DO NOT HOOK THE MOSAIC TO BRIDGED MONO BLOCKS AS THIS WILL DAMAGE YOUR AMPS. CONTACT YOUR AMPLIFIER MANUFACTURER TO SEE IF THEY ARE BRIDGED. THERE IS A SPECIAL WAY TO CONNECT THEM SO CONTACT LUIS ALBERTO AT CAPRICE AUDIO (Tel: 203-684-8710) BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT IT.)
Caprice Audio Mosaic Elite $900 Reference $1500 USD
Middletown, CT USAtel:203-84-8710
WHERE the MUSIC BEAT meets the AUDIOPHILE ELITE !
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