Home The best of 2023! Jaap’s Top 5 list

The best of 2023! Jaap’s Top 5 list


It is the end of the year again! Time for our annual best-of lists. We have had close to 100 products in our hands, so it is quite the task to narrow it down to a top five. But we do our best!

Grimm MU2


let’s kick off with a product that we haven’t even officially reviewed yet: the Grimm MU2. However, your author can confidently put it on the list. And for two reasons: we have had the opportunity to listen to the player properly a couple of times and your author is listening to it at the time of writing.

The Grimm MU2 is a pre-amp, dac, streamer, ROON core and headphone amp in one box. A nice little box. The impressive thing is: everything is at a high level. The pre-amp is unprecedentedly transparent, for example. The streamer is top notch… and the dac? Let’s not spoil everything right away. It does come with a price: 18,000 Euros. On the other hand: it will probably replace at least three products.


The PSI AVAA is a very special product. It looks like a subwoofer, but it is in fact the opposite. This is an active bass trap. It “absorbs” room modes. It does that so effectively that we can’t live without it anymore. It brings calmness, resolution… in fact, the whole system improves, because the room no longer gets in the way. A rather bizarre and extraordinary experience, we can say.

Power supplies!

Not a product, but a product segment. Power supplies – and energy in general – are really undervalued by a lot of enthusiasts. People would rather buy new speakers or a big amplifier. But people, please: a hi-fi system modulates energy. That energy has to be stable and clean! So invest a bit into “clean” and stable energy. Try a nice power supply or power conditioner! We have tested plenty of products from Yeti, Isotek, Plixir, Pura, Sbooster, IFI or, for example, Farad. We have also written quite a few background stories about them by now.

Avid Pellar

Yes… a vinyl product in mr-digital’s Top 5 list. Fact is: the Avid Pellar is a very nice pre-amp for a very reasonable price. It just keeps it pleasant, shall we say. This pre-amp is nice and energetic, dead quiet and plays with a lovely flow. It hits you where it matters: in your musical soul. That’s impressive in this price range where there’s often a lot of ‘cost saving’ applied. Too bad. And unnecessary with a solid design!

Yeti Standard

Yes… energy again, after all. Does a good power cord make a difference? You bet. Should it cost a fortune? No. You can do it with a Standard cable…. well…. a Yeti Standard. Sorry: bad joke. We use this Yeti Standard on our Sonnet Pasithea and we love it. It plays neutral, nimble and with a wonderfully spacious stereo image. Can you do better? Of course: but it gets very, very expensive very quickly. And the joke of this cable is that you get to 80% with a small investment. We love that at Alpha.


We still wanted to mention some products added to our reference system this year. Consider the Pura Dodo power supply which we think is incredibly nice. Wonderfully fast and with two outputs nice and versatile. The Yeti Reference filter also does well on our sources. And finally the Van den Hul CNT (XLR) as the main interlink and the Nova speaker cable. Yes: both very pricey, but super neutral and therefore important in our work where we need to be able to hear minute differences. These products your author wanted to mention anyway as a bonus…. after all: we choose them for a reason!

Winkels met Grimm

Hooikade 13
2627 Delft, Zuid Holland, NL
St. Ceciliastraat 28
5038 HA Tilburg, NL
Vijlen, Noord Holland, NL
Beethovenstraat 9-b
1077 HL Amsterdam, Noord Holland, NL
Hennesweg 20
6035 AD Ospel, NL

Winkels met PSI

Emrikweg 25
2031 BT Haarlem, NL
Hennesweg 20
6035 AD Ospel, NL

Winkels met Pura

Korte Jansstraat 11
3512GM Utrecht, NL

Winkels met Van den Hul

Schoenmakersstraat 19
6041EX Roermond, NL
Parkweg 23
8084GG 't Harde, NL
St. Ceciliastraat 28
5038 HA Tilburg, NL
Breestraat 146-148
2311CX Leiden, Zuid Holland, NL
Beethovenstraat 9-b
1077 HL Amsterdam, Noord Holland, NL
Rietlaan 4
3851 PA Ermelo, NL