The M-DAC, an eagerly awaited, new standalone D/A converter finally makes its debut as a replacement for the award-winning 8000DAC introduced in 1992.
The M-DAC is housed in a smart styling aluminium case with solid build and ample connectivity. Alongside the USB input with Asynchronous data processing, there are two each of coaxial and optical digital inputs, and one each of coaxial and optical digital outputs. Audio signal is provided via RCA single-ended and XLR balanced audio outputs.
A wand like remote control handset allows you to switch inputs, select from preset digital filters and alter the display. The large clear screen allows you to see what input is being used and the sample rate being received. High-res 24-bit/192kHz music files can be played on the M-DAC via the coaxial input, while optical and USB inputs support 24-bit/96kHz data.
• Asynchronous USB supporting 24-bit/96kHz with remote control of PC / MAC Media Player via HID support
• High current, high linearity RCA single-ended & XLR true balanced with fully discrete J-FET CROSS* Class A output stages and built-in headphone amplifier
• Selectable DAC mode or Digital Pre-amplifier mode, allowing direct connection to power amplifiers and active speakers in digital only systems
• 2.7” high contrast OLED display
• "Actual"or"Nominal"Sampling Frequency display – displays the TRUE input sampling frequency with 1Hz resolution
• Digital level meters in dB with peak hold
• CD / DVD SPDIF subcode embedded Track and Time Display
• Advanced de-jittered optical and coaxial SPDIF output, with USB to SPDIF output.
• Full remote control + external remote / BUS I/O loop
• 26 internal regulated supply rails with 10 ultra low noise, low impedance discrete regulators
• 7 user selectable digital filters – fully software upgradeable via the USB port
• Organic ultra low ESR capacitors, high tolerance polypropylene film / foil capacitors, ultra stable very low VCR 0.1% MELF SMD resistors, 4 layer PCB
• External upgradeable power supply interface for a future upgrade path
Model M-DAC General description Digital-to-analogue converter DAC ESS Sabre32 9018 chip Resolution 32 bits Maximum Sampling Frequency 84.672MHz Digital input 2 x 24-bit/192kHz coaxial ,2 x 24-bit/96kHz Toslink optical, 1 x 24-bit/96kHz USB Digital output 1 x coaxial, 1x Toslink optical Output voltage RCA: 2.25V RMS,XLR: 4.5V RMS Total Harmonic Distortion RCA: Frequency response 20Hz - 20kHz (± 0.2dB) Dynamic range RCA: >115dB;XLR: >122dB Crosstalk RCA: Dimensions (H x W x D) 59 x 250 x252mm Power requirements (depending on region) 220--230V /100-120V (50 ~ 60Hz) Colour Black, Silver Standard accessories power cord, remote control handset, batteries, user manual
What can I plug into my DAC?
DAC's will usually have a number of inputs. Coaxial and Toslink Optical are the most common, while USB is still also very common.
The Optical and Coaxial connections can have a CD player, network streamer, television, dvd/blu-ray disc player, game console, and some computers.
The USB input can handle pretty much any kind of computer, or a phone with the appropriate adapter (OTG for android, Camera Connect Kit for iOS devices).
What is a DAC?
Every digital device with an analog output has a Digital to Analog Converter of some kind. In the case of phones, televisions, and computers, they are usually stuck on as an afterthought, or just to do the job of creating analog sound to be amplified and played through speakers.
Having a standalone DAC is a worthwhile investment in any modern Hi-Fi system, essentially all the circuitry involved in creating that signal you can hear from the 1's and 0's is housed in its own box, with usually a much better design than what you would find in your television or computer.
A DAC can be useful to connect digital devices to an analog amplifier if the amplifier doesn't have digital inputs. Or if you are after a cleaner, more refined sound.
Things to listen for in higher quality DAC's are separation of sounds (how well you can hear a single voice or instrument in the mix of all the others), "textures" of sounds (raspyness of a bow being drawn across the strings of a double bass), or the clarity of echo's and quiet noises among loud instruments.