Developed to be simple to set up and use, the Rega DAC-R is designed to optimise performance from any two channel PCM digital audio source.
With the PC now widely accepted as a credible medium for storing and streaming music,the use of high quality lossless files such as WAV, FLAC and ALAC offer performance through the DAC-R equal to, and in some cases better than, Red Book CD. Great care has been taken to remove noise generated by the PC and other input sources. (During development this was identified as a major drawback with many DAC’s on the market today).
The DAC-R is housed in a custom aluminium and steel case and boasts a pair of Wolfson DAC IC’s, three user selectable digital filters and one isolated asynchronous USB, two isolated Co-axial inputs & two Toslink SPDIF inputs. The DAC-R has been designed and engineered to integrate perfectly into any system and achieve the highest performance in its class. We hope you enjoy this Rega product for any years to come. The optical and coaxial input stage comprises a Wolfson digital receiver with a high stability, low jitter clock driving the receiver PLL. The receiver and PLL have their own dedicated power supplies.
The DAC stage comprises a pair of parallel-connected Wolfson WM8742 DAC’s, that are driven via a buffer stage, which ensures the integrity of the data being fed to the DAC IC’s similar to the arrangement used in the Isis reference CDP. The USB input stage is comprised of a bit perfect XMOS USB Audio 2.0 with asynchronous clocking. The USB input stage feeds the Optical and Coaxial input stage via an isolating transformer giving total isolation from the host computer.
The output amplifier employs a discrete differential, multiple feedback filter and output amplifier, with a high cut-off frequency for use with higher sample rates. We decided not to use a sample rate converter and process the data at the incoming sample rate which keeps the signal processing to a minimum. Jitter was minimised by synchronously locking the digital data with our receiver PLL (removing any jitter from the input signal).
All the capacitors associated with the analogue signal path are audio grade bypassed with MMK polyester capacitors, and low impedance conductive polymer capacitors are used for DAC decoupling. The power supply utilizes a toroidal transformer, fast rectifier diodes and again audio grade capacitors. There is a power supply for the control micro controller, separate from the digital & analogue audio stages. Special attention being paid to the inter IC control signals ensures the control data noise is kept to a minimum.
DAC 2x Wolfson WM8742
Frequency Response (100KΩ load) Filter 1 selected
Low data rate 44.1/48kHz = 10Hz -0.05dB to (44.1K) 20.02kHz (48K) 21.7kHz -0.03dB
Medium data rate 88.2/96kHz = 10Hz -0.05dB to (88.1K) 28.7kHz (96K) 31.2kHz -3dB
High data rate 176.4/192kHz = 10Hz -0.05dB to (176.4K) 44.1kHz (192K) 47.7kHz -3dB
Maximum output level = 2.175V into 100KΩ load
Bit resolution (all inputs) 16 to 24bit
Supported data rates = 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion all inputs (24bit 96kHz) = 0.006% @ 1kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio -105dB (relative to maximum output level with a 100Hz to 22kHz bandwidth)
USB Asynchronous Isolated (24bit 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz)
Input 1 Optical/Toslink (24bit 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz)
Input 2 Optical /Toslink (24bit 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz)
Input 3 Isolated 75Ω Co-axial (24bit 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz)
Input 4 Isolated 75Ω Co-axial (24bit32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz)
Digital SPDIF outputs (via receiver & PLL)
Isolated 75Ω Co-axial
Dimensions W 215mm x D 320mm x H 80mm
Remote NEC system (6E91)
Weight 4.0 Kg
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.