Maximise the potential of your digital audio.
The Rega DAC is a 16/20/24-bit at 32kHz to 192kHz digital to analogue converter incorporating an enhanced version of the Rega designed circuit. Developed to be simple to set up and use, the Rega DAC is designed to optimise performance from any two channel PCM digital audio source such as a CD player PC or streaming device.
With the PC/Laptop and MAC now widely accepted as creditable mediums for storing and streaming music. The use of high quality lossless files such as WAV, FLAC and ALAC offer performance through the DAC equal to and in some cases better than red book CD.
Housed in a custom aluminium and steel case and boasting a pair of Wolfson DAC IC's, 5 user selectable digital filters, two isolated Co-axial inputs, two Toslink SPDIF inputs and an isolated USB input. The Rega DAC is designed and engineered to perform way above its class.
The input stage comprises a Wolfson digital receiver with a high stability low jitter clock. The receiver and PLL have their own dedicated power supplies. The DAC stage comprises of a pair of parallel-connected Wolfson WM8742 DAC's, which 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 (Rega's refrerence CD player). 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 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 clocking the digital data with our receiver PLL (removing any jitter from the input signal).
All the capacitors associated with the analogue signal path are Nichicon FG 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 Nichicon FG capacitors. There is a power supply for the control microcontroller, separate from the digital & analogue audio stages. Special attention being paid to the inter IC control signals ensuring the control data noise is kept to a minimum.
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.