Reference Series - 24bit DAC Mark II
Reference Quality 24bit upsampling D/A converter
Reference Quality 24bit upsampling D/A converter
How a DAC can help to improve your system...
The analogue output of modern production CD players can often be built using very basic low cost designs combined with low grade components, sound quality can often be second place. Using an external DAC bypasses the analogue stage turning the player into a CD transport, with the external DAC being a far higher quality source.
The Reference DAC features a low noise seven stage linear power supply system, ensuring each key stage is independently powered from the next, PCBs are designed with completely separate digital & analogue sections which further improves performance, all combined with a low distortion, low noise output stage & many other refinements for a true reference grade sound quality.
Multiple digital inputs to connect to any digital device...
The rear of the DAC features a good selection of digital connections, there is an optical input, a coaxial input & a USB input.
The S/PDIF coaxial digital input on the DAC is also transformer coupled so that ground loops are no longer an issue, this can also be switched between transformer coupled or a direct ground via the ground select switch on the rear of the DAC.
High quality upsampling process with low jitter...
All digital inputs are upsampled to 24bit 96kHz* via an independently powered upsampling circuit using a very low jitter (<1ps) high quality master clock, regardless of whether the input is 16/44.1 or even 24/96/192, the jitter reduction stages effectively remove any jitter present to below audible levels. This applies to all digital inputs (including USB) ensuring optimum & uniform sound quality.
* Depending on your requirements we can also build your DAC with upsampling to 24bit 192kHz, please note this choice is ONLY available at the time of ordering due to the different build requirements. Since the 192kHz version requires the use of extra components this can not be changed afterwards without extra costs involved, more information & help is included in our PDF available to download.
Digital Input Selector...
The DAC has a front mounted input selector, this allows a very convenient way of changing from one input to another. Switching digital inputs can be performed with the DAC powered on, there will be no audible pops or clicks when switching. The switch used is also of high quality, using silver contacts for excellent electrical conductivity & longevity.
A digital filter switch at the rear allows you to change the DACs filter response, there is also an attenuate switch & also an S/PDIF ground select switch, along with an analogue input for extra convenience when connecting equipment.
Modular design with quality components throughout...
The design of the DAC is completely modular based which means that the DAC can easily be updated in the future. While at this moment in time the DAC makes use of the top of the range Cirrus WM8741 D/A converter (formerly Wolfson), if however in the future a newer type were to be released we could then design a new module so that existing DACs can be easily & very cost effectively updated, rather than having to purchase an entirely new DAC altogether.
The DAC also uses the very finest components ensuring long term reliability, the seven stage linear power supply uses a multi stage regulation circuit ensuring no power sharing between each of the digital & analogue sections. Panasonic FM series capacitors are used for their ultra low impedance performance along with quality SMT film capacitors & thin film resistors for improved linearity in the analogue domain.
A perfectly matched source for our Reference Series Headphone Amplifier...
The DAC provides a perfect source when used with our Reference Series headphone amplifier for an extremely high quality headphone set up.
When used with a reference grade headphone & suitable CD transport or computer based system, the combination provides an extremely entertaining & pleasurable listening experience, something that is often very hard to convey in words on a web-site, the best way to describe the sound is extremely refined, capturing every detail & nuance in the music, while providing a very balanced sound with no emphasis on any part of the frequency spectrum, being something that is not only enjoyable to use every day, but is also highly addictive to listen to music with long term.
More information can be found in our downloadable PDF
Digital & Analogue Inputs: Optical / Coaxial / USB / RCA analogue
Bit Rates Supported: 16 & 24bit
Sampling Rates Supported: 32kHz / 44.1kHz / 48kHz* / 88.2kHz / 96kHz / 192kHz
*Native sampling rates above 48kHz are supported via the optical & coaxial inputs
Asynchronous Upsampling: All digital inputs (inc USB) are upsampled to 96kHz or 192kHz
Frequency Response: 10Hz - >30kHz +/- 0.1dB
Total Harmonic Distortion: (BW=22kHz, *BW=80kHz, unweighted) 0.004% (1kHz) / 0.005% (10kHz) / 0.007% (20kHz*)
Stereo Crosstalk: -115dBu (1kHz) / -100dBu (10kHz) / -98dBu (20kHz)
Analogue Output Level: 1.7Vrms
Warranty: 3 Years from date of purchase
Dimensions/Weight: 210mm x 115mm x 70mm / 1.5Kg (inc transformer)
Items Supplied: Reference DAC, external mains transformer, instruction booklet, test results & receipt
* Test equipment professionally calibrated to meet national standards
Frequently Asked Questions...
Question: Do I need to purchase anything else or will the DAC work straight away?
All you will need is an optical, coaxial or USB cable depending on how you want to connect the DAC.
Question: Is the USB Class 1 or 2?
The USB is 2.0 compliant & supports 16/48 so this is "Class 1" it is then internally upsampled to 96kHz or 192kHz (depending on which model is purchased), so regardless of which input is used or which sampling rate is fed into the DAC, the output is always at 24bit 96kHz or 192kHz. We do not use "Class 2" USB controllers in our DAC for a number of reasons, one being that these are also only available from the far east with many of these controllers having already been discontinued or replaced for newer versions. While this may be acceptable for a product that is supported for a year or two before being discontinued for the next model, this plays havoc when trying to support a product long term as we do. Since we provide long term support for our DAC we only use the highest quality components that are readily available from UK & US official distributors. The majority of modern DACs have now become essentially non-repairable making them disposable items & while our DAC over the years has proven itself when it comes to reliability, should any problems occur then our customers know we can repair anything so the DAC never becomes disposable! So while the USB is already upsampled to 96kHz or 192kHz, if there is a particular reason why you require "native" support for 96kHz or higher via USB then you can always use a USB to S/PDIF converter which will make use of whatever is the latest tech with these "Class 2" USB converters, the converter simply connects into the optical or coaxial inputs on our DAC & being an external device means this can always be upgraded or replaced when needed.
Question: Does your DAC require any drivers to work & do I need to mess about with firmware updates?
The DAC does not require any drivers or firmware updates, simply connect the DAC to a suitable digital output & you are ready to enjoy your favourite albums.
Question: Your DAC uses the WM8741 which you say is the top of the range, I have seen some products saying the WM8742 is the latest, can you clarify?
The WM8741 is the top of the range D/A converter, the WM8742 is a slightly inferior version of the same chip making it much cheaper to purchase at roughly half the price of the WM8741, the confusion may come from the numbering system used, since 8742 is higher than 8741 this could be mistaken as being a higher version, but this is most certainly not the case.
Pricing & Ordering Details...
Price: £465 (96kHz) / £489 (192kHz) (includes delivery)
Delivery: DHL Tracked/Insured*
Build time: 12-14 days
Payment is by 10% deposit
Final payment upon completion.
Payments handled securely by "PayPal"
*Delivery is to UK Mainland only
Click below for details on how to order