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Accuphase  DC-950 PRECISION MDSD DIGITAL PROCESSOR

Accuphase DC-950 PRECISION MDSD DIGITAL PROCESSOR

The DC-950 is the ultimate digital processor using only specially selected materials and advanced digital technology. Glass fluorocarbon resin PCBs and completely separate power transformers for digital and analogue circuitry assure peerless performance that brings out the full musical richness of the digital source signal. A digital processor that redefines the state of the art.

Accuphase DC-37 MDSD DIGITAL PROCESSOR

Accuphase DC-37 MDSD DIGITAL PROCESSOR

The DC-37 inherits the outstanding technology of the DC-901 and DP-720, while opening a new chapter in ultra-advanced and innovative digital signal processing technology. It features an MDSD type D/A converter that achieves straight conversion of the DSD signal and supports 5.6448 MHz (1-bit 2-channel DSD) sources. In keeping with this development, the HS-LINK interface has also been upgraded to Version 2 with significantly expanded sampling frequency and quantization support up to 5.6448 MHz (1-bit 2-channel DSD) and 384 kHz (32-bit 2-channel PCM). The DC-37 also offers convenience and flexible functionality. External digital sources can be connected via a total of six digital inputs: HS-LINK, COAXIAL 1, COAXIAL 2, OPTICAL 1, OPTICAL 2, and USB. The DC-37 is a digital processor that redefines the state-of-the art and has its sights firmly set on the future, including computer-based and high-resolution audio. Only strictly selected circuit components, materials and other parts of the highest quality are used, resulting in an immense richness of information that translates into a spectacular musical experience.

Accuphase DF-65 DIGITAL FREQUENCY DIVIDING NETWORK

Accuphase DF-65 DIGITAL FREQUENCY DIVIDING NETWORK

The Accuphase DF-65 Digital Frequency Dividing Network harnesses the very best of digital technology in every aspect, including a high-speed 40-bit floating point DSP. The standard unit configuration supports signal processing for up to four-way systems. Highly accurate digital filters offer a choice of 59 cut off frequency points and up to 96 dB/octave attenuation. Integrated time alignment function adjustable in 0.5-cm steps, and delay compensator for automatically offsetting any filter circuit delays. Monophonic output mode provides high versatility for various configurations.

Accuphase DG-68 DIGITAL VOICING EQUALIZER

Accuphase DG-68 DIGITAL VOICING EQUALIZER

Since launching the revolutionary DG-28 in 1997, the DG series, which combines sound field correction (Voicing) and sound field creation (Equalizing) functions, has been pursuing the ease of use and high electrical performance. DG-68 is a successor of DG-58, released in 2013, adopting the latest devices and further improving AD-DA conversion accuracy.

In VOICING mode, the DG-68 measures room acoustics accurately and eliminates extreme dips and peaks such as standing waves. This improves the localization of vocals and the expansion of sound stage dramatically. In addition to automatic adjustment of target characteristics, it is also possible to draw desired target curve in the manual mode or to correct room acoustics according to the customer’s own loud speakers.

By performing Voicing and Equalizing, it is possible to achieve the ultimate ideal sound.

AudioQuest DragonFly Black USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier

AudioQuest DragonFly Black USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier

$129.95

The most affordable model of the award-winning DragonFly family, DragonFly Black is a portable, plug-and-play USB DAC (digital-to-analog converter), preamp, and headphone amp that connects to laptops, tablets, and smartphones to deliver clean, clear, naturally beautiful sound to headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems. While DragonFly can natively decode resolutions up to 24-bit/96kHz, it can play any file type regardless of resolution, from MP3 to MQA and Hi-Res.

Arcam CDS50 SACD, CD, Networking Streaming Player

Arcam CDS50 SACD, CD, Networking Streaming Player

$1,799.00

Our most advanced cd, digital audio and network streaming player yet

In a sense, digital audio doesn’t exist. You’d have to be a particularly dull superhero to possess ears that can decode the millions of 1’s and 0’s that make up your CD collection or iTunes library. Whatever the source – be it a laptop, CD player, smartphone, USB stick – the result is just a vibration in your speakers. In other words, it all winds up analogue in the end.

Arguably, when playing from a digital format, the most vital component is the DAC, or Digital to Analogue Converter. We’ll spare you the bulk of the science, but this is what translates that otherwise lifeless binary code into audible sound energy. Bit-depth, meanwhile, is a key measure of audio quality.

So, if you’re listening to a 24-bit WAV copy of your favourite album through a DAC that only converts to 16-bit, there’s a good chunk of detail going to waste right there. That’s why we’ve included 32-bit DACs on the entire HDA range – the most commonly used bit-depth in digital recording – so you’re guaranteed the full aural picture of whatever the artist intended.

Audiolab 8300CDQ CD Player / DAC / PreamplifierAudiolab 8300CDQ CD Player / DAC / Preamplifier

Audiolab 8300CDQ CD Player / DAC / Preamplifier

$2,299.00

To this specification the new 8300CDQ adds high-quality analogue preamp circuitry, coupled to three stereo pairs of line-level RCA inputs to connect analogue sources. The preamp circuitry is kept as simple as possible using high-quality components to maintain signal purity, with line input signals passing to a precision analogue volume stage. Much effort has gone into the physical layout of the 8300CDQ’s circuitry, protecting the sensitive preamp section from noise interference.

The 8300CDQ draws upon the exemplary circuitry contained with the existing 8300CD, including:

 Slot-loading CD transport mechanism
Fast in operation and neat in design, the 8300CDQ’s slot-loading CD transport delivers excellent reliability. A read-ahead digital buffer reduces disc-reading errors, enabling scratched CDs that are unreadable by conventional mechanisms to be played. High disc stability and low susceptibility to resonance contribute to the 8300CDQ’s superb CD sound quality.

 High-resolution digital inputs
Five digital inputs comprise 1x asynchronous USB and 4x S/PDIF (2x coaxial and 2x optical). Hi-res digital audio is supported up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD256, and USB HID compatibility enables driverless control of a connected PC, Mac or media player.

 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC
The CD transport and digital inputs feed a DAC section with an ESS Sabre32 Reference chip nestling at its heart, utilising HyperStream architecture and ESS Technology’s Time Domain Jitter Eliminator to deliver ultra-low noise and high dynamic range. No company knows more about making the most of this 32-bit, eight-channel hybrid multi-bit Delta-Sigma DAC technology than Audiolab; the 8200CD and 8200CDQ were among the first audio components to use it and the company has been honing its implementation ever since. The conversion process involves 512 DAC elements (256 per channel) each operating at 84.672MHz – all digital audio sources, whatever the sample rate, are upsampled or oversampled to this frequency.

 Exemplary jitter reduction
Around the DAC chip are extensive measures to reduce jitter (digital distortion) to vanishingly low levels. Careful circuit layout and low-noise power supplies complement the DAC’s patented Sabre32 sample rate converter and clever DPLL (Digital Phase Locked Loop) circuit, radically reducing time domain errors from all digital input sources.

 Time domain isolation
While the Sabre32 sample rate converter virtually eliminates jitter within the digital domain, external ‘analogue domain’ induced artefacts caused by RF breakthrough, PSU coupling and so on will affect the DAC’s sonic performance. Audiolab resolves this issue via its CATDA (Cascaded Asynchronous Time Domain Attenuator) circuit. This circuit isolates the DAC substrate from sonically deleterious artefacts that affect non-synchronous digital input data. To achieve the best possible performance, three identical cascaded stages are used – each individual stage provides increased isolation, thereby maximising timing performance, even at higher RF frequencies.

 Selectable digital filters
As digital audio reproduction technology has progressed, the importance of the characteristics of reconstruction digital filters has become more appreciated. The Audiolab 8300CDQ features seven user-selectable filters for PCM audio data (including CD) and four ultrasonic filters for DSD data. These settings allow the user to tune the 8300CD’s performance according to system configuration, digital file quality and personal taste.

 Discrete Class A analogue stages and sophisticated power supply
The 8300CDQ’s analogue output stages and power supply are exceptionally well specified in the pursuit of sonic excellence. The circuitry includes a large, low-noise toroidal transformer, a plethora of reservoir/smoothing capacitors, an impressive number of regulator chips and discrete transistor (instead of op-amp) analogue stages at the output with ultra-low impedance to drive any cable and any load. The power supply incorporates 29 regulated supply rails including multiple ultra-low-noise regulators, with extensive measures against power supply contamination and cross-coupling.

Audiolab M-DAC nano

Audiolab M-DAC nano

$249.99

Renowned for making industry leading and award-winning DACs, audiolab proudly presents the M-DAC nano. Combining hi-resolution digital playback with portable convenience, this is the latest addition to the M-DAC family and is the smallest yet.

Mobile wireless DAC and headphone amp

Similar in size to a small matchbox, the M-DAC nano is a brilliantly simple way to transform headphone sound quality when you are on the go. It connects wirelessly to Android phones, iPhones, tablets and more via Bluetooth, untethering the listener’s headphones from the playback device – much more convenient for mobile use than DAC/headphone amps that require cables to connect.

And that is not the only thing that is wireless. The M-DAC nano’s built-in battery supports Qi wireless charging – simply pop it on the supplied charging pad to deliver up to eight hours of playing time.

Of course, all this convenience would mean nothing if the M-DAC nano’s sound quality was subpar – but audiolab has squeezed in plenty of tech to ensure it sounds great!

Usage And Benefits

Turn your favourite corded headphones or earphones into Bluetooth ones – convenient for audio on the go.

Digital upsampling tech, hi-res digital-to- analogue conversion and powerful amplification deliver enhanced sound quality compared to plugging headphones/earphones directly into phones, tablets, laptops etc.

Bluetooth reception (with support for aptX, aptX Low Latency and AAC) means no more messing with USB OTG cables for Android devices and all the necessary cables/adapters for iOS devices, in contrast to portable DAC/headphone amps that require USB connection. Just pair and go!

Advanced audio technology delivers superior sound quality compared to headphones / earphones with integrated Bluetooth.

Great way to use corded phones with an iPhone without a headphone output – untethered from the iPhone and no Lightning adapter required!

Can also be used to add high-quality Bluetooth reception to a home-based audio system – simply connect the M-DAC nano’s 3.5mm headphone output to a 3.5mm ‘aux’ input or RCA-phono inputs (cable not supplied).

Audiolab M-DAC+ Digital-to-Analogue ConverterAudiolab M-DAC+ Digital-to-Analogue Converter

Audiolab M-DAC+ Digital-to-Analogue Converter

$1,599.00

The new M-DAC+ is a high-performance, multi-purpose audio DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) for home use, designed to sit on a desk or table, or integrate into a hi-fi system. It incorporates a highly specified, audiophile-quality digital preamplifier and Class A output stage for connection to a power amp and speakers (the output can be fixed for those who wish to use an existing preamp or integrated amp), in addition to a high-quality output for headphone use.

Redefining a Classic

The new M-DAC+ is based firmly on the classic M-DAC, with carefully targeted improvements in key areas – a logical move, given the original model’s sustained popularity over the last four years. The M-DAC built a peerless reputation with press and public alike since its launch in the autumn of 2011, scooping multiple Product of the Year Awards from the likes of What Hi-Fi?, Hi-Fi Choice and EISA to make it arguably the most critically acclaimed DAC component ever made. “The audiolab M-DAC+ gets an awful lot right – so much, in fact, it comfortably justifies its ‘+’ designation”. ~ What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, June 2016.

The Finest DAC Circuitry

Like the M-DAC, the M-DAC+ incorporates the ES9018 Sabre Reference 32-bit DAC chipset, still widely regarded as the finest available. This is surrounded by exceptionally well-specified circuitry that puts other similarly priced DACs to shame, including a proprietary, discrete master clock to minimise jitter, coupled with extensive time domain isolation. A JFET Class A output stage ensures that the audio signal, following conversion from the digital domain to analogue, is of the highest quality.

High Performance with DSD

Under the hood lie a number of performance-related enhancements. The M-DAC+ now processes audio data up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB; this is a far higher specification than that required by current hi-res music formats, ensuring this new, premium-quality addition to the M-DAC family is fully equipped for future advances in ultra-high-definition digital sound.

Pictured with 8300A Integrated amplifier.

The USB input now also accepts DSD files (the digital audio system originally developed for Super Audio CD), offering compatibility with DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256. This is a significant addition, as DSD has an important role to play in the developing high-resolution digital download scene.

Adjustable sound for all sources and tastes

As digital audio technology has progressed, the importance of the characteristics of reconstruction digital filters has become more appreciated. Like the classic M-DAC, the M-DAC+ features user-selectable filters for optimal listening and measurement modes, in addition to more conventional types for easy comparison. These filter settings allow the user to tune performance to suit his or her preference, depending on system configuration, digital file quality and musical taste. The M-DAC+ inherits seven filter settings from the M-DAC for PCM files and adds four more for DSD playback, allowing the user to optimise the noise floor to suit the performance of the source file and the bandwidth of associated equipment such as amps and speakers.

Enhanced Sonic Performance

Another important change relates to the power supply, which has been upgraded and is now incorporated within the M-DAC+’s chassis (hence its slightly taller and deeper case compared to the classic M-DAC). A precision-wound toroidal transformer uses multiple windings to feed separate analogue and digital rectification stages. From there, multiple power supply sections feed the necessary voltages to each area of the DAC, keeping any crossover interference to a minimum. The result is the highest performance power supply Audiolab engineers have yet specified for a DAC, and its contribution to the M-DAC+’s enhanced sonic performance is significant.

AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC-headphone amplifier

AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC-headphone amplifier

$399.95

DragonFly Cobalt, the latest and most sophisticated member of the award-winning DragonFly franchise, is a USB DAC (digital-to-analog converter), preamplifier, and headphone amplifier. It bypasses the audio circuitry in laptops, computers, and smartphones to deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful music to headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems.

AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier

AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier

$249.95

Combining award-winning performance and exceptional value, DragonFly Red is a portable, plug-and-play USB DAC (digital-to-analog converter), preamp, and headphone amp that connects to laptops, tablets, and smartphones to deliver clean, clear, naturally beautiful sound to headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems. While DragonFly can natively decode resolutions up to 24-bit/96kHz, it can play any file type regardless of resolution, from MP3 to MQA and Hi-Res.

iFi Hip-dac Portable DAC

iFi Hip-dac Portable DAC

$199.00

Smartly dressed in petrol blue with a touch of copper, the go-anywhere hip-dac is designed to slip discretely into a pocket and offers an extensive hi-res specification. The hip-dac replaces the inferior DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Convertor) and amp circuitry in smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs to vastly improve headphone sound. Its design and performance set it apart from other DAC/headphone amps in its class – connect your playback device via USB, plug in your favourite corded headphones or in-ear monitors and the hip-dac delivers a sound brimming with bold dynamism and fluid refinement, effortlessly engaging the listener with all manner of music. The hip-dac’s 2200mAh battery lasts for around eight to 12 hours of playing time, depending on volume level and how power-hungry the connected headphones are. In the home, in the office, on a train or plane – the hip-dac is the music lover’s inseparable friend.

The DAC section is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip that iFi uses extensively in its products, selected for its fluid, highly ‘musical’ sound quality and True Native architecture. This, combined with custom iFi circuitry, enables the hip-dac to deliver excellent sound quality across all manner of digital audio formats, including bitperfect PCM, native DSD and MQA – the hi-res streaming codec, as used by Tidal’s ‘Masters’ tier. Hi-res PCM and DXD audio data is supported at sampling rates up to 384kHz, alongside DSD from 2.8MHz to 12.4MHz (DSD64, 128 and 256). Thanks to the BurrBrown chip’s True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables both PCM and DSD to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in their native form right through to analogue conversion, which is not the case with most other DAC/headphone amps. Either side of the rotary volume control reside a pair of LEDs that change colour to indicate the format and sampling rate of the digital audio being played.

The hip-dac’s amp circuitry is of balanced (differential) design – highly unusual in a DAC/headphone amp anywhere near this budget. Balanced audio circuits have long been championed by renowned high-end audio electronics engineer John Curl, now a technical consultant for iFi, given their ability to reduce noise within the signal path. Curl has worked closely with iFi’s in-house technical team, led by Thorsten Loesch, to produce an analogue stage of exceptional quality for a device of this kind. The circuitry incorporates a range of high-quality components, carefully selected for their performance in an audio context, including a custom iFi OV op-amp, TDK C0G class 1 ceramic capacitors, a precision low-noise power supply IC from Texas Instruments and a high-quality analogue volume pot (many portable DAC/headphone amps use inferior digital volume controls). The headphone amp has a nominal power rating of 400mW and is capable of delivering over 700mW from the balanced output depending on the impedance of the attached headphones – impressive in comparison with the hip-dac’s peers, driving all manner of headphone/earphone types with ease.

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