For a decent sonic quality when playing music from a computer, the D/A Converter is absolutely essential. This is where the DAC202 comes in. With Firewire, Thunderbolt and USB connectivity it can talk to all computers. The non-compromise DAC for computer playback as well as for stand-alone applications.
The DAC202 is a reference quality stereo Firewire and USB (optional) D/A Converter with infrared remote control. It supports all standard sampling frequencies including DSD64 (with the USB/DSD Version). A high quality headphone amplifier is built in. The output levels can be set in coarse steps in the analog domain and in addition in the digital domain with fine resolution. Thus the DAC202 acts as a pre-amplifier as well and can directly drive a power amplifier. The ideal device for a minimalistic computer playback system.
The DAC202 uses a stainless steel chassis with a solid 10 mm aluminium front plate.
Two toroidal transformers with linear voltage regulators are used.
An internal high precision/low jitter clock generator is responsible for clocking the audio section. The sampling frequency of that generator is switched automatically according to the sampling frequency of the track played. In addition there are word-clock input and output on BNC connectors for external synchronization purposes. All standard sampling frequencies up to 192 kHz are supported.
Digital Inputs are: AES/EBU or S/PDIF on XLR, RCA or TOSLINK, Firewire, USB optional, Thunderbolt via a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter.
Digital Outputs are: AES/EBU on XLR or RCA, Firewire.
The main analog output is available on two stereo pairs of connectors, one on XLR one on RCA. The headphone output is available on a 1/4″ Jack socket.
A modern, State Of The Art D/A Converter chip is employed. Two converters per audio channel are used to enhance the signal to noise ratio.
The levels of the main outputs and the headphone output can be set independently in order to accommodate for the power amplifier and the headphone sensitivities. The main output level control employs four coarse settings via relays (analog domain), fine setting via the rotary encoder (digital domain). The level control can be defeated for the main output.
The headphone output level control employs four coarse settings via relays (analog domain, independent from the settings in the main output) to accommodate for all variants of headphones. Fine setting via the rotary encoder (digital domain).
Front panel controls
The LCD display conveys information on the sampling frequency, the input source selected, the audio level, absolute polarity and the over-sampling filter type selected. In a sub menu there are all other settings visible. A rotary encoder with push switch allows to select and change the menu items. The IR receiver, the standby LED and the headphone Jack socket make for the remaining front panel parts.
IR Remote control switches
- Power on/off.
- Volume up.
- Volume down.
- Input source selection.
- DAC over-sampling filter type.
- Absolute polarity.
Back panel elements from left to right
- XLR and RCA type analog output sockets.
- RCA type sockets for digital input and output.
- XLR type sockets for digital input and output.
- TOSLINK type socket for digital input (optical).
- BNC type sockets for word-sync synchronization input and output.
- Two Firewire 400 sockets.
- IEC type mains receptacle.
Optional back panel elements
USB input if the USB option is installed. This input is mounted instead of the RCA S/PDIF output.
Special (software) features
- Transparency check (allows to check for bit transparency of a playback chain).
- Setting of the coarse output levels (analog domain), separate for the main output and the headphone output.
- Dual/single wire selection for 176.4/192 kHz sampling frequency.
- “Insert Mode” allows to loop in an external digital audio device (e.g. an equalizer) via the AES/EBU I/O on the XLR connectors.
- Sampling frequency setting on the WSYNC I/O connectors in dual wire mode.
- Display brightness.