Audiolab M-DAC+ High-Performance Multi-Purpose Audio DAC (Black)
Audiolab M-DAC+ High Performance Multi-Purpose Audio DAC
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.
- Audiophile DAC for home use
- Highly specified, audiophile-quality digital preamplifier
- Class A preamplifier output stage (fixed or variable output)
- Processes audio data up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB
- DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256
- 11 user-selectable filters for optimal listening and measurement modes
- Precision-wound toroidal transformer uses multiple windings to feed separate analog and digital rectification stages
- Multiple power supply sections feed the necessary voltages to each area of the DAC
- DAC: ESS Sabre32 9018 chip
- Sampling Rate: 24-bit / 192kHz (Optical, Coaxial, AES); 32-bit / 384kHz (USB); 2.8MHz (DSD64), 5.6MHz (DSD128), 11.2MHz (DSD256)
- Digital Input: 2 x Coaxial, 2 x Toslink Optical, 1 x AES/EBU, 1 x USB for PC USB, 1x USB for iPod/iPhone/iPad
- Digital Output: 1x Coaxial, 1 x Toslink Optical
- Analog Output: 1 pair RCA, 1 pair balanced XLR
- Detachable IEC AC power cord
- Output Voltage: Balanced: 4.5V RMS; Unbalanced: 2.25V RMS
- Output Impedance: Balanced: 20Ω; Unbalanced: 10Ω
- THD (1kHz 0dB 20Hz - 20kHz A wtd): <0.002%
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20KHz (± 0.2dB)
- Signal to Noise Ratio: RCA: > -115dB, XLR: > -120dB
- Dynamic Range RCA: > 115dB, XLR: > 120dB
- Crosstalk RCA: > 120dB, XLR: > 130dB
- Dimensions: 4.48" x 9.72" x 11.50"
- Weight: 8.1 lbs.
This New DAC is an Essential Audition
Audiolab's M-DAC+ is a high-performance, multi-purpose audio DAC that's beautifully designed to sit on a desk or table, or to 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. "This new DAC is an essential audition," notes Davd Price in his Five Star review for England's Hi-fi Choice magazine, April 21, 2016. "This is a clear step forward from the original M-DAC and makes the original look rather average value for money. The Plus is way more sophisticated operationally and has a usefully smoother and more subtle sound that pushes it one rung up the ladder."
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 one of the most critically acclaimed DAC component ever made.
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, such as a proprietary, discrete master clock to minimize 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 analog, 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.
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 you to tune performance to suit your 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 you to optimize 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 analog 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.