reference dac - Audio Research
User Guide
REFERENCE DAC
Digital Media Bridge
H I G H
D E F I N I T I O N®
Contents
Model Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge
Illustrations 4
Menu Tree 5 – 7
Explanation of Icons 8
Preface 9
Warnings 9
Packaging 9
Installation of Vacuum Tubes 9
Description of Controls 10
Connections 11
Installation Instructions 11
Settings Menu 11 – 12
Operating Procedure 12
Input Operation 13
Windows Software Installation 14 – 15
Mac Software Installation 15 – 16
Software Settings 16 – 18
Troubleshooting 19
Servicing 19
Cleaning 19
Disposal and Recycling Guidelines 19
Limited Warranty 20
Compatibility and Connectivity 21
Specifications 22
3
INPUT
VOLUME
USB MEM
POWER
DIGITAL MEDIA BRIDGE
<
>
SELECT
EXIT
MUTE
REFERENCE DAC HIGH DEFINITION
REFERENCE DAC
DIGITAL MEDIA BRIDGE
PLYMOUTH, MINNESOTA
MADE IN U.S.A.
WiFi
RS-232
IR
INPUT
ANTENNA
USB2.0HS RCA
BNC
AES/EBU
TOS
RIGHT CHANNEL
ETHERNET
LEFT CHANNEL
ANALOG OUTPUTS
DIGITAL INPUTS
iPod
+12V REMOTE
TRIGGER OUT
CAUTION
FOR CONTINUED PROTECTION AGAINST
FIRE HAZARD REPLACE FUSE ONLY
WITH SAME TYPE AND RATING
WARNING
CAUTION
RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK
DO NOT OPEN
!
TO PREVENT FIRE AND SHOCK HAZARD, DO NOT
EXPOSE THIS DEVICE TO RAIN OR MOISTURE.
UNIT MUST BE OPERATED IN A HORIZONTAL POSITION.
VOLTS
-DO NOT OPERATE WITH COVERS REMOVEDUNIT CONTAINS VOLTAGES WHICH MAY BE HAZARDOUS.
SERIAL
REFERENCE DAC
FILTER
MONO
SAMPLE
INVERT
INPUT
HOURS
BAL L
BAL R
SHUFFLE
REPEAT
VOL DN
MUTE
VOL UP
PAUSE
PLAY
H I G H
D E F I N I T I O N®
4
SLO-BLO
T1A (230V)
POWER
EXIT
1.5A FUSE
140W MAX 50/60 HZ
~
5
6
7
Icons
Main Menu
Status Bar
AES/EBU
Balance Left
BNC
Balance Right
Internet Radio
Sharp Filter
iPod
Soft Filter
Media Server
Invert
RCA
Mute
Settings
Mono
Toslink
Pause
HS USB 2.0 HS
Play
MEM USB Stick
Repeat All
1
Functional
Loading
Repeat One
Shuffle
Music File/Album
Selected
Song/Station
8
Preface
Installation of Vacuum Tubes
Please take time to carefully read and understand the
following instructions before you install or attempt to
operate your Audio Research Reference DAC Digital
Media Bridge. Becoming familiar with the product and
its correct operating procedures will help assure you of
maximum musical enjoyment and reliable operation.
The effort you invest now will be well rewarded in the
years ahead.
This unit has been shipped with the vacuum tubes in
a protective foam block inside a separate box. Using
a phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the fastening
screws, remove the top cover and set aside.
After removing the top cover open the box of vacuum
tubes and see the accompanying illustrated sheet for
instructions on installing the tubes for your Reference
DAC in their proper locations in the power supply
and audio section. Note that the numbers written on
each tube correspond to a ‘V’ number printed on the
circuit board next to each tube socket. Insert each
tube firmly, carefully aligning the tube pins with the
corresponding socket holes.
REAR
Warnings
1. To prevent fire or shock hazard, do not expose this
product to rain or moisture.
2. Do not place objects containing water on top of
this unit.
3. The appliance coupler at the rear of this unit must
be accessible for emergency power disconnect.
4. The Power button on the front of this unit, when off,
DOES NOT DISCONNECT ALL POWER from this unit.
This unit is in SLEEP MODE when not ON.
5. This unit operates on voltages which can cause
serious injury or death. Do not operate with covers
removed. Any necessary servicing should be
carried out by your authorized Audio Research
dealer or other qualified electronics technician.
6. The power cord supplied with this unit is safety
tested and is equipped with a proper grounding
plug. If used normally, it will provide a safe earth
ground connection of the chassis. Defeat of the
grounding plug or use of a power cord without a
grounding plug, or any unauthorized modification
of the active circuitry or controls of this unit,
automatically voids warranty coverage, and
could cause injury or death.
7. For safe operation and protection against fire
hazard, replace fuses only with those of the same
type and rating as those supplied with this unit.
V4
V2
V3
V1
V5
V6
TUBE LOCATIONS
TOP VIEW
FRONT
WARNING!
Do not attempt to install or remove any
vacuum tubes unless this unit is turned off
and disconnected from the A.C. power
outlet. Unit should be connected to the A.C. outlet
and turned on only after all vacuum tubes have been
installed and appropriate panels have been replaced
and fastened. See owner’s manual for installation
instructions.
Before replacing vacuum tubes, turn off unit,
disconnect from A.C. outlet and allow installed tubes
to cool before attempting to remove them. Hot tubes
may cause burns or other injury if not allowed to cool
before removal.
When removing or installing tubes, do not touch tube
socket contacts or other components as the circuit
may retain sufficient levels of voltage and current to
cause injury or death.
Contact your dealer or Audio Research Customer
Service (763-577-9700) if you have any questions about
installing or replacing vacuum tubes in this unit.
Packaging
Save all packaging accompanying this product. You
have purchased a precision electronic instrument,
and it should be properly cartoned any time shipment
becomes necessary. It is very possible that this unit
could be damaged during shipment if repackaged in
cartoning other than that designed for it. The original
packaging materials help protect your investment from
unnecessary damage, delay and added expense
whenever shipment of this unit is required.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OPERATE THIS EQUIPMENT BEFORE
INSTALLING THE NUMBERED VACUUM TUBES IN THEIR
RESPECTIVE SOCKETS.
9
Description of Controls
Front Panel Rotary Controls
selection. Function also on remote control (Left and
Right arrows on navigation pad).
EXIT: Toggles the Reference DAC from the current
screen to the main menu/input selection screen.
VOLUME UP/DOWN : Using rotary control on front panel
or VOL UP/VOL DN buttons on remote, increases/
decreases overall volume level of both channels
equally for whichever input has been selected.
Caution: do not turn up volume beyond normal
listening levels when “Mute” is engaged to avoid
unexpected or possibly damaging sound levels. It is
a good idea to reduce volume whenever changing
program sources, even when muted.
INPUT: Moves the selection bar up or down on the
display. Turn the Input knob to the left or right to
highlight an input, and then press the ‘Select’ button
to choose that input. Also use the Input knob to move
the selection bar to the desired function or folder
when navigating the settings menu or music folders.
Function also on remote (Up and Down arrows on
navigation pad).
The Reference DAC has two microprocessor-driven
rotary controls.
The rotary control on the left adjusts Volume (output
level) up or down for both L and R channels. Volume
control is also selectable via Vol UP and Vol DN buttons
on the remote control. Volume adjustment is indicated
in the display window by numeric digits on 0–103 scale.
Do not turn volume up beyond normal listening levels
when ‘mute’ is engaged to avoid unexpected or
possibly damaging sound levels. Reduce volume level
whenever changing input sources, even when muted.
The rotary control (on the right) selects any of the
inputs on the Reference DAC, and is also a navigator
through the settings and front panel interface.
Front Panel and Remote Control Buttons
POWER ON/OFF: Supplies power from A.C. wall outlet
to DAC; indicated by active display window.
After pressing the Power button to turn on unit, the
display will remain black for approximately 8 seconds,
after which the Reference DAC splash screen will
appear. Once the splash screen is gone, the main
menu page is displayed, and a countdown timer will
show the seconds until the unit is ready for operation.
After countdown, the unit will be in Mute.
MUTE: When activated, electrically mutes all output of
the DAC; indicated by ‘Mute’ in display window. This
control should be activated before switching inputs,
changing connections or shutting down your audio
system to help protect your amplifier and speakers
from unexpected signal pulses. When deactivated,
‘Mute’ disappears from the display window allowing
normal operation. Function also on remote control.
The Reference DAC also has automatic muting to
help protects system components during A.C. power
interruptions or low line voltage. When sensing these
conditions, the preamp automatically goes into
‘Mute’ and disables all outputs. The Reference DAC
will reset itself and begin the initial startup sequence as
described under ‘Power On/Off’.
Note that automatic muting is only designed to protect
against power line interruptions or severe voltage drop.
It will not mute in the event of subsonic transmissions
from a faulty input source, amplifier failure or speaker
malfunction.
SELECT: Pressing the Select button engages the
highlighted input on the screen, or advances the
Reference DAC to the next screen when using the
settings menus. It also is used to select folders and
tracks when using an i-device or media server, or
stations for the internet radio tuner. Function also on
remote control (center button of navigation pad).
LEFT/RIGHT ARROWS (< >):
Used during menu
navigation. The Right arrow (>) will advance the
Reference DAC to the next screen or selection, and
the Left arrow (<) will go back one screen or menu
Remote Control only Functions
FILTER: Selects between Sharp or Soft digital filter
algorithms.
MONO: Sums L and R input for mono output from any
source selected.
SAMPLE: Selects between the native sample rate of
the incoming signal or integer-based upsampling
(Ethernet client board, Media server, iPod, internet
radio, USB stick, max is 88.2 and 96kHz, SPDIF inputs,
max is 176.4 and 192kHz, and USB2.0HS, upsampling is
selected in the computer; not done in hardware).
INVERT: Inverts absolute phase of the output signal.
INPUT: Toggles through the different digital inputs.
REPEAT: Toggles the Reference DAC between Repeat
All and Repeat One track and no repeat.
SHUFFLE: Toggles the Shuffle feature on and off. Shuffle
instructs the Reference DAC to randomly select tracks
from a device or folder.
NOTE: Repeat and Shuffle only function with
the following inputs: Media Server, Ipod
Dock, USB Input.
HOURS: When pressed, displays number of operating
hours vacuum tubes have been in service. WARNING:
after replacing tubes, this function should be reset
to ‘0’ only by a qualified technician. Hours display
can be reset to ‘0’ by pressing black button labeled
located on upper right corner of circuit board directly
behind display window. The unit must be “On” to
reset function – the service technician must be careful
to avoid any contact with other circuit components
during reset operation. Contact Audio Research
customer service (763-577-9700) for information
regarding this procedure.
10
Connections
Reference DAC.
3. Do not place or operate your DAC on a soft or
irregular surface such as a rug. This will prevent
proper ventilation.
4. Do not operate your Reference DAC without
the top and bottom covers installed. These are
required both for safety as well as shielding from
interference (except in service operations by
qualified personnel).
INPUT CONNECTORS: The Reference DAC provides
seven connections on the rear panel (USB 2.0HS, RCA,
BNC, AES/EBU, Toslink, Ethernet and iPod) and one
connection on the front panel (USB Mem).
USB 2.0HS: Connect a USB cable from your computer
to the Reference DAC.
RCA (SPDIF): Connect an RCA cable from a disc
transport or other digital device equipped with an
RCA digital output connector.
BNC (SPDIF): Connect a BNC cable from a disc
transport or other digital device equipped with a BNC
digital output connector.
AES/EBU: Connect an AES/EBU cable from a disc
transport or other digital device equipped with an
AES/EBU digital output connector.
Toslink: Connect a Toslink optical cable from a digital
device equipped with a Toslink output.
Ethernet: Connect an RJ-45 cable to a home network
or other compatible system for use with the Media
Server interface and to supply access to the internet
for Internet Radio service.
iPod: Connect the USB end of a cable with the Apple
30-pin connector for use with an iPod, iPad or iPhone.
NOTE: This connection is designed for use with an iPod,
iPad, or iPhone only.
USB Mem: Insert a USB memory stick into the front slot
on the Reference DAC to access music files loaded on
the memory stick. NOTE: This connection is designed
for use only with a memory stick or compatible mass
storage device.
OUTPUT CONNECTORS: One pair of BAL/SE main
outputs are provided.
12V In/Out Remote Power Jacks: The +12V DC input/
output jacks provide the ability to remotely turn on and
off other linked components such as power amplifiers
having similar capabilities.
RS-232 Connection: The RS-232 connection allows
for control via systems such as Crestron or other
automation systems.
IR Input: The IR input allows a wired IR connection to
the Reference DAC. This connection will defeat the
front panel IR receiver.
Settings Menu
Once the unit has been powered on and completes
the initialization sequence, the main menu will be
displayed. Navigate to the bottom of the input list
(using the ‘Input’ knob on the front panel, or the down
arrow on the remote) and select ‘Settings’. There are
four options for setup and functional aspects of the
Reference DAC: Network, User Interface, Playback,
and General.
Network
Establishing a Wireless or Ethernet connection
Network Setup
Two options will be displayed: Wired or Wireless. The
current selection will have a check mark next to it; if you
choose the unchecked option, the unit will restart and
cycle through the initialization sequence. For a wired
setup, once you have selected wired, the following
screen will let you select Automatic (DHPC) or Static IP
Address. The preferred setup is to choose Automatic
(DHPC); on the following screen select Proxy off and
then confirm by pressing the center navigation button.
Use Static IP Address if you need the Reference DAC
to have a constant fixed IP address on your network.
For a wireless setup, once you have selected wireless,
the following screen will give you the option for Scan
or WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). Scan will reveal any
existing wireless networks accessible by the Reference
DAC. To sign in to any network on this list, scroll to it and
select it. If a password is required, the following screen
will allow you to enter it (use the up and down arrows
to scroll through the characters, and the right arrow
to advance to the next space. Pressing the center
navigation button after completing the password will
make the connection). WPS offers both PIN and push
button support.
Network Info
This section will explain how the Reference DAC is
connected and how it appears within your network.
Default UPnP Server
Use this feature to always direct the Reference DAC
to a specific location on your network. If you specify
a default server, the Reference DAC will immediately
go to that location when the Media Server input is
selected.
Renderer Name
This section allows the Reference DAC to be given a
renderer name as displayed on a network.
Installation Instructions
While the Reference DAC does not dissipate an
unusual amount of heat, it is important that it be
provided with reasonable airflow to assure long,
trouble-free operation. In addition, the following
installation guidelines will help insure maximum sonic
performance as well as reliable service:
1. Operate unit in upright and horizontal position,
prefer-ably on solid, non-metal shelving.
2. Do not stack the unit on top of a power amplifier:
not only could this cause overheating, but hum
may be introduced into the DAC from the proximity
of the amplifier’s power transformer. Do not stack
components or other objects directly on top of the
11
Operating Procedure
User Interface
Edit and change display features
Edit names
Several inputs on the Reference DAC can be
programmed to have customized names: USB 2.0HS,
AES/EBU, BNC, RCA, and TOS. To change an input
name, select the name you want to change and use
the navigation pad to enter the new name (up and
down arrows select characters, right and left arrows
move the cursor back and forth). Once you have
entered in the new name, press the center navigation
button.
Display Timeout
The display on the Reference DAC is set by default
to always remain illuminated (timeout is ‘Off’). This
function allows various timeouts to be chosen, from 10
seconds to one hour. To change the timeout, simply
select the appropriate time out and press the center
navigation button. The currently selected timeout will
have a check next to it.
Start Up:
1. Secure all rear-panel connections between
Reference DAC, preamplifier or power amplifier(s),
and input sources.
2. Plug three-prong power cord from rear of chassis
into grounded A.C. wall outlet. The Power switch
defaults to ’off’ when the unit is plugged into a
power receptacle.
3. Press power switch (either remote or front panel).
The display will remain black for approximately 8
seconds, after which the Reference DAC splash
screen will appear. Once the splash screen is
gone, the main menu page is displayed, and a
countdown timer will show the seconds until the
unit is ready for operation. After countdown, the
unit will be in Mute.
4. Select input source, unmute and select volume
level.
NOTE: The Reference DAC is equipped with a variable
output and volume control. If you are using this unit in
conjunction with a preamplifier, please set the volume
to a static location and use the volume control on the
preamplifier. A volume setting of 66 is equivalent to
Line Out on most components.
Playback
Control shuffle and repeat
Two options, Repeat and Shuffle, are in the Playback
section. Select Repeat to choose to repeat one, all or
no tracks. Select Shuffle to choose to shuffle tracks or
albums or no shuffle. The currently selected item will
have a check next to it.
NOTE: Repeat and Shuffle are also both directly
accessible from the remote control.
Shut Down:
1. Activate ‘Mute’ function.
2. Set Volume level to 0.
3. Turn off power amplifier(s).
4. Press Power switch to ‘off’.
5. Turn off input sources.
General
Functional and Software information
Reset Settings
Reset your Reference DAC to the original factory
settings.
Software Update
Check for any software updates for your Reference
DAC (internet connection required).
Info
Displays current version of software loaded on the
Reference DAC.
Legal
Website to view all legal documents related to the
various licenses utilized by the Reference DAC.
12
Input Operation
4. Select the song of your choice. The Reference
DAC will begin to play music from this point
(assuming there are other songs following the
one you have chosen, the Reference DAC will
continue until the final song).
5. For further features such as repeat and shuffle,
please see page 12.
Media Server
1. Ensure you have an Ethernet cable connected
to the Reference DAC, or you have established a
wireless connection.
2. From the Main Menu, use the navigation buttons
on the remote (or the Input knob on the front
panel) to scroll to Media Server. Press the center
navigation button, or ‘Select’ on the front panel.
3. Navigate through the menu structure to choose
the desired folder(s), selecting each folder of your
choice. Once you have reached the song level
of the menu, you will see notes appear next to
each song title.
4. Select the song of your choice. The Reference
DAC will begin to play music from this point
(assuming there are other songs following the
one you have chosen, the Reference DAC will
continue until the final song).
5. For further features such as repeat and shuffle,
please see page 12.
USB 2.0HS Input
1. Install the included software on your PC or Mac
(see additional instructions regarding software
installation on page 14).
2. Connect a USB cable from the computer to the
input labeled USB 2.0 HS on the rear panel of the
Reference DAC.
3. From the main menu, use the navigation buttons
on the remote (or the Input knob on the front
panel) to scroll to USB 2.0HS Input. Press the
center navigation button, or ‘Select’ on the front
panel.
4. Launch the appropriate software program on
your computer for music playback.
iPod/iPhone/iPad
1. Connect the cable supplied with your Apple iPod,
iPhone, or iPad to the input on the rear panel
labeled ‘iPod’, with the 30-pin connector inserted
into your device or dock. Ensure the cable is
seated firmly at both connections.
2. From the main menu, use the navigation buttons
on the remote (or the Input knob on the front
panel) to scroll to iPod dock. Press the center
navigation button, or ‘Select’ on the front panel.
3. Navigate through the menu structure to choose
the desired folder(s), selecting each folder of your
choice. Once you have reached the song level
of the menu, you will see notes appear next to
each song title.
4. Select the song of your choice. The Reference
DAC will begin to play music from this point
(assuming there are other songs following the
one you have chosen, the Reference DAC will
continue until the final song).
5. For further features such as repeat and shuffle,
please see page 12.
AES/EBU, RCA, BNC and Toslink Inputs
1. Connect the appropriate cable from your source
to the Reference DAC. Ensure the cable is seated
firmly at both connections.
2. From the main menu, use the navigation buttons
on the remote (or the Input knob on the front
panel) to scroll to the appropriate Input. Press the
center navigation button, or ‘Select’ on the front
panel.
3. Begin music playback from source component.
Internet Radio
1. From the main menu, use the navigation buttons
on the remote (or the input knob on the front
panel) to scroll to the Internet Radio input. Press
the center navigation button, or ‘Select’ on the
front panel.
2. Navigate through the different folders, selecting
the appropriate choices.
3. Once you have reached radio station options,
notes will appear next to the name of the
station. Select the station of your choice to begin
playback.
USB Input (front Input)
1. Insert USB stick or other mass storage USB device
into the front slot labeled ‘USB Mem’. Ensure the
device is seated properly.
2. From the main menu, use the navigation buttons
on the remote (or the Input knob on the front
panel) to scroll to USB Input. Press the center
navigation button, or ‘Select’ on the front panel.
3. Navigate through the menu structure to choose
the desired folder(s), selecting each folder of your
choice. Once you have reached the song level
of the menu, you will see notes appear next to
each song title.
13
WINDOWS PC SOFTWARE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Installation of the DAC USB Audio Device drivers is only
necessary if you intend to use the USB 2.0 HS input
on your Reference DAC. Software installation is not
necessary if you only intend to use the S/PDIF, AES/EBU,
Ethernet client, iPod or USB Mem inputs.
The installer will automatically place the HD Audio
Device Drivers in your Program files. Press the INSTALL
button to continue.
Place the installation disk you received with your
Reference DAC into your computer and double click
the SETUP icon. The disk should auto load and start the
install function; follow the on screen prompts as you
install the DAC USB Audio device drivers.
Press NEXT when the WELCOME window appears.
In several spots the computer may prompt you to
“Install, Continue or Don’t Install” the HD Audio Drivers.
Select “allow, continue or Install this driver software
anyway” each time you are prompted.
You will be informed when the installation has
completed successfully; press NEXT to continue.
When asked to accept or decline the License
Agreement; check the ACCEPT box and press NEXT.
14
MAC SOFTWARE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Installation of the DAC USB Audio Device drivers is only
necessary if you intend to use the USB 2.0 HS input
on your Reference DAC. Software installation is not
necessary if you only intend to use the S/PDIF, AES/EBU,
Ethernet client, iPod or USB Mem inputs.
Place the installation disk you received with the
Reference DAC into your Mac computer and open
the install file on your desktop. Click on the ‘DAC
INSTALL CD’ folder, and then select the folder for the
appropriate operating system for your computer.
Open the appropriate .dmg file, and then open the
file ‘Audio Research DAC.mpkg’.
At the end of the installation the install program will
ask you to disconnect and reconnect your Reference
DAC to the computer via the USB port and turn it on.
On Vista and Windows 7, Windows will detect the
new Reference DAC hardware and load on the new
drivers automatically; on XP, Windows will pop-up with
a NEW HARDWARE FOUND panel; follow the Windows
prompt instructions and your new Reference DAC HD
audio device drivers will install. The install prompts will
occur twice before the install is complete. Now you
can press FINISH and the installation will be complete.
Normally restarting your PC at this point is not required
but If you do not see the “Reference DAC OUT 1/2”
listed in the SOUND panel after installation you should
do a restart of your PC; see page 14 for details.
Follow the on screen prompts as you install the DAC
HD Audio device drivers. Press the CONTINUE button
when you see the Welcome panel.
When the installer asks you if you want to do a Standard
install, press the INSTALL button.
At the completion of the install you should see the
INSTALL SUCCEEDED panel. Press the CLOSE button
and the installation will be complete. Restart your
Mac to complete the installation.
15
Also, 2ch-24bit should be showing in the window to the
right. If you plan to play mostly 44.1 ripped CD’s then
select 44.1, 88.2 or 176.4kHz. This will select the correct
Master Oscillator in the Reference DAC for CD’s.
After installation, go to your DOCK and click on the
SYSTEM PERFERENCES and click on SOUND. Make sure
AUDIO RESEARCH CORP DAC has been selected. If
not, go into the SOUND panel and click on the AUDIO
RESEARCH CORP DAC name and close out the panel.
Remember, to see the DAC name in the SOUND panel
you must have the Reference DAC ON and connected
to the USB port. You are now ready to call up iTunes
or any other music management program and enjoy
your Reference DAC.
USING THE Reference DAC CONTROL PANEL:
In Windows when you installed the DAC USB software
an icon for the DAC HD Audio Device control panel
was placed in your computer’s input tray. Double click
the icon and select one of the 6 sample rates listed,
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192kHz; then press Apply and
then close the window by clicking the X in the upper
right corner of the window. The only time you need to
go back to this window is when you want to change
the sample rate mode. Also, as long as the Reference
DAC is connected to your computer when you turn it
on, the last sample rate you selected will be resent to
the Reference DAC. Remember, whenever you want
to change the Sample Rate you must exit the music
management program you are using, call up the
Reference DAC control panel, make the Sample Rate
change, and recall your music management program
and start playing music.
SETTING THE SAMPLE RATE ON MAC OS X:
Now go into the FINDER then GO then UTILITIES and
select AUDIO MIDI SETUP. Once in the Audio MIDI
Setup panel click on the PROPERTIES FOR: selection
box and select AUDIO RESEARCH CORP DAC. Then do
the same for the SYSTEM OUTPUT: and DEFAULT OUTPUT:
selection boxes. Remember, to see the Reference
DAC name in the Audio MIDI Setup panel you must
have the Reference DAC ON and connected to the
USB port.
Next go into the AUDIO OUTPUT section of the panel
and select the desired FORMAT (SAMPLE RATE) from
the list; 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000, 176400, 192000.0Hz.
16
The Mac OS does not allow change of the Sample Rate
by the hardware ASIO driver. With the Mac the AUDIO
MIDI SETUP Utility has control over the sample rate sent
to the Reference DAC. Remember, the Reference
DAC defaults to Native mode so it will always lock on
and indicate whatever sample rate is being sent by
the computer. See the Mac installation instructions for
details.
Device driver in the list of playback devices. Select
the DAC driver and press the SET DEFAULT button near
the bottom of the panel, then double click the DAC
picture in the panel and go to the next figure. If you
do not see the DAC OUT 1/2 listed in the sound panel
after installation, first make sure your Reference DAC
is connected to your PC via a high quality USB cable
and plugged into an appropriate AC outlet. If that
has been done and you still do not see the DAC listed
in the SOUND panel, you should do a restart of the PC.
Once you have double clicked the DAC driver and
pressed the ADVANCED button you will see the
Exclusive Mode properties. If the “Allow application to
take exclusive control of the device” is selected then
the “DAC Control Panel” will select the sample rate.
SETTING THE SAMPLE RATE OR NATIVE MODE IN
WINDOWS:
If your music server or music management software
does not allow you to connect to the Reference
DAC HD Audio Device drivers directly you can easily
tell Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems to
honor Native mode for your music file. While in Vista
or Windows 7 call up the Windows control panel and
select the Sound panel. You should see the DAC
Otherwise, for NATIVE MODE, “uncheck” the “Allow
application to take exclusive control of this device”,
press APPLY, then close the window. Now whatever
sample rate your music was stored at will be sent to
the Reference DAC. If this step does not allow your
music management software to take control of the
sample rate being sent to the Reference DAC you
should simply use the DAC control panel to set the
Reference DAC sample rate to that of the music you
are playing (see illustration on page 18).
17
S/PDIF, USB 2.0 HS and MUSIC MANAGEMENT:
The REFERENCE DAC was designed to provide your
high-end audio system with bit perfect 24 bit audio at
sample rates not possible from a CD or SACD player.
Red Book CD’s are recorded at 16 bits, 44.1kHz sample
rates; your REFERENCE DAC is capable of playing back
digital music recorded at 24bits and sample rates up
to 192kHz. With your Reference DAC you can:
Take the S/PDIF output from your current CD or DVD
player and enjoy the sonic benefits of the Quad DAC
architecture, low jitter dual master oscillators and high
bandwidth direct coupled differential amplifiers while
playing your favorite CD’s.
It is also possible to take the S/PDIF output from many
of the multiroom home audio systems that are on the
market. AppleTV®, Sonos® and many others provide
wired/wireless multiroom music management systems
that have S/PDIF outputs that work well with the
REFERENCE DAC.
If you want to play back S/PDIF music at a higher
resolution and sample rate, you can assemble a HD
music server computer system. Your Audio Dealer or
the HRx web site at www.referencerecordings.com/
HRxSETUPS.asp can give you ideas on how to construct
a high resolution music server that will provide an S/
PDIF signal to the Reference DAC.
If you desire to play high resolution music files via the
USB 2.0 HS interface to the Reference DAC, all you do
is connect your computer to the Reference DAC via a
good quality high speed USB 2.0 (480Mbps) cable and
install the Reference DAC HD Audio Device drivers.
Once connected you are ready to sit back and enjoy
your favorite tunes.
A large part of the digital music experience is managing
and organizing your music for fast and accurate
playback through the Reference DAC to your audio
system. There are several software music managers
available to enhance your music experience; on
PC’s, J Rivers Media Center®, Mediamonkey® and
FooBar® are three that provide the ability to connect
to the Reference DAC’s HD Audio Device drivers for
bit perfect music playback in its Native mode. Others
such as iTunes®, SongBird® and Windows Media
Player® are excellent media managers that will play
your music through the “Windows Sound Control”
interface. To assure bit perfect data transfer with these
music managers follow the instructions in the “SETTING
THE SAMPLE RATE OR NATIVE MODE” section. The
resources at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/
and other digital music web sites can help you select a
media manager and provide other information aimed
at enhancing your music enjoyment.
SETTING NATIVE MODE IN MAC OS X:
Mac OS X does not allow the music manager, such as
iTunes or SongBird to change the Sample Rate on a
song by song basis. For example, if you set the sample
rate of the DAC driver in the AUDIO MIDI SETUP panel
to 176400.0Hz then iTunes will up-sample a 44.1 CD to
176.4kHz and send it to the Reference DAC; the 176.4
LED will be lit. To play a 44.1 CD at 44.1kHz, simply
set the sample rate in the Audio MIDI Setup Utility to
44100.0kHz. See section SETTING THE SAMPLE RATE ON
MAC OS X: for details.
To play your music in bit perfect mode at its native
Sample Rate you will need to purchase and install
software from a third party such as Pure Music®, Pure
Vinyl® or Amarra®. These software packages provide
bit perfect music transfer to the Reference DAC
and allow the native sample rate to be sent to the
Reference DAC on a song by song basis.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR REFERENCE DAC:
The Reference DAC has many new features that can
be enhanced when used with some of the top MUSIC
MANAGEMENT software packages and computer to
S/PDIF conversion hardware. Please take a moment
to read through this section and see if you’re getting
the most out of your Reference DAC setup.
18
Troubleshooting Guide
Servicing
The USB input is not working?
• Make sure you SELECTED the USB as the input on the
Reference DAC
• Make sure you installed the DAC driver software from
the CD that came with your Reference DAC and
make sure the computer recognizes the Reference
DAC is connected.
• Make sure you are using a High Speed USB cable,
one rated for 480Mbps.
I don’t see the Reference DAC in the SOUND panel on
my Mac or Windows PC computer?
• After you install the DAC driver software you must
make sure the Reference DAC is connected to the
computer via the USB cable and plugged into an
AC outlet otherwise the computer will not show the
Reference DACs presence in the SOUND panel. In
some cases it helps to RESTART your computer with
the Reference DAC still connected; this allows the
computer to finish the installation and place the
DAC into the SOUND panel for selection.
The volume is too loud or the audio is distorted using
my Mac computer?
• Check the VOLUME control setting in the AUDIO MIDI
Setup panel. The Volume should be set to about
0.0dB for both channels. (The Mac computer allows
the customer to increase the digital volume of the
music past 0.0dBm consequently, the Mac can
overdrive the Reference DAC and cause distortion.
This is not an issue with the Windows PC where 0.0dBm
is the maximum volume setting.)
The audio intermittently distorts when running with the
USB input?
• Check to make sure you are using your computers
USB 2.0 HS (480Mbps) port. A USB 2.0 FS (12Mbps)
port will sometimes work but will distort. Most PC
and Mac computers made after 2008 come stock
with USB 2.0 HS ports.
• On your PC go into the Device Manager, then USB
Controller, then USB Root Hub panel and click on
Properties and then Advanced; there it will say the
speed of that USB port.
Because of its careful design and exacting standards of
manufacture, your Reference DAC should require no
routine maintenance. The remote control’s batteries
(AAA) should be replaced once a year.
CAUTION: Your Reference DAC contains sufficient
levels of voltage and current to be lethal. Do not
tamper with a component or part inside the unit.
Refer any needed service to your authorized Audio
Research dealer or other qualified technician.
The vacuum tubes inside your Reference DAC are
quality tubes and with normal use should not need
to be changed for approximately 4,000 hours of use.
Replacement tubes should be of equivalent quality
and are available from Audio Research. Note that
tube numbers (V1, V2 etc.) match printed numbers
next to tube sockets on circuit board.
Should service be necessary, please contact your
Audio Research dealer, or Audio Research Customer
Service at 763 577-9700.
Cleaning
To maintain the new appearance of this unit,
occasionally wipe the front panel and top cover with
a soft, damp (not wet) cloth to remove dust. A mild,
non-alkaline soap solution may be used to remove
fingerprints or similar smudges. Cleaners containing
abrasives should not be used as they will damage
the anodized finish of the front panel. A small, soft
paintbrush is effective in removing dust from bevels,
the recessed nameplate and other features of the
front panel.
Disposal and Recycling Guidelines
To dispose of this electronic product, do not place
in landfill. In accordance with the European Union
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
directive effective August 2005, this product may
contain regulated materials which upon disposal
require special reuse and recycling processing.
Please contact your dealer or importing distributor for
instructions on proper disposal of this product in your
country. Or, contact Audio Research Corporation (763577-9700) for the name of your importing distributor
and how to contact them.
Packing and shipping materials may be disposed of in
a normal manner.
It is possible for a static discharge to temporarily
disable the microprocessor that allows the controls
to function. If this should occur, depress the ‘Mute’
button, then turn off the unit and unplug the DAC from
the A.C. receptacle for 60 seconds. Reconnect the
A.C. plug and turn the unit back on, along with other
components. The controls should resume normal
operation. If the problem persists, contact your dealer
or Audio Research Customer Service at 763-577-9700.
19
Limited Warranty
Audio Research Corporation products are covered by
a 3-Year Limited Warranty, or a 90-Day Limited Warranty
(vacuum tubes). This Limited Warranty initiates from
the date of purchase, and is limited to the original
purchaser, or in the case of demonstration equipment,
limited to the balance of warranty remaining after
original shipment to the retailer or importer.
In the United States, the specific terms, conditions
and remedies for fulfillment of this Limited Warranty
are listed on the warranty card accompanying the
product in its shipping carton, or may be obtained
from the authorized retailer or from the Audio Research
Customer Service Department. Outside the United
States, the authorized importing retailer or distributor
has accepted the responsibility for warranty of Audio
Research products sold by them. The specific terms
and remedies for fulfillment of the Limited Warranty
may vary from country to country. Warranty service
should normally be obtained from the importing retailer
or distributor from whom the product was purchased.
In the unlikely event that technical service beyond the
ability of the importer is required, Audio Research will
fulfill the terms and conditions of the Limited Warranty.
Such product must be returned at the purchaser’s
expense to the Audio Research factory, along with
a photocopy of the dated purchase receipt for the
product, a written description of the problem(s)
encountered, and any information necessary for
return shipment. The cost of return shipment is the
responsibility of the purchaser.
20
Compatibility and Connectivity
Codecs
MP3
Sampling Rate
8-48 kHz
Resolution
16 bit
Quality
8-320 kbit/s
Tags
ID3 V2.4
16 bit
8-320 kbit/s
ID3 V2.4
16 bit
Q1-Q10
Ogg comments
44.1-96 kHz
16/24 bit
L0-L8
FLAC tags
176.4/192 kHz
16/24 bit
L4-L8
FLAC tags
22-96 kHz
16/24 bit*
-
WAV tags
AAC/AAC+v1/HE-AAC
24-96 kHz*
Ogg Vorbis 1.0
32-48 kHz
FLAC
FLAC (high sampling rates)
LPCM
LPCM (high sampling rates)
*output sampling rate=max 48 kHz
*16 bit Integer, 24 bit integer packed type1, 32 bit integer, IEEE-0.24 float type3
*16 bit Integer, 24 bit integer packed type1, 32 bit integer, IEEE-0.24 float type3
8-48 kHz
16 bit
5-320 kbit/s
WMA tags
-
-
-
-
ALAC
8-48 kHz
8/16/24 bit
-
-
AIFF
8-96 kHz
8/16/24 bit
-
Id3v1 tags
WMA-9
WMA-9 lossless and WMA-9 pro
Support through transcoding of unprotected tracks by Windows Media Connect only.
File Formats
Protocols
MP3 (MPEG-I Layer 3)
AAC (MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding File)
WAV
WMA
WAX
ASX
M3U
PLS
WPL
JPEG
HTTP/1.1 Audio Transport
Shoutcast
WMA Streaming (including MMS and WMS)
RTSP/SDP (Real Time Streaming Protocols) over TCP
Ethernet
Ethernet - 10 Base-T
Ethernet - 100 Base-T
Ethernet PHY - Realtek
iPod
iPod over USB
Extended mode supported
(for iPad: streaming only)
UPnP
WiFi
Wireless-LAN-IEEE 802.11b/g/n
WiFi 802.11 compliant
Infrastructure mode
SSID - Site Survey
WPA
WPS
USB
USB 1.1 (FS) - Host
USB 2.0 HS - Host
UPnP digital media player (DMP)
UPnP digital media renderer (DMR)
Twonky compatible
Asset UPnP compatible
Windows Media Player (WMP 11 Vista &
and WMP 12 Windows 7) compatible
Philips Media Manager 3.3 compatible
Intel Media Server compatible
Mediatomb compatible
Simple Centre compatible
Control point SongBook
Control point Cidero
Control point PlugPlayer
Connectivity
IP
DHCP
Auto-IP
Static IP Address
Proxy Support
Web server
TFTP server
LLTD
Network API
21
Internet Services
vTuner
Specifications
Frequency Response: Analog tube amplifier: +0-3dB, 0.5Hz to 200kHz at
rated output. 0.15dB 20Hz to 20kHz. (Balanced, 200k ohms load). Digital
Bandwidth Anti-aliasing filter @ Sample rate: 44.1kHz = 22kHz, 48kHz =
24kHz, 88.2kHz = 44kHz, 96kHz = 48kHz, 176.4kHz = 88.2kHz, 192kHz = 96kHz.
Distortion: THD+N Less than .006% at 2V RMS BAL output.
Signal-Noise-Ratio: 106dB
Dynamic Range (AES17): 106dB
IMD (SMPTE): .007%
Gain: Max. Digital Gain: 25dB Balanced, 19dB SE.
Input Impedance: Digital: 75 ohms BNC, RCA, 110 ohms AES/EBU, OPT
660nm TOSLink fiber 44.1 to 96kHz.
Output Impedance: 600 ohms Balanced, 300 ohms SE Main (2), 20K ohms
minimum load and 2000pF maximum capacitance.
Output Polarity: Non-inverting.
Rated Outputs: 2V RMS .5Hz to 100kHz into 200K ohm balanced load (maximum balanced output @ 0.0dB input level is 17V RMS at less than 0.05%
THD+N at 1kHz) @ 192kHz sample rate.
Digital Sample Rates: 44.1kHz to 192kHz, SPDIF, USB 2.0 HS and Wired Ethernet. 96kHz max over Wireless Ethernet.
Master Oscillator: 22.579mHz ±20Hz for 44.1, 88.2 & 176.4kHz. 24.576mHz
±20Hz for 48, 96 & 192kHz sample rates.
Intrinsic Jitter: <10ps
Controls: Rotary volume selector (104 steps) and rotary input selector.
Push buttons: Power, <, Select, >, Exit, Mute.
Power Supplies: Electronically regulated low and high voltage supplies.
R-core transformer & 7 low noise regulators. Automatic 45 sec. warm-up/
brown-out mute. Line regulation better than .01%.
Noise: -101dBV RMS 20-20kHz A-weighted (Volume at 1)
Tube Complement: (4)-6H30 dual triodes, plus (1)-6550C and (1)-6H30 in
power supply.
Crosstalk: -90dB
Power Requirements: 105-125VAC 60Hz (210-250VAC 50/60Hz) 140 watts
maximum. Sleep mode 6 watts maximum.
Dimensions: 19” (48 cm) W x 7” (17.8 cm) H (standard rack panel) x 15.5”
(39.4 cm) D. Handles extend 1.50” (3.8 cm) forward of the front panel.
Weight: 32.0 lbs. (14.6 kg) Net; 43.2 lbs. (19.8 kg) Shipping.
Specifications subject to change without notice.
©2012 Audio Research Corporation.
This unit is RoHS compliant
H I G H
D E F I N I T I O N®
www.audioresearch.com
22
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