DAC8 High Resolution USB – S/PDIF Digital Converter

DAC8 High Resolution USB – S/PDIF Digital Converter
DAC8 High Resolution USB – S/PDIF Digital Converter
We are pleased to introduce the new DAC8 digital to analog converter. Although physically similar to its
predecessor, the DAC8 represents new engineering that advances the state of the art in high resolution USB audio
and S/PDIF audio.
Audio Research has maximized the USB capability of the DAC8 by incorporating USB 2.0 HS (High Speed)
which runs at 480Mbps. USB 2.0 HS has a lower jitter specification than USB 2.0 FS (Full Speed 12mbps),
consequently the DAC8 is capable of reproducing music at higher definition/resolution (up to 24/192) than
products communicating at USB 2.0 FS speeds (24/96).
In addition, the DAC8 employs a low jitter Dual Master Oscillator design that will provide superior digital to
analog conversion via its USB 2.0 HS input as well as via the more traditional S/PDIF (RCA, BNC, Toslink and
AES/EBU) inputs that are also included on the DAC8. Our USB 2.0 HS audio interface is optimized for all six
sample- rates currently in popular use; 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz.
In the past, S/PDIF was the default interface mode for High Resolution music files at 176.4 and 192kHz. Now,
with Audio Research’s Dual Master Oscillator, USB 2.0 HS interface, and our Quad D/A converter design, USB
audio is finally elevated to the status once dominated by S/PDIF.
Consequently, regardless of whichever digital input you select, the Audio Research DAC8 promises to provide a
superior listening experience.
In addition to the High Performance USB design, the DAC8 features:
"DAC8 HD Audio Device" software drivers, which allow listening to your music in its native sample rate
as well as assuring BIT PERFECT, low jitter, data transfer from the computer to your DAC8. Because
PC and Mac operating systems do not adequately support sample rates over 96kHz, Audio Research has
developed ASIO drivers to make the USB audio experience sonically transparent at all sample rates.
Sample Rate measuring function: Measures and displays the correct digital sample rate being sent to the
DAC8. This works in USB as well as S/PDIF mode. Consequently, at a glance, you always know exactly
which sample rate is being decoded.
The DAC8 employs four 24-bit D/A converters. Each channel uses dual 24-bit D/A converters running in
mono mode to lower the noise floor and increase the dynamic range.
Dual Master Oscillators: When the time base of any DAC is not an integer multiple of the digital music
sample rate, decoding and quantization errors occur. Consequently, the DAC8 uses two low jitter Master
Oscillators; one for 44.1, 88.2 & 176.4kHz sample rates and the other for 48, 96 & 192 kHz sample rates.
The DAC8 automatically selects the correct Master Oscillator the instant digital music is detected at the
selected input.
All inputs are galvanically isolated from the source to reduce or eliminate noise and/or jitter from entering
the DAC8.
The Analog amplifiers in the DAC8 have received the same attention to detail as the digital section. Each
channel of the DAC8 uses a true direct-coupled differential amplifier with a bandwidth in excess of
The DAC8’s USB and S/PDIF inputs are designed to accept signals from an HRx, 176.4kHz, 24-bit,
High-Resolution music server system playing HRx’s DVD-R recordings. See
www.referencerecordings.com/HRxSETUPS.asp for recommended music server setups.
By virtue of all of the above points and our proprietary software drivers, intrinsic jitter has been reduced
to less than 10ps.
The DAC8’s USB driver software provides your computer with special high-speed audio drivers not supplied by
MS Windows or Mac OS. The Audio Research USB drivers are specially designed to assure low jitter BIT
PERFECT data transfer between the server/computer and the DAC8 at all sample rates. Our drivers setup the
USB interface to guarantee bandwidth, independent of active bulk transfers from the hard drive.
From the ARC icon in your computer’s input tray you can set the DAC8 to any sample rate from 44.1 to 192kHz
and allow the music server/management software to up or down convert your music to the selected sample rate.
Music lovers can use custom sample rate conversion algorithms or other file formats provided by third party
suppliers such as Windows Media Player, iTunes, J Rivers Media Center, Media Monkey, FooBar, and many
others to optimize your music experience.
The DAC8 is a fully balanced, zero-feedback, solid-state design utilizing a direct-coupled FET output stage with
generous regulated power supplies and seven stages of regulation. There are separate new digital and audio
power transformers, and the board material is the same as what we use in our Reference products. Dynamic,
forceful, immediate, and possessing remarkable resolution and transparency, the DAC8 is a sonic knockout that is
worthy of the finest music systems.
With a choice of high-resolution 24/192 S/PDIF inputs (RCA, BNC, AES/EBU and Toslink) in addition to the
highest resolution 24/192 USB available, the ability to adjust sample rates, the DAC8 provides the new standard
in high performance digital music playback.
Acson BV, Energieweg 8, 3641 RT Mijdrecht, tel: 0297-284695, www.acsonbv.nl
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