VAD | DAC-10 | User manual | VAD DAC-10 User manual

Vad
Valve Audio Devices
TAD-1S Digital to Analogue Converter
Valve DAC
User Manual
Version 1.3
Introduction
TAD-1S valve DAC is an exquisitely engineered, hand-built, point-to-point wired unit
employing specifically selected components.
It is designed for the purist and refined over countless hours to produce exceptional high
definition sound with unparalleled musicality.
Every component is selected with sound quality as the highest priority, and its specially
designed dual mono valve analogue stage, ultra-short “signal path” and advanced dual
mono D/A conversion stage provide the optimum environment for digital audio playback
from variety of signal sources.
When matched with similarly high quality components, the TAD-1S achieves a standard of
micro-dynamics, resolution and speed to satisfy the most discerning of audiophiles. Closing
the gap to the original sound, delivering unparalleled musicality, with all of the original
nuances, has now become closer than ever.
The TAD-1S stands comparison with the world’s finest reference DACs – regardless of price.
The TAD-1S is more than just another D/A Converter.
The TAD-1S comes with a 7-year Manufacturer Warranty. It has been designed and built
with reliability in mind and will last a lifetime with appropriate care.
Data Formats
The TAD-1S is capable of automatic recognition of sampling rates from 32 to 192kHz and bit
rates of 16-24bit from SPDIF/AES3 digital audio compatible sources and up to 24bit/192kHz
from USB Audio 2.0
CONTENTS
Introduction
2
Connection
4-5
Before Using
6
Other information
7
Safety
8
Specifications
9-10
Warranty Information
10-12
Warranty registration form
13
UNPACKING
•
•
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In the flight case you will find the following:
VAD TAD-1S valve DAC
Power Cord
Hex key (for removing the valve cover)
Owner’s Manual
•
Remove all contents. Keep the flight case in case of need to ship the TAD-1S
Place the TAD-1S on a sturdy surface (e.g. hi-fi rack or isolation platform) and plug in the
power
Connection
VAD TAD-1S inputs
Digital inputs:
Use a screened, twisted pair cable from the digital output of your CD transport or
CD player to the AES/EBU digital input of the TAD-1S (TAD1S- AES/EBU socket is a
receptacle type)
Use a RCA plug terminated, coaxial interconnect of your choice for the COAXIAL
digital input
The cable for COAXIAL input should not be longer than 1.5m (5 feet) for the best
result
For USB input – use USB 2.0 cable, USB type B plug terminated for the DAC side
Toslink input - use preferably multi-strand glass fibre type, optical audio cable
(24bit/192kHz sample rate playback through Toslink cannot be guaranteed)
BNC input – use same type of your preferred coaxial cable as for the RCA Coaxial
input, terminated with the BNC plug
TAD-1S has two toggle switches (1, 2) on the back panel
Switch 1 (three position) will let you choose between the AES/COAX, BNC and
Toslink inputs, toggle switch 2 (ON-OFF) - when activated disconnects all the SPDIF
compatible inputs and connects (via internal I2S interface) TAD-1S asynchronous
USB Audio module direct to the dual mono DACs inputs.
The TAD-1S will automatically choose the BNC connected digital signal source
when inputs switch 1 is in the centre `neutral` position,
In `AES/COAX` switch position, the DAC will automatically choose an active signal
source between the two
Audio outputs:
For balanced outputs use screened, twisted pair cables fitted with 3pin XLR plug
(receptacle type plug for the TAD-1S end)
or
RCA analogue interconnects for single ended outputs
(RCA cables ideally no longer than 1.5m / 5 feet) between the Audio Outputs of the
TAD1 and the line level input of your preamplifier or integrated amplifier.
When using the balanced connection, the pin 2 should be “hot”, pin 3 “cold” and
pin 1 is “ground”. Make sure this complies with your other audio equipment.
(Consult with your dealer for the modifications of the cable pin connection if
necessary)
The balanced and unbalanced audio outputs should not be connected/used
simultaneously.
All digital apparatus e.g. CD/DVD Transport/Player, Music Server, computer based
music file player via USB, LD player, Satellite Set Top Box, etc. may be connected
with the TAD-1S as long as their bit resolution and sampling rate is under or equal
to 24Bit/192kHz. Most CD/DVD transports and players are equipped with a
minimum of one coaxial SPDIF output.
Most high quality CD transports are also equipped with AES/EBU output.
TAD-1S digital audio connectivity:
AES/EBU balanced digital audio input
BNC digital audio input
COAXIAL digital audio input
Toslink optical digital audio input
Computer based music file player via USB 2.0 (up to 24bit/192kHz)
Before switching on
Front Panel
Switching on / off
Powering ON: “Flip” the mains power switch on the rear panel of the TAD-1S followed by
pushing the “Power” button on the front panel.
Powering OFF: press the “Power” button on the front panel of the TAD-1S
When in use at home, there is no need to switch OFF the main switch on the rear panel –
use the back panel switch to completely power off the unit when leaving the house for
longer.
IMPORTANT:
Power ON the TAD-1S approx. 2 min. BEFORE switching ON your other audio
components such as amplifiers.
Make sure that the Volume control of your amplifier or pre-amplifier is in the minimum
position (volume turned down).
Switch your other audio components such as amplifiers OFF before turning OFF the TAD1S
Whilst the TAD-1S will sound superb from the moment it is switched on, due to the nature
of valves, its sound will improve even further as it “warms up”.
After 20 minutes it will be “on song “, after approximately 40 minutes it will reach its peak
performance.
To maximise the “life span” of the valves, it is recommended to minimise the number of
times that the unit is switched on and off - e.g. where several listening session may be
planned during the course of the day, it is better to turn the unit on before the first
session and only turn it off at the end of the final session – rather than on and off at the
end of each session. Ideally, the TAD-1S would be kept switched on.
The TAD-1S has the power consumption of 55W during normal operation (with signal
connected)
Gain Control
The signal output level (Gain) control is located in the centre of the front panel, it is
designed to match the output level of the TAD-1S to a wide range of preamplifiers and
integrated amplifiers, but can also facilitate direct connection to a power amplifiers.
Please note that when our Gain is being used as a volume control, a `pop` noise will occur
during adjustment as the stepped attenuator in TAD-1S is inter-stage directly coupled. This,
though audible, does not carry any risk for your power amplifier or speakers.
In most circumstances, when used with a preamplifier or integrated amplifier, the output
level of 2Vrms will be achieved at the 12 o’clock position and pro audio level of 4.2Vrms at 3
o’clock (approximate)
Lock
The Lock indicator will “light up” when the compatible digital signal is detected and the
input of DAC is synchronised with digital signal source.
The DAC is now ready to operate.
Reset
TAD-1S is equipped with a `reset` switch (non-latching) located on the back plate.
Occasionally, the digital receiver may not lock onto the signal during power up cycle (or
`hot` swapping digital input cables) Should this occur, simply single press and release the
`reset` switch. This will restart the receiver’s automatic ‘signal locking’ procedure.
Other Information
Placement
Apart from the tubes which, by their very nature are designed to run hot, the TAD-1S is
relatively cool running and operates well below the maximum allowed temperature for
consumer audio.
It should be positioned so as to allow free airflow around it and not placed on top of other
equipment – particularly Class A amplifiers which run hot.
Possible vibrations should be minimised as far as possible. For example; The TAD-1S must
not be placed on top of speakers. Ideally, the unit should be placed in line with (or slightly
behind) the plane of your speakers and additional benefits may be gained by placing it on a
good quality isolation platform.
Tube “rolling” and replacement.
Only the front pair of matched 6N8S valves can be replaced with the same type or 6SN7,
6SN7GT or 5692 or CV181.
Please note: The protective cover will not fit over the taller CV181 valves.
Use of any other valve type will damage the circuit and invalidate the warranty. In case of
“valve rolling”, the use of octal valve socket savers is strongly advisable, as any damage to
the valve sockets caused by “valve rolling” is not covered by the warranty.
The matched pair of 6N6P should be replaced with the same type only. The pair of EZ35
rectifiers can be replaced with the same type or 6C5S, CV574 or 6X5GT rectifiers.
IMPORTANT!
Fuse.
The unit is fitted with a 1A fuse which is located in the IEC mains socket on the back panel –
this must be replaced only with the same amperage value! (a spare is provided in the fuse
“drawer”). In case of subsequent fuse failure – the unit has to be send for repair
Earth connection – the unit must be earthed, this is provided by the safety earth contact in
IEC mains socket – make sure that your home mains electrical installation has safety earth
connection in order.
Removing the Valve Cover.
The valve cover is secured to the top of the unit by way of 4 hex bolts being accessible
through slots in valve cover. The cover may be removed in order to facilitate tube
replacement by using the supplied long hex key (2mm) tool to undo such bolts.
Specifications
Audio Signal Frequency Range:
5Hz - 20 kHz
Dynamic range:
113dB
Digital inputs: 1x AES/EBU, 1x RCA Coaxial, 1x BNC, 1x Toslink optical, 1x asynchronous
24bit/192kHz USB 2.0 input
Output Signal Level (adjustable via gain control):
50mV to 4.4Vrms (approximate)
Analogue Output:
XLR (balanced) max. 4.5Vrms- adjustable
Single ended RCA outputs 50mV to 4.4Vrms –adjustable
Output impedance:
<600ohms
Total correlated jitter:
<60ps
Digital input word widths supported
16-24bit
Digital input sampling frequencies supported
32kHz-192kHz
Power consumption
all sample rates between and included
55W
AC mains operation voltage
factory set for 220-240V/50/60Hz
(100-120V/50/60Hz factory set version can be ordered at no additional cost)
Dimensions:
H 15cm x W 43.5cm x D 29cm
Weight (net):
12.8kg
Shipping weight
18kg
Valve Audio Devices (VAD)
Warranty Information
Valve Audio Devices Limited warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and
workmanship for a period of seven (7) years from the date of purchase (subject to the terms
set forth below). Valve Audio Devices will repair or replace (at VAD option) this product or
any defective parts in this product. Warranty periods may vary from country to country. If in
doubt consult your dealer and ensure that you retain proof of purchase. To obtain warranty
service, please contact the VAD authorized dealer from which you purchased this product. If
your dealer is not equipped to perform the repair of your VAD product, it may be returned
by you or your dealer to Valve Audio Devices or an authorized VAD service agent.
You will need to ship this product in either its original packaging or packaging affording an
equal degree of protection.
No later than 30 days after the product has been delivered to the Customer, the Customer
must have returned the Warranty Registration Form to Valve Audio Devices Limited;
(included as the last page of this manual)
Proof of purchase in the form of a bill of sale or receipted invoice, which is evidence that
this product is within the warranty period, must be presented to obtain warranty service.
This Warranty is invalid if the factory-applied serial number and/or Warranty sticker has
been altered or removed from this product This Warranty is invalid if the proof of purchase
cannot be presented. A return product must be accompanied by a written description of the
defect.
Any changes or modifications to the product – apart from replacing the tubes as directed
in the user manual invalidate the 7 year warranty.
This Warranty does not cover cosmetic damage or damage due to acts of God, accident,
misuse, abuse, negligence, commercial use, or modification of, or to any part of, the
product. This Warranty does not cover damage due to improper operation, maintenance or
installation, or attempted repair by anyone other than Valve Audio Devices or a VAD dealer,
or authorized service agent which is authorized to do Valve Audio Devices warranty work.
Any unauthorized repairs will void this Warranty. This Warranty does not cover products
sold AS IS or WITH ALL FAULTS.
REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENTS AS PROVIDED UNDER THIS WARRANTY ARE THE EXCLUSIVE
REMEDY OF THE CONSUMER. VALVE AUDIO DEVICES LIMITED (VAD) SHALL NOT BE LIABLE
FOR ANY INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES FOR BREACH OF ANY EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED WARRANTY IN THIS PRODUCT. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, THIS
WARRANTY IS EXCLUSIVE AND IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER EXPRESS AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES
WHATSOEVER INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY
AND FITNESS FOR A PRACTICAL PURPOSE.
Some Countries and US states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or
consequential damages or implied warranties so the above exclusions may not apply to you.
This Warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may have other statutory rights, which
vary from state to state or country to country.
For any service, in or out of warranty, please contact your dealer.
Valve Audio Devices reserves the right to modify the design of any product without
obligation to purchasers of previously manufactured products and to change the prices or
specifications of any product without notice or obligation to any person.
TAD-1S DAC is a UK Patent Office international registered design.
Valve Audio Devices Limited
17 Ashby Road, Welton, DAVENTRY
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE,
NN11 2JS, UNITED KINGDOM
Company No. 08298028
Copyright Valve Audio Devices Limited 2013
Valve Audio Devices (VAD) Warranty Registration Form
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