Hello, Potential Backer, and thanks for being here!
Introducing the Digital Amp Co Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC DAC)!
DAC DAC is a D/A converter for ultra-high-performance 2-channel audio systems. The basics:
- 2 versions - TL/HS, the difference is the output stage circuit
- Coax SPDIF input, PCM up to 192kHz sample rate, 24-bit resolution
- Balanced outputs (XLR)
- External 12VDC power supply
- Indicators for Power, Valid Signal, >50kHz Fs, >100kHz Fs
- 6.5" x 6.3" x 2.5" aluminum enclosure with vibration absorbing Sorbothane feet
In an attempt to make the audio signal path as short as possible, we designed an experimental output stage, and it sounded amazing! We listened for several hours in awe, then we measured the performance with an audio analyzer. To our surprise, THD+N wasn't so low as the input level rose toward full scale, but with the help of a low noise floor (120dB SNR), THD+N was pretty low as the input level decreased. "How is this possible?", we asked. "How can this thing sound so wonderful, but measure so-so?". Well, after taking a better look, we discovered that the distortion characteristics of our short-path circuit were similar to that of tube (a.k.a. valve) amplification circuits, providing a smooth, musical sound. We listened again to confirm this (loving every minute of it) and began working on a new output stage circuit for the purpose of comparison, both on and off the bench. We created a daughter card with this new output stage and wired it up....
The result was measurements like we were targeting. 125dB SNR and 0.00035% THD+N at full scale! That was good to see on the analyzer, but what about the sound? Simply amazing! Open sky highs and precise imaging. Which one sounds better? Well, they both sound spectacular, and it's a matter of YOUR tastes!
TL version (Tube-Like):
- Shortest signal path possible
- Smooth, musical presentation
- >120dB SNR
HS version (High-Spec):
- >125dB SNR
- <0.0004% THD+N
- Precise, super-clear presentation
Output Drive (both versions):
- 100 ohm output impedance, 99.99% purely resistive, DC coupled
- True double differential ---- each side of the balanced outputs are derived differentially
- Capable of driving preamps or power amplifiers
- Output level is configured to preserve dynamic range while allowing direct amplifier drive
- Super short signal path
- High precision, high quality components
- Straightforward, reliable design
- Focus on sonics
"Surprisingly liquid with some extra density/resolution. I'm pleasantly surprised. Very nice!!" - Clement Perry (Stereo Times)
"I thought the board was quite dynamic and punchy. ....my first reaction to the board was ‘wow'." - Greg Voth (Stereo Times)
Getting to Production:
The goal of this project is to get both DAC DAC versions into production early 2016. The PCB design will accomodate both versions by use of population options and without the daughter card. The enclosure will be designed and prototypes will be created.
We will be adding more information based on your suggestions. Thanks again for checking our project out. We hope you decide to support our Kickstarter project.
Risks and challenges
RISKS ARE LOW
Digital Amplifier Company has successfully designed and built amplifiers for almost 20 years. We need to overcome various technical issues to produce the DAC DAC as it is our first non-amplifier product.
Taking advantage of our already established engineering design methodologies; to bring a unique D/A converter to the High-End Audio market. Our product development process is proven to be highly effectively. We continually push the envelope in Amplifier design, and now we plan to do the same with a D/A converter.
We will maintain our focus on the customer. This has given us a growing and loyal customer base.
Our biggest design challenge with DAC DAC is putting the two versions on one board without a large increase in cost.
The DAC DAC must remain true to it's Cherry heritage while pushing the limits of audio technology.
HOW WE WILL USE THE MONEY
The funds will also be used to get the DAC DAC into production. This requires finalization of PCB layout and enclosure design.
SUPPLY CHAIN / TIME LINE
Another challenge is dealing with long lead time items. Some specialty components have 8-10 week delivery, so component selection and purchasing must be well in advance of prototyping and pre-production runs. We need to place orders immediately with our supply chain partners.
We will also build the DAC DACs in an assembly line fashion which will speed up the build and test process while reducing cost.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)