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Introducing the Digital Amp Co Digital to Analog Converter, Tube-Like and High-Spec versions, Amazing Cherry Sonics!
Introducing the Digital Amp Co Digital to Analog Converter, Tube-Like and High-Spec versions, Amazing Cherry Sonics!
70 backers pledged $19,198 to help bring this project to life.

About

DAC DAC ---- Ultra High Performance D/A Converter project video thumbnail
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$19,198

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Hello, Potential Backer, and thanks for being here!

Introducing the Digital Amp Co Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC DAC)!

DAC DAC in PC Based System
DAC DAC in PC Based System

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....

DAC DAC with High Spec Daughter Card
DAC DAC with High Spec Daughter Card

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
DAC DAC Black Box View
DAC DAC Black Box View

Design Philosophy:

  • Super short signal path
  • High precision, high quality components
  • Straightforward, reliable design
  • Focus on sonics
DAC DAC Connector Side
DAC DAC Connector Side

Block Diagram:

DAC DAC Inside
DAC DAC Inside

Early Reviews:

"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.

More Information:

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.

CHALLENGES

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.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Showing support!

    Show your support for real value in high performance audio, American manufacturing, or just simply our no-nonsense approach to excellent SONICS! Thank you sincerely.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Digital Amplifier Company thanks you very much for your support. We will send you an official "Audio Technology Champion" electronic certificate. You will also be placed on our exclusive Kickstarter friends list. We will keep you informed of our progress and very special offers via email. You can opt out of the newsletter at any time.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    XL T-Shirt. You will receive a 100% cotton Digital Amplifier Company T-Shirt (size XL) and our thanks.

    Also, your name will be posted on our website (if you agree). Wear your shirt with pride and show the world your support for High Quality Audio made affordable.

    Postage included for continental USA. $10 extra elsewhere.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on current Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    L T-Shirt. You will receive a 100% cotton Digital Amplifier Company T-Shirt (size L) and our thanks.

    Also, your name will be posted on our website (if you agree). Wear your shirt with pride and show the world your support for High Quality Audio made affordable.

    Postage included for continental USA. $10 extra elsewhere.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on current Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    60V DUAL Power Supply Upgrade for 48V Maraschino Owners (an $800 value)!

    NOTE: This reward is available as an add-on to other pledges. Just add $550 to your pledge to add the 60V upgrade.

    You will receive two 60V 1kW Power Supplies (AC voltage range determined by shipping destination) and our standard DC cables for connecting them to your Maraschinos.

    After you receive the 60V power supplies, you have 30 days to ship your 48V supplies back to us. We will issue a $200 refund after verifying that the 48V supplies were received in excellent working condition.

    Add $200 (reg $300) to upgrade to DC_SNAKE super-low-impedance 5-way braided cables.

    Shipping for power supplies is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $590 or more About $590

    DAC DAC HS early adopter special !

    You will receive your very own pre-production DAC DAC, High-Spec version ($1290 MSRP).

    For a different sound, take a look at the Tube-Like version or combo-pack.

    Shipping for the DAC DAC is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    Check out CherryAmp.com for information on other fine Cherry products, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino Cherry amplifiers, which work very well with the DAC DAC.

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    Pledge $590 or more About $590

    DAC DAC TL early adopter special !

    You will receive your very own pre-production DAC DAC, Tube-Like version ($1290 MSRP).

    For a different sound, take a look at the High-Spec version or combo-pack.

    Shipping for the DAC DAC is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    Check out CherryAmp.com for information on other fine Cherry products, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino Cherry amplifiers, which work very well with the DAC DAC.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $690 or more About $690

    DAC DAC HS enthusiast special !

    You will receive your very own pre-production DAC DAC, High-Spec version ($1290 MSRP).

    For a different sound, take a look at the Tube-Like version or combo-pack.

    Shipping for the DAC DAC is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    Check out CherryAmp.com for information on other fine Cherry products, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino Cherry amplifiers, which work very well with the DAC DAC.

    NOTE: You can add Cherry Amplifiers to this reward (see our FAQ)!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $690 or more About $690

    DAC DAC TL enthusiast special !

    You will receive your very own pre-production DAC DAC, Tube-Like version ($1290 MSRP).

    For a different sound, take a look at the High-Spec version or combo-pack.

    Shipping for the DAC DAC is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    Check out CherryAmp.com for information on other fine Cherry products, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino Cherry amplifiers, which work very well with the DAC DAC.

    NOTE: You can add Cherry Amplifiers to this reward (see our FAQ)!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $990 or more About $990

    A MINT Maraschino Integrated Stereo Amplifier ($1300 MSRP). The MINT Maraschino is our new, small yet powerful stereo integrated amplifier. This is a pre-release special, only available to our backers.

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a MINT Maraschino Amplifier. RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    Upgrade to Gold WBT posts for an additional $200.

    Upgrade to a 60V 1kW power supply by adding another $300.

    Upgrade the standard DC power supply cable to a ultra-low-impedance DC_SNAKE cable for an additional $100 (reg $150).

    The planned top-of-the-line KING MINT lists for $1900, and adding all the options for the same hardware as the KING version is only $990 + 200 + 300 + 100 = $1590!

    You can also add a pair of our custom low impedance 6-foot banana plug SPEAKER_SNAKES for an additional $150 (reg $300).

    Shipping is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

    Also NOTE: We will likely ship before the estimated delivery date, but MINTs will ship to backers of our MINT Maraschino Kickstarter before any other MINTs are delivered.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,090 or more About $1,090

    DAC DAC TL+HS combo-pack early adopter special !

    You will receive both the Tube-Like and High-Spec versions of the pre-production DAC DAC ($2580 MSRP).

    This way, you can try both and compare the sound.

    Shipping for the DAC DAC is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    Check out CherryAmp.com for information on other fine Cherry products, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino Cherry amplifiers, which work very well with the DAC DAC.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,090 or more About $1,090

    A pair of In-Line Maraschino Amplifiers (a $1900 value)!

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a pair of In-Line Maraschino Amplifiers. RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    Upgrade to Gold WBT posts for an additional $200.

    Upgrade to DUAL 60V 1kW power supplies by adding another $350 (reg $600). The 60V upgrade is a must-have for opening up the Maraschino sound with raw headroom, or if you have BIG or low SPL speakers.

    Add another $200 (reg $300) and you get super-low-impedance 5-way braided DC_SNAKEs (recommended) for the 60V supplies instead of the standard DC cables.

    AND.... We'll save you the math on this one.... A pair of KING In-Line Maraschinos is regularly $3100 (web site price), and adding all the options for the same hardware as the KING version is $1090 + 200 + 350 + 200 = $1840. Only available to our awesome backers!

    Oh, and you can also add our custom 4" locking banana plug speaker wires for $100 (reg $200). Use these special cables to hang your In-Line Maraschinos from the speakers, effectively eliminating speaker wires for an amazing improvement over typical speaker wire runs. Let us know if you also need long XLR cables to connect the source.

    Shipping is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,190 or more About $1,190

    A pair of Red Desktop Maraschino Amplifiers on Solid Aluminum bases (a $2500 value)!

    NOTE: This reward is available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a pair of Red Desktop Maraschino Amplifiers on Solid Aluminum bases. RCA-to-XLR adapters are included.

    Upgrade to Gold WBT posts for an additional $200.

    Upgrade to DUAL 60V 1kW power supplies by adding another $350 (reg $600). The 60V upgrade is a must-have for opening up the Maraschino sound with raw headroom, or if you have BIG or low SPL speakers.

    Add another $200 (reg $300) and you get super-low-impedance 5-way braided DC_SNAKEs (recommended) for the 60V supplies instead of the standard DC cables.

    AND.... We'll save you the math on this one.... A pair of KING Desktop Maraschinos on Solid Aluminum bases is regularly $3500 (web site price), and adding all the options for the same hardware as the KING version is $1190 + 200 + 350 + 200 = $1940. Only available to our awesome backers!

    Oh, and you can also add a pair of our custom low impedance 6-foot banana plug SPEAKER_SNAKES for $150 (reg $300).

    Shipping is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,290 or more About $1,290

    DAC DAC TL+HS combo-pack enthusiast special !

    You will receive both the Tube-Like and High-Spec versions of the pre-production DAC DAC ($2580 MSRP).

    This way, you can try both and compare the sound.

    Shipping for the DAC DAC is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    Check out CherryAmp.com for information on other fine Cherry products, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino Cherry amplifiers, which work very well with the DAC DAC.

    NOTE: You can add Cherry Amplifiers to this reward (see our FAQ)!

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    Limited 0 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,290 or more About $1,290

    A pair of Classic Cherry MONO Amplifiers (reg $3000)! 120VAC version only.

    NOTE: This reward is also available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a pair of Classic Cherry MONO Amplifiers. Special RCA-to-XLR adapters with removable GND lift are included.

    Only available to our awesome backers!

    Oh, and you can also add a pair of our custom low impedance 6-foot banana plug SPEAKER_SNAKES for an additional $150 (reg $300).

    Shipping is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,900 or more About $3,900

    A pair of Golden Cherry Maraschino Amplifiers on Solid Aluminum bases (a $5000 value)!

    NOTE: This reward is available as an add-on to other pledges. See our FAQ for more information.

    You will receive a pair of pre-release Golden Cherry Maraschino Amplifiers on Solid Black Aluminum bases. This top-of-the-line Golden Cherry is a KING Maraschino with triple the power supply capacitance and tweaked out modulator to retain the Maraschino's silky smoothness but add a little more speed for even better transient delivery. The result is a sweet Cherry Amp that can get you addicted to listening.

    Dual 1kW 60V power supplies provide the "juice", connected by ultra-low impedance DC_SNAKEs.

    RCA-to-XLR adapters and Heavy Duty power cords are included.

    No need for upgrades on this reward, but if you want them modified to remove the Maraschino's auto-standby function, just add $100.

    Shipping is fully insured and charged separately. Backer is responsible for all taxes and duties when shipping outside continental USA.

    See CherryAmp.com for more information on Cherry Amplifiers, including Desktop and In-Line Maraschino.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)