Audio Alchemy DDP-1 DAC/preamp, PS-5 power supply, and DPA-1 power amplifier

Solid-state power amplifiers,
Solid-state preamplifiers,
Digital-to-analog converters,
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
Audio Alchemy DDP-1,
Audio Alchemy DPA-1,
Audio Alchemy PS-5

The sign of a good design team is consistency. There are great single-minded designers who come up with the world’s best preamp (for example) but everything else from their pen fails to achieve the same greatness. Here, you could take almost any individual component (except the power supply, of course) and put it up against the competition and it will at the very least match the performance of its peers. In many cases, it will improve upon the sound of those rivals, occasionally by no small measure. The whole is not intrinsically better than the sum of the parts, but it all works well together and the individual components are so good, why bother seeking out alternatives?

There are two ways of looking at the term ‘high-end audio’. One is intrinsically locked to the price – if it ain’t ‘spendy’, it ain’t high-end! The other is more about the performance. Products are high-end by intent rather than by sticker, and it’s here where Audio Alchemy’s DDP-1, PS-5, and DPA-1 score so highly. We’ve all used clichés like “punches above its weight” or “giant killer” a lot in audio, but these terms are richly deserved here. This range is so exciting, so intrinsically ‘right’ sounding, and so much damn fun you can’t help but like it a lot. And something this right helps legitimise Class D in the minds of sceptical audiophiles who have been told if it isn’t hot and heavy, it isn’t any good. In short, the Audio Alchemy components are all true high-end equipment that just forgot to be heavy and expensive. Very highly recommended!

Technical Specifications

DDP-1 DAC/preamp/headphone amp

Analog Inputs: stereo XLR, 2 stereo RCA

Digital inputs: USB, AES/EBU, 2 RCA coaxial, 2 Toslink optical, I2S, auxiliary USB for firmware updates

Outputs: Stereo XLR and RCA, 3.5mm headphone jack, 12-volt DC trigger

Frequency response: ±0.1 dB, 10 Hz to 80 kHz

Nominal THD+N (1 volt): < 0.001%

Signal-to-noise ratio (1 kHz): 103 dB unweighted

Headphone amp output: 1 watt at 32 Ω

Maximum digital input sampling rate/bit depth: 32-bit/216kHz on PCM, 2.82 Mbps (DSD64) on DSD

Digital filter profiles: Linear phase, fast roll-off, Linear phase, slow roll-off, Minimum phase, fast roll-off, Minimum phase, slow roll-off (apodizing)

Dimensions (W×H×D): 26.7×7.6×29.5cm

Weight: 3.6 kg

Price: £1,695

PS5 power supply

Voltage output: ±20 VDC analogue, +12 VDC for digital

Total supply capacitance: 40,000 microfarads

Output: 2× multipin connector

Dimensions (W×H×D): 14×9×29.5cm

Weight: 4.1 kg

Price: £495

DPA-1 stereo power amplifier

Inputs: stereo XLR, stereo RCA, IEC power, 3.5mm trigger

Outputs: Five-way binding posts

Power output/channel (0.1% THD+N, 1 kHz): 125 watts into 8Ω, 200 watts into 4Ω

Frequency response: +/-0.25 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Nominal THD+N (1 watt into 8Ω): 0.05%

Signal-to-noise ratio (1 kHz): 100 dB unweighted

Dimensions (W×H×D): 26.7×7.6×29.5cm

Weight: 7.3 kg

Price: £1,695

Manufactured by: Audio Alchemy


Distributed by: Symmetry


Tel: +44(0)1727 865488

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Articles