As a preamplifier the D1 is pretty good, though it can be bettered; taking its output up to a Townshend Allegri with the volume maxed does increase resolution quite obviously, but it’s no slouch on its own. I tried both balanced and single ended connections albeit with different power amps and got a good result in both cases. With a balanced hook up to an ATC P1 Laura Marling’s ‘Friends’ [Once I Was An Eagle, Virgin] revealed what must be all of its layers; there are not that many instruments on it but more than you might think. Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ [LZ III, Atlantic] is very compressed by comparison, but there’s no avoiding the power and drive that this DAC delivers when the signal warrants it.
The COS D1 is a beautiful piece of equipment; it has the sort of finish that puts it firmly in the pride of ownership camp and the fact that it combines two of the key functions necessary in a high end system is very useful. The electronic design is almost as unique as the physical one and a lot of thought has gone into achieving a particular sound rather than tweaking with the output stage. Its character is in the marmite category; you’ll either let it lie or love it, and those looking to get to the heart of their digital libraries could well be in the latter camp.
Type: Solid-state PCM digital-to-analogue converter/preamplifier.
Digital Inputs: Two Coaxial, two Toslink, and one buffered USB class 1.0 or 2.0.
Analogue Outputs: One stereo single-ended (via RCA jacks), one balanced (via XLR connectors). Both outputs have variable level operation.
DAC Resolution/Supported Digital Formats: All PCM up to 192KS/s with word lengths up to 24-bits.
Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz, ± 0.1dB
Distortion (THD + Noise): < 0.001%, –100dB, 20Hz–20kHz non weighted
Output Voltage (DAC): 2Vrms at maximum (unbalanced), 4Vrms at maximum (balanced).
User Interface: IR remote handset.
Dimensions (H×W×D): 100 × 415 × 280mm
Manufacturer: COS Engineering
UK Distributor: G-Point Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1435 86 55 40