RMAF 2011 Report - Digital Audio

Disc players,
Digital-to-analog converters,
USB interfaces, clocks, and soundcards
Red Wine Audio Audez'e DAC

Although they sound European, Bricasti hails from Medford, MA. Its M1 dual-mono DAC ($7995) supports 192/24 through all its inputs. A true dual-mono design, each channel is completely isolated, including the power supply.

Music Hall, longtime leader in affordable audio, presented its $299 DAC 15.2. With three inputs including USB, it supports 192/24 through S/PDIF and 96/24 through USB. The 15.2 uses a Burr-Brown PCM 1796 DAC, delivers 110dB signal-to-noise, and weighs less than 2 pounds.

Teac also unveiled three affordable digital products. Its UD-H01 DAC ($549) uses a Burr-Brown PCM 1795 and supports 192/24 via USB. The DS-H01 docking station ($399) can be used as a stand-alone DAC or as a source for the UD-HO1. Finally the A-H01 stereo amp with digital converter ($649) also supports 192/24 via USB and even has a subwoofer output.

Rounding out an affordable DAC trifecta, Audioengine debuted its $599 D2 wireless 96/24 DAC and USB converter, which can be connected via a wireless sender or with USB or TosLink. If you are on a tighter budget, for $169 you can get Audioengine’s D1, which boasts 110dB S/N using the AK 4396 DAC chip.

EMM Labs may never make budget products, but the first product in the more affordable Meitner line, the $7000 MA-1 DAC is designed for value. Based on EMM Lab’s XDS1 DA, it delivers 192/24 capabilities from all inputs, including USB using Meitner’s proprietary MDAT DSP, MFAST data extraction, and discrete 5.6MHz (2x DSD) DACs.

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