So not only can you hear the booth that Frank Beard played in but you can revel in the way that Billy Gibbons’ guitar synchs so perfectly with Dusty Hill’s bass, and when the former gets down and dirty you have no choice but to go with him. It wasn’t all rock and roll though; the CAT had plenty of more sophisticated material onboard. I was transported to tears by Cecilia Bartoli’s ‘Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno…’ [Sospiri, Decca], which placed the singer precisely in the original acoustic yet equally in my room. Virtual reality is unlikely to get any more ‘real’ than this.
The CAD 1543MKII makes the vast majority of digital audio products sound crude, even those at higher prices with their fancy metalwork, and myriad input options. By focussing on one job, this DAC is the most transparent, natural, and well timed I have heard. This makes it capable of reproducing whatever is thrown its way with tremendous clarity and none of the characteristics usually associated with digital audio. All of which suggests that Scott has succeeded in his attempts to make the 1543 a better DAC, and then some.
Type: Solid-state high-resolution USB digital-to-analogue converter
Digital Inputs: One Asynchronous USB.
Analogue Outputs: One stereo single-ended (via RCA jacks)
DAC Resolution/Supported Digital Formats: All PCM from 44.1KS/s to 176.4KS/s with word lengths up to 24-bit
Frequency Response: Not specified
Distortion: Not specified
Output Voltage: 1.65Vrms
User Interface: N/A
Dimensions (H×W×D): 85 × 430 × 280mm
Weight: Not specified
Manufacturer: Computer Audio Design
Tel: +44 (0) 203 397 0334