Computer Audio Design CAD 1543 MKII Digital converter

Digital-to-analog converters
Computer Audio Design CAD 1543 Mk II

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.

Technical Specifications

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

Price: £7,200

Manufacturer: Computer Audio Design

Tel: +44 (0) 203 397 0334


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