Sign up for your free £10 Voucher

DACs

Our range is:- (click on brand to visit their site)

Rega Dac
Arcam RdacKw (Kleerwave)
Cyrus DAC plus PSX-R

DACs- the lowdown!

In this age of digital music sources, iPod, CD, Sky +HD,  Freeview, DAB radio, Streaming music etc. it is becoming more important than ever to make the best of the audio quality of the digital signal.

The most efficient way to do this is to get a stand-alone device to convert these digital signals to high quality analogue whilst preserving as much of the information therein as possible. These devices are known as DACs (Digital to Analogue Converters) and come in various types offering different levels of sound quality with up to six inputs for the sources such as Sky TV, CD and Computer.

The type of internal electronics and quality of the power supply reflect the overall sound quality, as usual the more one spends the better the sound, but a key difference is the quality of the design/manufacturer.

DAC Descriptions.

 Arcam, Rega and Cyrus.

Arcam

Arcam rDACThe rDac is housed in a very well finished, tactile case with inputs for TOSlink, coax and USB-b and also has an ugrade option for wireless connection feed from a dedicated dongle plugged into any compatible computer. The unit can be supplied with this upgrade factory fitted.

The internal Wolfson DAC chip is the latest in a long line of high quality unique units Arcam have used in their DACs since the late 1980s. This new unit is cheaper ad better sounding than any previous models. Now that’s what I call progress.

Rega

Rega DACThe new Rega DAC is the companies first venture into stand-alone DACs and what a brilliant job they have done!

This solid and well made device is available in black or silver and has five inputs, two coax, two TOSlink and one USB. It has the ability to handle WAV, Flac and Alff files as well as the normal outputs from CD player, SKY box, Blu-ray or digital TV.

These are converted to analogue with a pair of Wolfson DACs which have a five way digital filter to tailor the sound balance to the users taste.

Almost any CD player when played back with this DAC will show a very noticeable improvement in overall sound quality which can be hard to live without once heard.

Cyrus

Cyrus XP+The Cyrus DAC/preamp X+ is what you might call a grown-up device. Equipped with two TOSlink and four inputs it will cope with the demands of virtually any audio system.

The outputs consist of one optical TOSlink, analogue phono’s and two sets of balanced XLR outputs. Those give it a real advantage over the competition when connected to an amplifier with balanced XLR inputs such as a Yamaha AS-2000.

Available in black or silver, the electronics are housed is Cyrus’s usual cast metal shell. Witch presents a smart looking and compact unit.

A further improvement addition is the PSX-R which is a high currant and heavily regulated power supply. The original power supply and the PSX-R work in conjunction to give a marked improvement in source quality, specifically to the shaping and clarity of each note and instrument. It takes about 30 seconds to hear what is going on here, come and listen for yourself!

Additional ways to increase DAC performance,

With any of the above DAC’s the most obvious way to get an easy boost to sound quality is tp look at the cables from the digital souce to the DAC. Any source which uses a coax digital output we have found can benefit a surprising amount from a good quality cable, the better your supplier and the more you spend, the better it gets. The key here is do the research and find the best value for money.

The Cyrus DAC and PSX-R both show marked improvement with upgrades to the three pin mains leads. In a system of compatible quality the bandwidth of the audio signal hitting the speakers seems to be wider, deeper bass and lively yet sweeter treble with greater midrange clarity. Yes we were a bit sceptical until we tried it and now there is no way back.