Advantage USB-converters to CD-players in that way from the studio original audio to the listener, a much shorter than in the records from the CD. But this is not the only advantage of this type of technology. DAC - it is, in fact, a computer, and here for imagination development is much broader than in the traditional audio.

digital-to-analog converter TAD DA1000

Use your computer as transportation, however, has its own characteristics. First of all, it is the power supply, stationary machines provide a powerful high-frequency interference, which negates all attempts to improve the sound quality. Secondly, the USB interface is not originally intended for the transmission of audio data, so standard chipsets high by the standards of Hi-Fi jitter. Finally, existing software players are very far from perfect. But all these problems can be solved. The issue with noise is removed by using a self-powered laptops. As for the USB, then put decent converters already advanced receivers with low jitter, and a decent USB-cables have already appeared. The situation is changing rapidly with the software, choose a well-sounding player for specific OSes already easier.

It is in this form and we will listen to today - with the Apple MacBook Pro laptop with a player Sonic Studio Amarra. And the main test will be a new digital-to-analog converter TAD DA1000. This is a very serious and expensive apparatus in which experts of the Japanese Technical Audio Devices Laboratories uncompromisingly implemented the most advanced digital technology. Thus, to reduce jitter in conjunction with the company producing precision quartz crystals, developed a unique clock UPCG (Ultra-high Precision Crystal Generator), which has 50 dB lower phase noise than conventional designs.

Convert "current - voltage" gain and filtering the analog signal cascades produced by discrete transistors, operational amplifiers from the company refused because of poor acoustic properties. To minimize interference with the display of its segments operate in static mode. In the power supply has a toroidal transformer with an enormous power reserves. For the conversion of digital to analog converters meet the high-speed in dual differential mode, which gave a significant gain in the signal/noise ratio. DA1000 decodes the audio with a sampling frequency up to 384 kHz and bit depth to 32 bit, but only on the asynchronous port USB 2.0. Resolution up to 24/192 is supported by a balanced AES/EBU and coaxial inputs. Converter also accepts DSD signal with the modulation frequency to 5.6 MHz, and the manufacturer says that it is the only model on the market with such parameters. The device is equipped with a full range of digital and analog ports, including balanced. Thanks to the built-in volume control can be connected directly to the power amplifier. Provided qualitative and headphone output.

Since the path actually works at radio frequencies, it was necessary to provide a reliable screening. The device is made of milled aluminum housing with massive upper lid and internal partitions. Display and small controls are in a niche that separates the thick bezel. Remote control - long and narrow, with a convenient location with buttons.

The rest of the path is familiar to us, repeatedly been described in previous publications. Recently, to add to it and a new CD-player TAD D1000, which we describe in one of the next issues, but for now deploy the it as a transport.

As before, the system of top-end cables are wired Nordost Odin Supreme Reference high-speed performance - up to 98% of the speed of light. Power cables of the same series equipment was connected to the mains supply distributor.

So, at first listen DA1000 and D1000, connected by coaxial ports. The higher the class of technology, the more difficult in formal terms to describe the sound. And it is unclear what it compare - with "live" performance of properly (write a mostly studio), with vinyl even more so. If, however, rely on a listening experience that is more than just the sound is reminiscent of a high quality master tape without inherent artifacts - noise, distortion, etc. Harmonic resolution huge soundstage and more dense. A lot of air. On chamber recordings perfectly transmitted pause between individual sounds and dynamic contrasts. The scale of the scene and the structure of the space is determined solely by the quality of the soundtrack. And the difference is so noticeable that after competently mixed by album (and there are not too many) others have to listen hard. Here discussions - many believe that the correct path is to adequately reproduce any material. In terms of genre preferences - I agree, they should not be. But the lack of imagination or skill at the studio staff good system detects mercilessly. When all kinds of distortions (dynamic, phase, frequency, nonlinear, etc.) tend to zero, the brain produces less computing that enables us to make sense of the more subtle and complex things.

With macrodynamics vehicles TAD never had no problems - and speakers, and amplifiers are able to voice a small concert hall. But the source adds that natural panorama, sharing her plans in depth, indicating the exact position and outline of virtual instruments.

Now go to the audition high resolution files. Drivers do not have to download, everything was prepared in advance. Laptop connected via USB cable Nordost Heimdall 2. looked closer to the display of the converter: it is quite concise, fact capture the signal and its parameters are displayed in a matter of seconds.

And that is where the quality of content becomes the sole determinant of the sound system. And not that it matters, in which the resolution is served file - sometimes 24/96 sounds better than 24/192, and some 16/44 CD-rips outperform high-cuts. Nevertheless, thanks to the phenomenal resolution converter allows to reveal some regularity. Compared with the high-resolution files music in 16/44 sounds rude, but vigorously and effectively, every instrument of relief, as if circled sharp cutter. Such specifics with the head gives the digital nature of sound. With the 24/96 content is more complicated, here sonic character determined by the origin of the file. This can be either the original source or upsampling from CD, or, on the contrary, downsampling of a material of higher resolution. Such transformations, especially if they made a layman, killing music. And here already impartial judge advocates converter. Can be a long story about his great dynamic range, the harmonic resolution, tonal authenticity, etc., but the main thing is that the DA1000 is able to show real life. Unless, of course, it is in the record. In this way, based myth that the 24/192 files sound worse than 24/96. If you collect them at random resources, the very great chance to download music, convert from a lower resolution. And it will sound smooth, maybe even beautiful, but somehow empty, lifeless. But if the file was originally written in a very high resolution, you will get a real pleasure. It is interesting to listen to 32/384, and as soon as the original content, we will do it.

TAD DA1000 DAC photo