DAC8 High Resolution USB – S/PDIF Digital Converter

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We are pleased to introduce the new DAC8 digital to analog converter. Although physically similar to its predecessor, the DAC8 represents new engineering that advances the state of the art in high resolution USB audio and S/PDIF audio.

Audio Research has maximized the USB capability of the DAC8 by incorporating USB 2.0 HS (High Speed) which runs at 480Mbps. USB 2.0 HS has a lower jitter specification than USB 2.0 FS (Full Speed 12mbps), consequently the DAC8 is capable of reproducing music at higher definition/resolution (up to 24/192) than products communicating at USB 2.0 FS speeds (24/96).

In addition, the DAC8 employs a low jitter Dual Master Oscillator design that will provide superior digital to analog conversion via its USB 2.0 HS input as well as via the more traditional S/PDIF (RCA, BNC, Toslink and AES/EBU) inputs that are also included on the DAC8.   Our USB 2.0 HS audio interface is optimized for all six sample- rates currently in popular use; 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz.

In the past, S/PDIF was the default interface mode for High Resolution music files at 176.4 and 192kHz.  Now, with Audio Research’s Dual Master Oscillator, USB 2.0 HS interface, and our Quad D/A converter design, USB audio is finally elevated to the status once dominated by S/PDIF.

Consequently, regardless of whichever digital input you select, the Audio Research DAC8 promises to provide a superior listening experience.

In addition to the High Performance USB design, the DAC8 features:

DAC8 HD AUDIO DEVICE SOFTWARE DRIVERS:

The DAC8’s USB driver software provides your computer with special high-speed audio drivers not supplied by MS Windows or Mac OS.  The Audio Research USB drivers are specially designed to assure low jitter BIT PERFECT data transfer between the server/computer and the DAC8 at all sample rates.   Our drivers setup the USB interface to guarantee bandwidth, independent of active bulk transfers from the hard drive. 

From the ARC icon in your computer’s input tray you can set the DAC8 to any sample rate from 44.1 to 192kHz and allow the music server/management software to up or down convert your music to the selected sample rate. 

Music lovers can use custom sample rate conversion algorithms or other file formats provided by third party suppliers such as Windows Media Player, iTunes, J Rivers Media Center, Media Monkey, FooBar, and many others to optimize your music experience. 

The DAC8 is a fully balanced, zero-feedback, solid-state design utilizing a direct-coupled FET output stage with generous regulated power supplies and seven stages of regulation.  There are separate new digital and audio power transformers, and the board material is the same as what we use in our Reference products. Dynamic, forceful, immediate, and possessing remarkable resolution and transparency, the DAC8 is a sonic knockout that is worthy of the finest music systems. 

With a choice of high-resolution 24/192 S/PDIF inputs (RCA, BNC, AES/EBU and Toslink) in addition to the highest resolution 24/192 USB available, the ability to adjust sample rates, the DAC8 provides the new standard in high performance digital music playback.

SPECIFICATIONS

OUTPUT, ANALOG (STEREO): Balanced XLR 6.6V RMS (16.4dBV) max.; Single-Ended RCA 3.3V RMS (10.4dBV) max.
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE:  500 Ω Bal, 250 Ω SE
FREQUENCY RESPONSE:  0.5Hz – 90kHz, +0 -3dB; 20Hz – 20kHz, +0 -.15dB  
SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO:  >114dB  
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION:  0.015%  
IMD + NOISE:  0.013%  
QUAD DAC RESOLUTION: 24 bits each
CHANNEL SEPARATION:  105dB
INPUTS - DIGITAL, ALL GALVANICALLY ISOLATED:  USB 2.0 HS (480Mbps) 44.1 to 192kHz; RCA 75Ω SPDIF, 44.1 to 192kHz; BNC 75Ω SPDIF, 44.1 to 192kHz; XLR 110Ω SPDIF; AES/EBU 44.1 to 192kHz; OPT 660nM,Toslink Fiber 44.1 to 96kHz  
MASTER OSCILLATOR:  22.579mHz ±20Hz for 44.1, 88.2 & 176.4kHz; 24.576mHz ±20Hz for 48, 96 & 192kHz  
INTRINISIC JITTER:  <10pS  
POWER SUPPLY:  2 Transformers, 7 Regulators
POWER REQUIREMENTS (detachable power cord):  100-125VAC 60Hz (200-250VAC 50/60Hz) 18W max, Sleep Mode 4W  
COMPLIANCE:  FCC & CE
FRON PANEL DISPLAY:  POWER ON, MUTE, INVERT, INPUT SELECT, SAMPLE RATE BEING PLAYED
FRONT PANEL CONTROL FUNCTIONS:  POWER: on/off, INVERT: output polarity, INPUT: select (advance), MUTE: outputs
INFRARED REMOTE CONTROL FUNCTIONS:  POWER: on/off, MUTE: outputs, INPUT: USB, RCA, BNC, XLR, OPT, USB: play/pause, previous, next, stop. INVERT: output polarity
DIMENSIONS:  19” (48cm) W x 5.25” (13.4cm) H x 10” (25.4cm) D. Handles extend 1.5” (3.8cm) forward of the front panel. Rear connectors extend .75” (1.9cm)  
WEIGHT:  11.5lbs. (5.2kg) Net; 18lbs. (8.2kg) Shipping