Range £4,195 – £6,595
“ The richness of the sound won’t be to every taste, but it’s never cloying or overplayed: instead, Merason’s DAC-1 backs up its smoothness with power and unforced detail to consistently appealing musical effect. True, the limited format handling may rule the DAC-1 out for some – it takes a stand against digital expansionism! – but its singularity of purpose pays off in a sound as appealing as it is easy to enjoy.”
“ If you are looking to cut through the veneer and hear as much of what was put down in the studio as a converter anywhere near this price will allow should, brace yourself for a genuinely intense musical experience.”
At the heart of the DAC-1 are two Burr-Brown PCM1794-A converter chips. Configured as a dual mono devices, the DAC-1 uses one chip for each channel. The PCM1794-A has a current output, and the current signal must be converted to a voltage signal. Not content in using operational amplifiers (OP Amps), Merason opt for a complex, discrete structure. The voltage signal obtained in this way is buffered in the output stage using Class A technology.
The DAC-1 utilises a fully symmetrical output signal path. The analog signal processing is consistently symmetrical from the D/A converter module to the output stage. Lowpass filters with high-quality, silver mica capacitors are located between the converter module and the output. Output DC-protection is done via foil capacitors.
Great attention has also been paid to the layout of the motherboard so that an extraordinarily high signal-to-noise ratio could be achieved.
Power is key to any component and the DAC-1 uses separate, multiple power supply rails. The digital circuit is serviced by an independent transformer to that employed for the analog circuit. In using two transformers there is an insurance that the delicate signals in the respective sections are preserved, and never interfere with the other.
The USB input is capably handled with a high quality board from Amanero: the Combo 384, a board known for it’s musicality.
Of course, the whole is greater than the sum of parts, so when each element is taken and applied to the whole unit, the result is, well, stunning.
Norvett Electronics – Your Local Electricians in East Sussex Since 1955
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