In a recent review, The Audio Beat editor Marc Mickelson imagined who would audition and buy the product he was writing about. In a digital world that changes rapidly, you might wonder who would buy a non-oversampling DAC that has no output filtering, is limited to 24-bit/96kHz resolution and uses a tube rectifier in its power supply.
The review sample was the SE model with a single USB input. USB data are handled by a C-Media CM6631A chip feeding a TDA1543 DAC chip. No oversampling or digital filtering is used, and output is direct from the chip to the rear RCA jacks via film-and-foil output caps. A choke-input-filter power supply uses hybrid tube/solid-state rectification. The SE version also adds a twin-power-transformer arrangement and an Elna Cerafine power-supply capacitor. Gary Dews of BorderPatrol says believes that his power supply approach, with its tube rectifier and four transformers/chokes, “is unique in a digital-to-analog converter.” Prices are $995 for the standard single-input model and $1350 for the special edition. The switchable model is $1500 for standard and $1850 for the special edition.