T+A DAC 8 DSD

DAC / Preamp

Retail $5,590 CAD

Combination black/brushed aluminum finish
Please contact us for information.

Overview

The DAC 8 DSD is capable of converting every form of digital source into analogue signals at the very highest quality, including DSD right up to DSD512. T+A has further improved the unit’s outstanding pre-amplifier, and incorporated a volume control of fully analogue construction based on High-End Melf resistors. The volume control is of highly refined design, and exploits analogue control elements down to low volumes, as they avoid any loss of dynamic quality even at low listening levels. Two gold-contact relays are provided to by-pass the volume control, i.e. it can be removed entirely from the signal path when not required. The “State of the Art” output stage is of fully symmetrical design and discrete construction. Its impedance is very low and when paired with its analogue volume control, it can drive pretty much any amplifier directly. For those only using digital sources, this becomes a superb preamp giving you a shorter signal path to your amplifier of choice or active speaker such as the ATC SCM40A.

T+A also placed particular emphasis on the development of a very good headphone amplifier in this DAC which further widens the practical applications of the DAC 8 DSD.

Technology

As in our high-end players this device also employs the superior quadruple arrangement with eight 32-bit converters from Burr-Brown in a double symmetrical circuit. This circuit provides perfect compensation for non-linearities, and the residual background noise – which is excellent in any case with the 32-bit converters we employ – is reduced by approximately a further 6 dB. The result is a dynamic performance which is hardly capable of improvement, with a perfect “black level”, extreme linearity and freedom from distortion, even in critical passages and the most minute musical details. Oversampling is carried out by a modern 56-bit signal processor, for which T+A has developed algorithms specific to our equipment, offering perfect timing characteristics. They are based on Bezier polynomials: Bezier interpolation and Bezier / IIR combination. A standard FIR filter and a short FIR filter are also provided. These options make it possible to select the optimum sound quality to suit the individual piece of music. The DAC 8 DSD can even invert the absolute phase of the audio signal at the digital level, and thereby correct material recorded with incorrect absolute phase.

For the purpose of handling DSD data which can be supplied via the PC-USB input we have developed a unique, dedicated converter: the T+A True One Bit DSD Converter. This is of fully analogue construction and constitutes a genuine one-bit converter, since – unlike other manufacturers – we did not want to use the DSD mode of a PCM converter. This development ensures that DSD data are processed in a genuine one-bit stream process, uncoloured and without detrimental additional conversion, as in our PDP 3000 HV High-End DSD / PCM player.

Fifteen long years ago we developed a means of galvanically separating the converter from the analogue section for use in our high-end players: this provides complete galvanic isolation of the digital section from the analogue section using extremely fast digital isolators made by Silicon Labs in the DAC 8 DSD. The result is to prevent any interference from the source devices finding its way into the analogue section. Computers, in particular, generate enormous levels of interference noise which would ruin the superior sound qualities of the audiophile output stage without this measure. The “State of the Art” analogue stages are of fully discrete and symmetrical construction, and do not employ OP-AMPs. Their linearity is not a function of “hard” negative feedback, as is typical of OP-AMPS, but rather due to the quality of the circuit design and the components employed, which are selected and matched to very fine tolerances. A further unique feature of the DAC 8 DSD is its switchable analogue bandwidth, which has already proved so effective in our high-end players. The limit frequency of the DAC 8 DSD’s analogue reconstruction filter can be switched between 60 kHz and 120 kHz; the “ultra-wide” 120 kHz setting is the key to perfect frequency response and phase characteristics when used with power amplifiers with a broad-band output – such as those in the T+A range, naturally. The phase linearity and signal fidelity of the “ultra-wide” circuit also has a perceptible effect in the audible range, and allows an open sound image with phenomenally clear positioning and ultra-lively dynamics.

Colours

Combination black/brushed aluminum finish

General

D/A-Converter

PCM Double-Differential-Quadruple-Converter with 4 D/A-Converters per channel,
32-Bit Sigma Delta, 352,8 kSps/384 kSps. Eight times oversampling.
Upsampling: free programmable signal processor with four selectable oversapling algorithims.
FIR kurz, FIR lang, Bezier/IIR, Bezier
DSD Direct DSD Signal Path via T+A True 1 Bit Converter
Analogue filter Phaselinear filter with bandwidth switching 60 kHz or 120 kHz
Frequency response PCM 44,1 kSps 2 Hz - 20 kHz
Frequency response PCM 48 kSps / DSD 642 Hz - 22 kHz / 2 Hz - 44 kHz
Frequency response PCM 96 kSps / DSD 1282 Hz - 40 kHz / 2 Hz - 60 kHz
Frequency response PCM 192 kSps / DSD 2562 Hz - 80 kHz / 2 Hz - 80 kHz
Frequency response PCM 384 kSps / DSD 5122 Hz - 100 kHz / 2 Hz - 100 kHz
Total harmonic distortion < 0,001 %
Signal to noise ratio116 dB
Channel separation110 dB

In- / Outputs

Analogue outputs high level (RCA)2,5 Veff / 22 Ohms fix. 0 ... 2,5 Veff variable
Analogue outputs balanced (XLR)5,0 Veff / 22 Ohm fix. 0 ... 5,0 Veff variable
Digital output1 x coax, IEC 60958 (CDDA/LPCM)
Digital inputs S/P-DIF
4 x high quality Coax and
1 x opt. TOS-Link, 1 x BNC,
1 x AES/EBU; 32 kSps; 44,1 kSps; 48 kSps; 88,2 kSps; 96 kSps; 176,4 kSps; 192 kSps; 16/24 Bit
USB (Device mode)
USB Class 2 Mode; support for asynchronous data transfer
PCM-Mode: 44,1 kSps; 48 kSps; 88,2 kSps; 96 kSps; 176,4 kSps; 192 kSps, 352,8 kSps; 384 kSps; 16/24/32 Bit
DSD-Mode: DSD64; DSD128; DSD256; DSD 512; (MAC OS up to DSD 128)

Mains / Accessories / Dimensions

Mains 110-120 V or 220-240 V, 50 - 60 Hz
Standby< 0,2 W
Accessories Including remote control F8, asynchronous drivers for Windows are available on T+A homepage for download
Dimensions (H x W x D)9,5 x 27 x 27 cm, 3.7 x 10.6 x 10.6 inch
Weight 4 kg, 8.8 lb
FinishCase black aluminium 42, cover silver aluminium 43

Stereophile – Class A+

"… I can't fault the DAC 8 DSD's sound—it sits comfortably with the sounds of more expensive products…And the DAC 8 DSD provided the best sound from DSD that I've heard."


Audiostream

"…the T+A grabbed me, shook me (well that was actually the music's domain), and didn't let go. Consider the DAC 8 DSD highly recommended for a very long term audition of your music's guts and glory."


Fidelity Magazine

"I can only say that with the DAC 8 DSD, T+A has come up with a leading DAC converter regardless of what price range you consider."


We’ve had a lot of DACs and without a doubt, this one is very special. The level of resolution and dynamic capability from this DAC are class leading at this price point. If you’re wanting to hear what’s on the recordings, this is the DAC. From bold, but punchy and tight bass, to detailed mids and extended top end, it does everything at a high level whether it be PCM or its outstanding handling of DSD material. Give it great source such as a Melco Digital Music Library and be prepared to hear the capabilities of this incredible DAC. Plus, with a well-executed analogue volume control, this is an outstanding piece for driving an amp directly, such as the matching T+A AMP 8.