Digital to Analogue Converters

The precision of reality.

Our range of DAC’s are testament to our quest to make digital playback more dynamically realistic and less fatiguing. Audio Note DAC’s are available in South Africa – we are located in Sandton!

We have managed to elevate CD reproduction to a previously un-attained level of quality and performance, and with the DAC 5, we proudly present our most radically advanced and iconoclastic digital circuit design so far.

Håkon Rognlien, HiFi and music writer in Norwegian magazines “Audio”, “Eyefi” and “Fidelity” for more than 20 years, has reviewed our DAC5 Special, check out his thoughts here.

Audio Note Fifth Element Fifth Force

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BROWSE DACS

Digital to Analogue Converters

The precision of reality

To understand the path that led us to the development of our current range of Digital to Analogue Converters, it is worth looking back at our ‘digital history’. Our first defining assault was made in 1992 when we introduced the DAC3, which, with its patented transformer / filter interface circuit, revolutionised CD play back.

What we learnt from the experiments with the digital / analogue interface transformers and filters in the DAC3 was that there had to be more information available on the discs than previous believed. Digital filters and the associated over sampling had been broadly discussed, analysed and criticised, but what no-one had done at this time was to remove them altogether, to see what their real effects on ultimate sound quality were. So, that is exactly what we decided to do, and the results were dramatic, to say the least.

The improvements this completely new circuit topology introduced resulted in a level of CD playback quality that was previously un-imagined.

To this day, we combine these purely analogue filters (dubbed 1x oversampling™ direct from disc™ technology) with the finest components and materials available, including transformer interfaces and the highest quality vacuum tube circuitry to produce a range of Digital to Analogue Converters that are both refreshingly lifelike and free from conventional digital restraints and mechanical artifacts.

DAC 0.1x

The DAC 0.1x uses the revolutionary and currently exclusive Audio Note digital technology dubbed 1x oversampling™ direct from disc™ circuit topology.

Product details

Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that regardless of the theoretical and measurable advantages of the signal manipulation employed in all currently available digital products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, the result is this: all these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal. Current theory is based on an assumption that music is similar to book keeping data which of course it is not. Music is a time continuum from beginning to end, which when broken is irreparably damaged and no amount of clever manipulation can ever restore it to its original time-frequency-amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

The DAC uses the revolutionary and currently exclusive Audio Note digital technology dubbed 1x oversampling™ direct from disc™ circuit topology. The technology in essence dispenses with all the correction measures inherent in all other D/A converters and presents the digital signal directly to the converter after reformatting. In other words, all products in the Audio Note DAC range have no oversampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all the digital filtering that is part of the oversampling, we have also dispensed with all filtering in the analogue domain to further retain good wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. The end result being a reproduction more reminiscent of master tape in quality, with greater differentiation and contrast between different recordings.

DAC0.1x converter uses a Philips TDA1543 stereo D/A converter chip and features a 6111WA valve zero feedback output stage.

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminium / Black Acrylic / White Acrylic

Technical Specifications

INPUT
1 x 75Ohm RCA SPDIF, 1 x USB
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE Less then 2KOhm
REFERENCE OUTPUT 2.6V RMS
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.25dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT 1 x 6111WA
UNIT WEIGHT 3 kg
UNIT DIMENSIONS 96mm (h) x 300mm (w) x 270mm (d) inc. connectors
DIGITAL SYSTEM 16 Bit Philips TDA1543 D/A converter

44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.

NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

DAC 1.1x/II

The Audio Note (UK) DAC1.1x has no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour.

Product details

The Audio Note (UK) DAC1.1x/II Digital to Analogue converter has been specifically engineered for sonic performance rather than technical specification, and fulfils all Audio Note (UK) Level 1 criteria:

Materials and component quality

Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that, regardless of the theoretical advantages of the signal manipulation employed in our competitors products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal.

Music is a time continuum from start to end which when broken is irreparably damaged, and no amount of clever manipulation can restore it to its original time / frequency / amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

As a result, we have developed a way of excluding or bypassing all these corrective measures, to allow the conversion from digital to analogue to be done without any manipulation whatsoever. All we do is to reformat the data stream to allow the converter chip to be able to interpolate the incoming information correctly.

In other words, the Audio Note (UK) DAC1.1x has no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. It uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions!).

The filter-interface coils / transformers are of extremely high quality, and are custom designed and manufactured in house by us.

The DAC1.1x/II Signature also features an abundance of upgraded components in comparison with the standard edition, including our own Audio Note (UK) Tantalum resistors in key areas.

Current models

    • DAC 1.1x/II
    • DAC1.1x/II Signature

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminum / Black Acrylic.

Technical Specifications

INPUT
RCA 75 Ohms SPDif
XLR 110 Ohms AES/EBU
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 600 Ohms, RCA or Single Ended
REFERENCE OUTPUT 3.2V RMS
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.2dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT 2 x ECC88 / 6DJ8
UNIT WEIGHT 5.1 kg
UNIT DIMENSIONS 145mm (h) x 300mm (w) x 415mm (d)
DIGITAL SYSTEM 18Bit Analogue Devices AD1865N

44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.

NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

DAC 2.1x

The Audio Note (UK) DAC 2.1x Digital to Analogue converter has been specifically engineered for sonic performance rather than technical specification, and fulfils all Audio Note (UK) Level 2 criteria: Valve rectification and Materials and component quality.

DAC's

Product details

Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that, regardless of the theoretical advantages of the signal manipulation employed in our competitors products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal.

Music is a time continuum from start to end which when broken is irreparably damaged, and no amount of clever manipulation can restore it to its original time / frequency / amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

As a result, we have developed a way of excluding or bypassing all these corrective measures, to allow the conversion from digital to analogue to be done without any manipulation whatsoever. All we do is to reformat the data stream to allow the converter chip to be able to interpolate the incoming information correctly.

In other words, the Audio Note (UK) DAC2.1x has no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. It uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions!).

The filter-interface coils / transformers are of extremely high quality, and are custom designed and manufactured in house by us.

The DAC2.1x Signature also features an abundance of upgraded components in comparison with the standard edition, including our own Audio Note (UK) Tantalum resistors and Copper coil capacitors used in key areas. It also features a valve rectified power supply (the standard DAC2.1x uses solid state rectification).

The DAC2.1x/II Balanced features an upgraded version of the classic Audio Note (UK) Line preamplifier output stage, using a pair of ECC82 / 5814a double triode valves. Unlike the preceding models in the Audio Note (UK) DAC range, the DAC2.1x/II Balanced features a pair of custom designed and manufactured output transformers. These devices not only have exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible.

The analogue output has provisions for both single ended and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors. To power this spectacularly revealing arrangement, we have incorporated a power supply with valve rectification. This technique not only provides excellent isolation between the digital circuitry and power supply, but also provides wellisolated short and clean analogue signal paths. Internal components are of extremely high quality, as is expected from an Audio Note (UK) product.

Current models

    • DAC 2.1x
    • DAC2.1x Signature
    • DAC 2.1x/II Balanced

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminum / Black Acrylic.

Technical Specifications

INPUT
RCA 75 Ohms SPDif
XLR 110 Ohms AES/EBU
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 600 Ohms, RCA/Balanced or Single Ended
REFERENCE OUTPUT 3.2V RMS
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.2dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT Standard:

2 x 6DJ8

Signature:

2 x 6DJ8
1 x 6X5

Balanced:

2 x ECC82 / 5814a
1 x ECL82
1 x 6X5

UNIT WEIGHT 5.1 kg
UNIT DIMENSIONS 145mm (h) x 300mm (w) x 415mm (d)
DIGITAL SYSTEM 18Bit Ananloue Devices AD1865N
44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.
NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

DAC 3.1x/II Balanced

The Audio Note (UK) DAC3.1x Digital to Analogue converter has been specifically engineered for sonic performance rather than technical specification.

DAC's

Product details

The Audio Note (UK) DAC3.1x Digital to Analogue converter fulfills all Audio Note (UK) Level 3 criteria: –

    • Pure Class A operation
    • Zero negative feedback
    • Single Ended circuit topology
    • Valve rectification
    • Materials and component quality

Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that, regardless of the theoretical advantages of the signal manipulation employed in our competitors products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal..

Music is a time continuum from start to end which when broken is irreparably damaged, and no amount of clever manipulation can restore it to its original time / frequency / amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

As a result, we have developed a way of excluding or bypassing all these corrective measures, to allow the conversion from digital to analogue to be done without any manipulation whatsoever. All we do is to reformat the data stream to allow the converter chip to be able to interpolate the incoming information correctly.

In other words, the Audio Note (UK) DAC3.1x has no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. It uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions!).

The filter-interface coils / transformers are of extremely high quality, and are custom designed and manufactured in house by us.

The DAC3.1x/II Balanced features an upgraded version of the classic Audio Note (UK) Line preamplifier output stage, using a pair of ECC82 / 5814a double triode valves. This is coupled to an output transformer, wound with Audio Note (UK) copper wire. With a 33:1 step-down ratio, this output transformer not only has exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible. The analogue output has provisions for both single ended and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors.

To power this spectacularly revealing arrangement, we have incorporated a dual channel power supply with double choke filtering and valve rectification. This technique not only provides excellent isolation between the digital circuitry and power supply, but also provides well-isolated short and clean analogue signal paths. The digital power supply is an exceptionally low noise, shunt-type.

Internal component quality is of extremely high quality. Audio Note (UK) Copper Foil capacitors and high quality resistors are used in key areas throughout the circuit. Analogue stage filter inductors and internal wiring are all produced with our own Audio Note (UK) wire.

Current models

DAC 3.1x/II Balanced.

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminium / Black Acrylic / White Acrylic

Technical Specifications

INPUT
RCA 75 Ohms SPDif
XLR 110 Ohms AES/EBU.
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 600 Ohms, Balanced or Single Ended
REFERENCE OUTPUT 3.2V RMS
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.2dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT 2 x ECC82 / 5814a
1 x ECL82
1 x 6X5
UNIT WEIGHT 13 kg
UNIT DIMENSIONS 145mm (h) x 450mm (w) x 425mm (d)
DIGITAL SYSTEM 18Bit Ananloue Devices AD1865N
44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.

44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.

NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

DAC 4.1x Balanced

The DAC 4.1x Balanced uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions!).

Product details

The Audio Note (UK) DAC4.1x Digital to Analogue converters have been specifically engineered for sonic performance rather than technical specification, and fulfils all Audio Note (UK) Level 4 criteria: –

    • Pure Class A operation
    • Zero negative feedback
    • Single Ended circuit topology
    • Valve rectification
    • Materials and component quality

Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that, regardless of the theoretical advantages of the signal manipulation employed in our competitors products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal..

Music is a time continuum from start to end which when broken is irreparably damaged, and no amount of clever manipulation can restore it to its original time / frequency / amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

As a result, we have developed a way of excluding or bypassing all these corrective measures, to allow the conversion from digital to analogue to be done without any manipulation whatsoever. All we do is to reformat the data stream to allow the converter chip to be able to interpolate the incoming information correctly.

In other words, the Audio Note (UK) DAC4.1x has no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. It uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions!).

The filter-interface coils / transformers are of the highest possible quality, using 80% nickel Super mu-metal cores. The air gaps in the two filter coils per channel are matched across the full frequency range to within 0.1dB of each other, using a specially designed program to supplement an Audio Precision System 2 test rig.

The DAC4.1x Balanced features an upgraded version of the M6 Line pre-amplifier output stage, using the 5814a and 6463 double triode valves. This is coupled to an output transformer, wound with Audio Note (UK) copper wire on a High B C-core. With a 33:1 step-down ratio, this output transformer not only has exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible. The analogue output has provisions for both unbalanced and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors.

The DAC4.1x Balanced Signature features an upgraded version of the M6 Line pre-amplifier output stage, using a pair of 5687 double triode valves. This is coupled to an output transformer, wound with Audio Note (UK) copper wire on a High B Ccore. With a 33:1 step-down ratio, this output transformer not only has exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible. The analogue output has provisions for both unbalanced and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors.

To power this spectacularly revealing arrangement, we have incorporated a dual channel power supply with double choke filtering and valve rectification. This technique not only provides excellent isolation between the digital circuitry and power supply, but also provides well-isolated short and clean analogue signal paths. The digital power supply is an exceptionally low noise, shunt-type.

Internal component quality of this calibre has never before been seen, in either consumer or professional equipment. There is an abundance of Audio Note (UK) capacitors, and Audio Note (UK) Tantalum film resistors throughout the circuit. Analogue stage filter inductors and internal wiring are all produced with Audio Note (UK) wire.

Current models

    • DAC 4.1x Balanced
    • DAC 4.1x Balanced Signature

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminium / Black Acrylic.

Technical Specifications

INPUT
RCA 75 Ohms SPDif
XLR 110 Ohms AES/EBU
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 600 Ohms, Balanced or Single Ended
REFERENCE OUTPUT 1.5V RMS (Balanced)
3.2V RMS (Balanced Sig.)
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.2dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT 1 x 5814a
1 x 5687WB (Balanced) / 1 x 6463 (Balanced Sig.)
1 x ECL82
1 x 6X5
UNIT WEIGHT 22 kg
UNIT DIMENSIONS 145mm (h) x 450mm (w) x 425mm (d)
DIGITAL SYSTEM 18Bit Ananloue Devices AD1865N
44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.
NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

DAC 5

The Audio Note DAC 5 are the most unique digital product available today. It uses the most unusual and innovative digital circuit on the market, combined with some of the finest components, materials and power supplies possible.

audio note dac 5

Product details

The Audio Note (UK) DAC5 Special Digital to Analogue converter has been specifically engineered for sonic performance rather than technical specification, and fulfils all Audio Note (UK) Level 5 criteria:

    • Pure Class A operation
    • Zero negative feedback
    • Single Ended circuit topology
    • Valve rectification
    • Materials and component quality

Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that, regardless of the theoretical advantages of the signal manipulation employed in our competitors products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal.

Music is a time continuum from start to end which when broken is irreparably damaged, and no amount of clever manipulation can restore it to its original time / frequency / amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

As a result, we have developed a way of excluding or bypassing all these corrective measures, to allow the conversion from digital to analogue to be done without any manipulation whatsoever. All we do is to reformat the data stream to allow the converter chip to be able to interpolate the incoming information correctly.

In other words, the Audio Note (UK) DAC5 have no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. It uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions!).

The filter-interface coils / transformers are of the highest possible quality, using 80% nickel Super mu-metal cores with 99.99% pure Audio Note™ silver wires. The air gaps in the two filter coils per channel are matched across the full frequency range to within 0.1dB of each other, using a specially designed program to supplement an Audio Precision System 2 test rig.

The DAC 5 Special features an upgraded version of the M6 pre-amplifier line stage, using a 5814a (ECC82/12AU7a) and a 6463, both of which are dual triode valves. These are coupled to an output transformer, wound with Audio Note (UK) silver wire on a High B C-core. With a 33:1 step-down ratio, this output transformer not only has exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible. The analogue output has provisions for both unbalanced and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors.

The DAC 5 Signature features an upgraded version of the M6 preamplifier line stage, using a 5814a (ECC82 / 12AU7a / 6189) and a Telefunken 6463, both of which are dual triodes valves. These are coupled to an output transformer, wound with Audio Note (UK) silver wire on a 55% Nickel Audio Note (UK) Supa-Perma C cores. With a 33:1 step-down ratio, this output transformer not only has exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible. The analogue output has provisions for both usingle ended and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors.

To power this spectacularly revealing arrangement, we have incorporated a dual channel power supply with double choke filtering and valve rectification. This technique not only provides excellent isolation between the digital circuitry and power supply, but also provides well-isolated short and clean analogue signal paths. The digital power supply is an exceptionally low noise, shunt-type.

Internal component quality of this calibre has never before been seen, in either consumer or professional equipment. There is an abundance of Black Gate and Cerafine Audio capacitors, and Audio Note (UK) Tantalum film resistors throughout the circuit. Analogue stage filter inductors and internal wiring are all produced with Audio Note (UK) 99.99% pure silver wire.

​Current models

    • DAC 5 Special
    • DAC 5 Signature

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminum / Black Acrylic

Technical Specifications

INPUT
RCA 75 Ohms SPDif
XLR 110 Ohms AES/EBU
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 600 Ohms, Balanced or Single Ended
REFERENCE OUTPUT 3.2V RMS
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.2dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT 1 x 5814a
1 x 6463
1 x 6X5
1 x ECL82
1 x OB2
UNIT WEIGHT 22 kg
UNIT DIMENSIONS 145mm (h) x 450mm (w) x 425mm (d)
DIGITAL SYSTEM 18Bit Ananloue Devices AD1865N
44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.
NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

Fifth Element / Fifth Force

The Fifth Element / Fifth Force DAC is without doubt or question, the finest Digital to Analogue Converter we have ever produced. As one would expect, no expense has been spared in the construction of the circuit or the components used, and it is a full Audio Note (UK) Level 5 product.

Product details

It has been specifically engineered for sonic performance rather than technical specification, and fulfils all Audio Note (UK) Level 5 criteria: –

    • Pure Class A operation
    • Zero negative feedback
    • Single Ended circuit topology
    • Valve rectification
    • Materials and component quality

The Fifth Element / Fifth Force is one of the most unique digital products available today. It uses the most unusual and innovative digital circuit on the market, combined with some of the finest components, materials and power supplies possible. Extensive research into the fundamental properties of the data stream itself have shown beyond doubt that, regardless of the theoretical advantages of the signal manipulation employed in our competitors products, such as higher over sampling, noise shaping, re-clocking or jitter reduction, these corrective measures greatly interfere with the critical time domain requirements of the signal.

Music is a time continuum from start to end which when broken is irreparably damaged, and no amount of clever manipulation can restore it to its original time / frequency / amplitude duration or relationship, regardless of what the theorists may tell you.

As a result, we have developed a way of excluding or bypassing all these corrective measures, to allow the conversion from digital to analogue to be done without any manipulation whatsoever. All we do is to reformat the data stream to allow the converter chip to be able to interpolate the incoming information correctly.

In other words, the Fifth Element / Fifth Force has no over sampling, no jitter reduction, no noise shaping and no re-clocking. Having removed all of the digital filtering that is required for over sampling, all filtering is done in the analogue domain where it is easier to retain good, wide band phase-frequency and dynamically coherent behaviour. It uses the highest grade Analogue Devices AD1865, 18Bit stereo converter chip solely because we found it to be the best sounding available (yes, even better than the 20Bit versions).

The filter-interface coils / transformers are of the highest possible quality, using 55% nickel Super mu-metal cores with 99.99% pure Audio Note™ silver wires. The air gaps in the two filter coils per channel are matched across the full frequency range to within 0.1dB of each other, using a specially designed program to supplement an Audio Precision System 2 test rig.

An extremely unique feature of the Fifth Element / Fifth Force is its use of an input buffer stage for the incoming digital signal, using an EF800 valve. Audio Note (UK) was the first company in the world to commercially implement such an arrangement, and it is one of the many technical achievements found in the Fifth Element / Fifth Force that pushes the performance of this Digital to analogue Converter beyond the threshold previously thought possible for such a device or digital audio technology in general.

The Fifth Element / Fifth Force features a version of the M9 pre-amplifier line stage, using a 6189 (ECC82 / 12AU7a / 5814a) and a Telefunken 6463, both of which are dual triodes valves. These are coupled to an output transformer, wound with Audio Note (UK) silver wire on a 55% Nickel Audio Note (UK) Supa-Perma C cores. With a 33:1 step-down ratio, this output transformer not only has exceptionally wide frequency response, but also just about the absolutely best dynamic transfer function possible. The analogue output has provisions for both single ended and balanced operation, using the best available quality RCA and XLR connectors.

To power this spectacularly revealing arrangement, we have incorporated a version of the Galahad power supply found in our M9 Phono pre-amplifier. This supply features full valve rectification, regulation and voltage stabilisation. This technique not only provides excellent isolation between the digital circuitry and power supply, but also provides well-isolated short and clean analogue signal paths. The digital power supply is an exceptionally low noise, shunt-type.

Internal component quality of this calibre has never before been seen, in either consumer or professional equipment. There is an abundance of Black Gate and Cerafine Audio capacitors, and Audio Note (UK) Tantalum film resistors throughout the circuit. Analogue stage filter inductors and internal wiring are all produced with Audio Note (UK) 99.99% pure silver wire.

Available finishes

Fascia – Anodised Aluminum / Black Acrylic.

Technical Specifications

INPUT
RCA 75 Ohms SPDif
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 600 Ohms, Balanced or Single Ended
REFERENCE OUTPUT 3.2V RMS
CHANNEL BALANCE Less than 0.2dB
VALVE COMPLEMENT Element
1 x 6189
1 x 6463
1 x EF800
1 x 6X5

Force
1 x 6X5
1 x ECL82
1 x 5651

UNIT WEIGHT 20 kg – per chassis
UNIT DIMENSIONS 160mm (h) x 445mm (w) x 428mm (d) – per chassis
DIGITAL SYSTEM 18Bit Analogue Devices AD1865N
44.1 / 48 / 96KHz input capability.
NOTE Due to Audio Note (UK)’s ongoing research and development program, specifications are subject to change without notice.

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