Stereo Audio_Research_Ref_DAC_Digital_Media_Bridge

Published on October 30th, 2012 | by Malcolm Steward


Audio Research Ref. DAC Digital Media Bridge


Fusing the latest Wi-Fi-enabled digital tech and Audio Research’s universally lauded valve-based audio circuitry, the new Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge makes all forms of digital music sound sensational, says UK distributor, Absolute Sounds.

The Key highlights of the design include:

• Fully featured high-end D/A converter – an all-encompassing, user-friendly, Wi-Fi-enabled DAC delivering the best possible sound quality from all digital music sources.
• 24-bit/192kHz digital stereo processor, preamplifier and audio streamer in a single chassis, with both wired and wireless network connectivity and integrated internet radio.
• 44.1kHz (CD-quality) and 48kHz sources upsampled to 176.4kHz or 192kHz.
• High-speed USB input for wired connection to PC/Mac, plus USB input for iPod/iPad/iPhone and front-mounted input for USB drives.
• AES/EBU and S/PDIF (coaxial and optical) digital audio inputs also provided.
• Bit-for-bit kernel streaming – for maximum fidelity of computer-based audio.
• Supports DOP (DSD over PCM).
• Switchable digital filters allows the listener to tailor the sound to his/her taste.
• Informative 3.5-inch TFT colour display and intuitive user interface.
• Audio circuitry of the highest standard, including the same valve-based analogue stage and power supply as the highly acclaimed Audio Research Reference 5 SE preamplifier.
• Sound quality significantly better than Audio Research’s DAC8 – already recognised as one of the best DACs on the planet.

UK price and availability

The Audio Research Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge is available in the UK from November, priced at £13,998 inc. VAT and sold exclusively through Absolute Sounds’ high-end audio retail network. One has to say that that price, while high, does not seem at all uncompetitive when you consider what you get for it: a high-end streamer, DAC and pre-amplifier

About the Author

Writing about audio professionally since the mid-1980s has been a fantastically enjoyable and satisfying task but also a hardening one: it has forced upon me an honesty that I feel compelled to share with my readers. This has not made me popular with those manufacturers who rate success and wealth above integrity... and there are a few of those! I can live with that, though, because the gear the 'good guys' produce more than makes up for all manner of ills! Stereo is still fun, even after forty years... Thank God!

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