EmmLabs DAC2X Digital to Analog Converter
Good condition with box
The DAC2X supports up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution on all of its PCM inputs, including USB. Since it can receive a DSD-encoded bitstream via USB, it can also be used to play DSD files. It can be used to play SACDs from any EMM Labs SACD transport via the company’s proprietary Optilink digital optical interface. Moreover, the DAC2X upsamples all digital audio to 5.6MHz DSD, which is twice the sampling rate of SACD. Supported digital input formats are AES/EBU, S/PDIF, USB, and Optilink. On the DAC2X’s analog board are its 1-bit, sigma-delta, fully balanced, differential MDAC conversion modules. These modules are not the off-the-shelf integrated chips used in virtually all other DACs, but are hand-built by EMM Labs using individual transistors, resistors, and capacitors.
Also on the analog board is the DAC2X’s master clock. This circuit produces less than 1 picosecond of jitter. Unlike in most other DACs, whose clocks are located in the digital circuitry, the DAC2X’s clock is placed next to the DAC modules. This keeps the clock’s circuit paths very short, thereby, per EMM, further reducing jitter and other waveform distortions.
The DAC modules and clock are protected by grounded metal covers that isolate these critical parts from the rest of the circuitry. Under the DAC2X’s top cover lies what EMM calls a Charge Management Plate. Consisting of a group of copper dots arranged above the ground plane, this is designed to, when charged, stabilize the electrical field around the DAC2X’s audio circuits. According to EMM, it provides an environment not unlike that found inside vacuum tubes, which have extremely stable electrical field gradients due to their high supply voltages. The DAC2X paired cutting-edge technical proficiency with incredible midrange beauty and musicality. This is not to say that it will be all things to all people. Some may prefer a more forgiving sound. Bad recordings run through the DAC2X sounded very bad. But this is the price you pay for a machine that can also make great recordings take your breath away.
And while the DAC2X excelled at midrange harmonics and leading edge, other high-performance DACs bring to the table their own sonic signatures. As discussed below, my Esoteric K-03 SACD/CD player emphasizes transient impact and performance at the frequency extremes. Different stokes for different folks. But matters of taste aside, there can be no dispute that the DAC2X is one of only a few one-box DACs that can reasonably claim to intrude on the state of the art.
-2-Channel D/A conversions:
•from PCM (44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz) to analog
•from DSD to analog via USB (DSD streaming over USB using DoP 1.0 speci cation)
•from DSD to analog via EMM Optilink (SACD/CD playback)
-Supported digital input formats:
•Two COAX SPDIF
•Two TOSLINK SPDIF
-AudioAnalog outputs and impedances:
•Balanced on XLR (300 )•
-Unbalanced on RCA (150 )Output levels:
•XLR outputs: 4.6V (+15.45dBu)
•RCA outputs: 2.3V (+9.45dBu
•Power factor corrected
•Factory set to 100V or 115V or 230V, 50/60Hz operation
•Power consumption: 25W
•Remote control: Infrared
•Dimensions W x D x H: 435 x 400 x 92mm
Return & Refund Policy
• All Pre-Owned items have been tested before listing.
• NO WARRANTY.
• We encourage buyers to test and verify the equipment condition at our showroom (1 Coleman Street, The Adelphi, Unit 03-35) — pre-owned condition as shown on our listed page.