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Audio Music DAC/1

When AM announced they were releasing a DAC after 3 years of intensive research and development, I said that going on the performance of their other products, I suspected it would be pretty good.  The reply was that it is better than everything.  I was curious to see.  I received mine just before the UK  distributor got his.  DACs are usually quite light, but when the courier arrived with the beautiful flight case, the burley driver asked me to help him carry it.  It was heavy.  I received an anxious  question from the U K as to what I thought.  My reply was that it was head and shoulders better than anything I had ever heard.  In fact way better than much more expensive super DAC's that were rated as the very best.  They said they had several DACs lined up to compare it with at more than 5 times the AMs price and they would let me know as theirs had just arrived.  After about two weeks I had not heard, so I asked how they were going, and got a reply that they had finished the testing and he would let me  know, so I wondered if they were less entheuastic than me.  But no, the next message was that they were just shocked at how much better it was than anything else.  They found the same as me.  It made the very best sound constricted in detail and soundstage size, scale, transparency and detail. Their raving enthusiasm even exceeded mine. 

An AM amp owner asked me to send it to him to try.  He doubted if it would be better than he had, as he had compared it to a lot of crazy priced DACs and none came close, but he was happy to pay the freight just to see.  It did not come back.

Every now and then, something extraordinary comes along.  This is one of those. 

AM DAC.png


Decoder design features:

2 groups of coaxial input 2 groups of AES input
1 group of USB input
Output BAL RCA
FPGA+resistor 4 pcs of silver digital transfomers silver connection wire
* Fully Balanced design down to the conversion point.
* Dynamically configurable between a discrete native DSD, or discrete native PCM DAC.
*The DAC has two modes:a multibit PCM mode and a massive parallel single-bit discrete DSD mode
* Based off a discrete ladder DAC design far beyond the performance of a basic R2R architecture.
* Control and display and DAC share a clock, which is more accurateEach DAC module is individually shielded and thermally bonded for a stringent temperature control.
* Multiple DACs per channel for increased performance and lower output impedance.
* Each DAC module is individually tested and then hand-matched with our rigorous automated measurement system.

The Premier DAC
Supported Formats (Input dependent) 44.1kHz to 768kHz PCM up to 32 bits
2xDSD, 4xDSD, 8xDSD
Supports DSD via DoP on all inputs
Digital Inputs 4x input

XLR Analog Outputs 3.57Vrms Maximum
150Ω Balanced
Galvanically isolated
Volume Control 0.5dB steps (Range 0 - 100).
When the volume shows 99, then it does not go through DAC volume control

44.1kHz to 768kHz PCM up to 32 bits

2xDSD, 4xDSD, 8xDSD

Supports DSD via DoP on all inputsDisplay

Custom discrete LED audio clock synchronous

Adjustable brightness and auto-of feature

Volume controlDSP 99  volume control

Output Impedance

600 ohms . RCA output & BAL output. 3.57Vrms Max

Digital Inputs  2 Coaxial ; 2 AES , 1 USB

Power consumption

30 watts

Dimensions (W * D * H)356W*343D*103H*(mm) & 356W*343D*138H*(mm)

Weight41 Kg shipping weight


 Owner Feedback:


I wanted to give feedback on the DAC through rca input.   My goodness this is a special unit.

1.   Another octave of deep bass almost.   The Burmester subwoofer has never had material so deep and tight/delineated to work with Before.

2.   Massive detail.   Very low noise floor (can max out volume on tube preamp and now silence from speakers) .   Very natural Sound.

3.   Just a complete absence of Distortion.   Complete.   This actually means less second harmonic distortion as well so a slight “dryness” compared to organic “wetness” of previous DAC.   Has mandated a change of digital cable(acoustic revive)  To offset that aspect And a rug on floor to soak up reverberant brightness and the unit sounded worse with blocking RF plugs in the spare DAC outlets and I had to remove them - it actually needs a little of the bleed through ambient RF to be balanced.

I think this is best paired with a tube preamp.   A cold ,clinical solid state preamp would accentuate this trait.

So yes, system matching is the key as we all agree.

Hard to go back to other Dacs now.

Marc Russo 

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