HERE’S something that will interest audiophiles exploring the wild realm of computer-based audio systems – the Audio Electronics by Cary Audio Lightning DAC, which will be available in May/June.
The USB-equipped Lightning DAC sports a Wolfson WM8805 chipset as the input receiver for the two SP/DIF digital audio inputs (coaxial and optical) and twin ESS Sabre ES9023 DAC chipsets in the digital-to-analogue conversion section. The USB input features XMOS asynchronous processing and the DAC is 24-bit/192kHz capable.
Input sample rates accepted are 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz and 192kHz, in bit depths of 16-to-24-bit. One caveat – higher-than-96kHz resolution via the optical input requires the Toslink output of the source and cable to be capable of outputting such sample rates.
The custom-built power transformer and a high-current power supply (with Faraday shielding and full regulation), buffer output section and gold-plated RCAs are among the other features on this ostensibly bang-for-buck converter.
The Lightning DAC has a US$1,295 price tag – go here for more details.