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Naim Audio DAC

Availability: In stock

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£2,599.00


The Naim DAC marks a technical milestone comparable to our first CD player, the CDS. The CDS demonstrated that CD replay and lifelike music reproduction were not mutually exclusive. Now, the Naim DAC demonstrates that the jitter and noise that bedevil traditional external digital to analogue conversion can be overcome and a new route to the real enjoyment of music opened. The Naim DAC provides eight S/PDIF inputs, two USB inputs, and is capable of handling audio data sampled at up to 768kHz and with up to 24bit resolution. It not only brings all the digital inputs together into the analogue domain, but does so with a level of performance that can compete with the finest from any Naim CD player to provide unrivalled musical fulfilment.


Listening to the Naim DAC is a revelation. Music, whether its source be an iPod, a CD or a high resolution data file, is presented afresh, with more definition, more insight, more warmth, and simply more of those hard to-define clues of rhythm, melody and emotion that distinguish the real thing from pale imitation. The Naim DAC is an advance that brings real music in the home closer to reality than ever before.


 


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If you have any equiries feel free to call us on: +44 (0)1233 624441

Naim Auido DAC front

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Full Description

Capable of partnering and upgrading a wide range of Naim products, the DAC has more in common with our CD players than with any conventional DAC. Its Burr-Brown converter chips, for instance, are also found in our flagship CD555 CD player. The DAC overcomes the jitter inherent in standard digital connections by reading data independent of its timing signal. Its digital filtering, based on a 40bit floating-point SHARC DSP chip running unique Naim code, sets new standards in its class.

If the DAC’s music performance is extreme, its flexibility is just as remarkable. With eight S/PDIF and two USB inputs, it’s adaptable to any system configuration and can grow to meet any need.


Designing an external digital to analogue converter capable of offering the exceptional musical performance obligatory for a Naim product brings numerous technical challenges. In particular, the S/PDIF interface protocol for digital interconnection has significant jitter and noise problems.

Original solutions to these problems had to be conceived and developed. The Naim DAC has more in common with Naim CD players than with conventional external digital to analogue converters. It overcomes the jitter issues of S/PDIF by reading the data into a "rotating" data RAM buffer independently of its timing signal and reading it out again clocked by one of ten extremely low noise, fixed frequency crystal sine-wave oscillators.

In terms of system topology, the DAC's rotating memory is analogous to a rotating CD feeding raw data to be reclocked. The rate at which the memory fills and empties is controlled by the DAC automatically selecting the oscillator that matches the average incoming clock frequency. The data entering the downstream digital filtering and DAC chips is then completely isolated from the incoming S/PDIF jitter. Along with being a source of jitter, S/PDIF is a potential source of RF noise. The Naim DAC suppresses S/PDIF noise through electrical isolation of its DSP front end from the digital to analogue converter and analogue circuits. Each element is also run from separate power supplies.

The Naim DAC's digital filtering is handled by a powerful SHARC DSP chip running unique Naim authored code to create an ultra high precision 40-bit floating point filter. The filter over-samples by 16 times on 44.1kHz data and provides stop-band attenuation of 180dB on all data. Following the digital filter are the two mono Burr-Brown digital to analogue converter chips, as used in the CD555 CD player. Finally the Naim DAC features a very high performance, low noise, and low distortion fully discrete analogue output stage.

Ground breaking technology and digital audio engineering, however, are purely academic. Listening to the Naim DAC is something else entirely. Startling in its clarity, arresting in its detail, beguiling in its warmth and inspiring in its rhythm, the Naim DAC seduces from the first note.


Features

    Eight S/PDIF inputs for digital sources like games consoles, set top boxes and hard disk servers
    Two USB inputs (one front, one rear)
    40bit SHARC DSP chip handling filtering and oversampling
    Plays audio files at up to 24bit/768kHz resolution
    Front-panel input controls adapt to become playback controls when iOS or USB devices are connected

Use to upgrade the onboard DAC of the CD5 XS and CDX2 CD players and the HDX hard disk player/server



Technology & Craft

The Naim DAC is the end result of several years of research. It introduced several original digital music technologies that have since gone on to help inform the development of an entire range of streaming products.

The DAC overcomes the jitter issues of S/PDIF by reading the music into a "rotating" data RAM buffer independently of its timing signal and reading it out again clocked by one of ten extremely low noise, fixed frequency crystal sine-wave oscillators. The data entering the downstream digital filtering and DAC chips is then completely isolated from the incoming S/PDIF jitter. The Naim DAC also suppresses RF noise from S/PDIF through electrical isolation of its DSP front end from the digital to analogue converter and analogue circuits. Each element is also run from separate power supplies.

The Naim DAC's digital filtering is handled by a powerful SHARC DSP chip running unique Naim authored code to create an ultra-high precision 40-bit floating point filter. The filter over-samples by 16 times on 44.1kHz data and provides stop-band attenuation of 180dB on all data. Following the digital filter are the two mono Burr-Brown digital to analogue converter chips, as used in the CD555 CD player. Finally the Naim DAC features a very high performance, low noise, and low distortion fully discrete analogue output stage.

 

 

Naim Audio DAC Reference Manual

 

Naim Audio DAC Brochure

 

Naim Audio DAC White Paper

 



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Specification

Audio Inputs
Digital

8 x S/PDIF: 
   - 2 x coaxial BNC
   - 2 x coaxial phono
   - 4 x optical TOSLINK

USB

Front and rear panel - the front overrides the rear. Type-A

Audio Outputs
Analogue

DIN, RCA

Output Impedance

20Ω

Line Output

2.2V RMS

Load Impedance

10kΩ (min.)

Frequency Response

10Hz – 20kHz, +0.1/-0.5dB

THD

<0.002%

Connectivity
Remote Control

Infra Red (RC5)

Remote Input

1 x 3.5mm jack on rear (RC5)

Remote Output

1 x rear panel 3.5mm jack (RC5)

Sample Rates Supported
S/PDIF

32kHz -192kHz, 24bit

USB

32kHz - 768kHz, 24bit

iPod, iPhone

48kHz (max.)

User Control
Front Panel

Front panel buttons

IR Input

Front and rear panel

IR Output

Real panel socket

Power
Supply Voltage

100V, 115V, 230V; 50 or 60Hz

Power Consumption

<30VA (max. inc iPod charging)

Physical
Dimensions (HxWxD)

70 x 432 x 301 mm

Weight

5.6 kg

Supplied with

Standard Interconnect