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    iFi Zen DAC V2iFi Zen DAC V2

    iFi Zen DAC V2

    iFi Audio's Zen DAC sports a 4.4mm balanced headphone output unheard of at this price, and unfolds and decodes MQA; perfect for Tidal users. Now a 5 ⭐ hit on What Hi-Fi?. [See Product Desc. For More] HIFI Trends adored Zen DAC. With enough power to drive a 300 ohm Sennheiser or ZMF Headphones, and 420 ohm Audio-Technica, this is here to stay. As you continue upgrading your rig, this 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256 Zen DAC grows with you. Use it to decode digital and feed a balanced analog signal into your other devices as a hub! See the rest of iFi Audio's innovations here, or browse the rest of our collection of DACs and amplifiers here.

    $319

    Our Price | $249

    Benchmark AHB2 Power AmplifierBenchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

    Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier

    From a company revered for their digital audio technology, Benchmark Media launched an all-out assault on stereo speaker amplification with their AHB2 power amplifier. Taking Stereophile's Product of the Year 2018 gong, this up-to-480-watt per channel Class AB amplifier depends on THX feed-forward AAA technology to deliver the widest dynamic range plus lowest signal-noise ratio of power amplifiers on the market, measuring perfectly on AudioScienceReview. [See Product Desc. For More] StereoNET rightfully called AHB2 a "class act that delivers an awful lot at its price" before it went on to take the publication's coveted Applause Award. Whether run as a stereo or monoblock amp, it's guaranteed to get the job done in any rig you place it in. Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity used an entire system together with the DAC3 and HPA4 THX-888 pre-amp to declare "Benchmark provides a textbook case of how good (read: superb) things can come in small packages". It got the Gold Award on Soundnews. The hallmarks of building a great power amplifier are all present here, with the ultra-efficient switching power supply of AHB2 stably and quietly juicing the amplifier regardless of load, before outputting into a power stage with peerless damping factor. You'll also be able to see everything from Benchmark here, our other digital and Roon Ready streaming sources from Matrix Audio here, and all our other DAC & amp options here.

    $5,300

    Our Price | $5,300

    Audio-Technica AT-BHA100Audio-Technica AT-BHA100
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    Audio-Technica AT-BHA100

    If you're going to add a tube to a circuit then put it on the input, and that's exactly what Audio-Technica have done with their hybrid AT-BHA100 headphone amplifier. Four ECC83S tubes take care of voltage gain, leaving the heavy lifting to a solid-state power stage built from discrete components. [See Product Desc. For More] With balanced connections back and front, AT-BHA100 promises source and especially headphone versatility from the Audio-Technica stable and beyond, those from Focal, Rosson Audio Design, Sennheiser and ZMF Headphones also being present. Alternatively, share the fun and listen with a partner through the use of two single-ended outputs each with their own volume knob! Tuned with a reference sound flat from bottom to top with beautiful sparkle in the highs, this is one infinitely pleasing listen your headphones will never tire of. We've been impressed by Benchmark Media's DAC3 supplying AT-BHA-100's signal. Also check out the rest of Audio-Technica's catalogue here, or view our other amplifiers here. 

    $1,399

    Our Price | $1,301.07

    Benchmark LA4 Line AmplifierBenchmark LA4 Line Amplifier

    Benchmark LA4 Line Amplifier

    A 256-step relay volume control brings one of the market's most sophisticated line stages from Benchmark Media to Hi-Fi and full-size system enthusiasts. Stereophile gave this compact full-size Hi-Fi component a glowing review, appreciating its technology. The Absolute Sound praise it in full-system context alongside Benchmark's own DAC3. This supremely transparent and precise line-level control helped Positive Feedback hear "every change I made to my system". [See Product Desc. For More] Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity used an entire system with the AHB2 power amp to declare "Benchmark provides a textbook case of how good (read: superb) things can come in small packages".  Write to us about a demo in your own stereo set-up at home. Or view the THX-888 headphone amplifier version of the LA4, the HPA4, here. You'll also be able to see everything from Benchmark here and all our other DAC & amp options here.

    $4,650

    Our Price | $4,650

    iFi Zen Blue V2
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    iFi Zen Blue V2

    iFi Audio's ultra-affordable Bluetooth streamer receives almost every signal from your computer, Mac, Android phone or mobile iOS device before decoding it to a balanced analog output signal. A 5 ⭐ hit on What Hi-Fi?, V2 boasts an improved antenna touting up to 80 per cent more range. [See Product Desc. For More] Zen Blue supports Qualcomm's aptX and aptX HD, LDAC and HWA, the latter hi-res codecs created by Sony and Huawei respectively. An improved clock means that jitter is reduced for better timing reproduced in your audio. Once received, that signal stands by to either go into your amplifier or speakers via balanced or single-ended analog, or digital SPDIF into a downstream decoder. That's flexibility at your fingertips! See the rest of iFi Audio's innovations here, or browse the rest of our collection of DACs and amplifiers here.

    $319

    Our Price | $319

    Matrix X-SPDIF 2Matrix X-SPDIF 2
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    Matrix X-SPDIF 2

    Transforms your computer into a high-end audio transport, capable of outputting digital signals via I2S by HDMI, AES/EBU and SPDIF to your DAC. *Price mentioned in video is in USD. All our website prices are in SGD. 

    $659

    Our Price | $659

    Benchmark DAC3 DAC

    Benchmark DAC3 DAC

    Benchmark have furthered their long line of Digital-to-Analog Converters with the DAC3. Stereophile commented that DAC3 was evidence that "science works". Enough, clearly, for this bargain in high-end audio to take the magazine's Product of the Year 2018. That elevates this pro audio powerhouse further in the minds of home Hi-Fi enthusiasts, and it's no surprise that Benchmark's sonic transparency and muscular, dynamic plus honest delivery fit any genre of music thrown at it. Five ⭐ came easily from What Hi-Fi?. [See Product Desc. For More] The Absolute Sound praise DAC3 in full-system context alongside the HPA4 and LA4 line controls. Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity used an entire system alongside the AHB2 power amp to declare "Benchmark provides a textbook case of how good (read: superb) things can come in small packages".  You'll also be able to see everything from Benchmark here and all our other DAC & amp options here.

    $2,950

    Our Price | $2,950

    Benchmark HPA4 Headphone Amplifier / Pre-amplifierBenchmark HPA4 Headphone Amplifier / Pre-amplifier

    Benchmark HPA4 Headphone Amplifier / Pre-amplifier

    Bringing THX-patented AAA technology to headphone amplification, Benchmark released their HPA4 as a statement product to take the personal audio world by storm. Personal audio enthusiasts have been able to count upon household name Benchmark's engineering prowess, says AudioScienceReview. It's an approach to engineering The Ear note can be heard in their listening. [See Product Desc. For More] A 256-step relay volume control additionally brings one of the market's most sophisticated line stages to headphone enthusiasts. Stereophile's Herb Reichert thanks this statement piece for helping "this old triode-tube lover to first acknowledge, then accept, and finally enjoy a new type of engagement, one that satisfied my engineering mind and my audiophile lust to look and listen into the hidden nooks and distant corners of every recording". The Absolute Sound praise HPA4 in full-system context alongside Benchmark's DAC3. Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity used an entire system with the AHB2 power amp to declare "Benchmark provides a textbook case of how good (read: superb) things can come in small packages".  Write to us about a demo in your own stereo set-up at home, or view the pre-amp-only version of HPA4, the LA4, here. You'll also be able to see everything from Benchmark here and all our other DAC & amp options here.

    $5,450

    Our Price | $5,450

    DCS Lina Headphone AmpDCS Lina Headphone Amp
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    DCS Lina Headphone Amp

    No one knew exactly what to expect from dCS Data Conversion Systems' first separate analog power amplifier, but neither is anyone surprised by the excellence of Lina headphone amplifier anyway.  Stereophile's extensive review saw Lina pitted against flagship competition and emerge with distinction ... "watch out for goosebumps, tears and laughter, because that's how you'll know if they can please for the long haul". Exhibiting remarkable specs on paper, it's immediately apparent how Lina's discrete transistor solid-state reference amplifier product translates those into spectacular audible results – an analog product that proves worthy of bearing the dCS name. [See Product Desc. For More] A pinnacle of frequency extension and transparency, Lina headphone amplifier makes its case to be the ultimate, final headphone source you'll ever need – conjuring macro and micro dynamics before your ears while always sounding relaxed and completely natural in its tonality. READ ALSO How Lina is the perfect amp for Susvara When fed by dCS' accompanying Lina network DAC, Lina amp's fully-balanced, differential design encased in solid aluminium brings out even more than you thought your flagship headphones could produce. Headfonia didn't do a very good job, trying to prevent their jaw from dropping at Lina's performance. From "planar headphone fan" Headfonics, "this is a tremendously satisfying and engrossing world-class solid-state amplifier". Lina saw Headphone Guru's headphones replace his speakers over a month of testing.  READ ALSO Lina – designing the perfect voltage source She was a Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product. Lina amp outputs in excess of 4 watts with enough current-handling ability for loads like the Abyss AB1266 Phi TC, Hedd Audio HEDDphone and HIFIMAN's Susvara. At the drawing board, dCS invest every effort in building Lina amp as a linear open-loop design.  READ ALSO Building a dCS statement in analog design Rather than achieving current-handling capability via the usual technique of building with more output transistors in parallel, Lina amp opts for quality over quantity and a lower parts count. Less is more, and dCS elegantly selects fewer but more unconventionally capable devices with 8 ampere current capability exceeding the normal needs of headphone amplifiers. Feeding this potent array of beastly power transistors is a proprietary driver stage that dCS designed to operate linearly with low open-loop distortion, unfazed by pushing the large output devices. This secret voltage gain circuit is more than up to the task of passing along and upsizing the signal of Lina DAC transparently without adding noise and distortion, thanks in part to cascodes operating supplementary and reducing voltage-induced non-linearities. READ ALSO Lina power quality matters – not just quantity Said cascodes also play a part reducing capacitance at the bases of transistors where they operate, which provides tremendous high-frequency performance with Lina amplifier extending out to 100Khz at -3dB. Meanwhile, Lina amp's DC-coupled nature also means bass extends down to subterranean levels – this kind of frequency performance down low and up top guarantees superbly flat phase reproduction in the audible human hearing range for potent and realistic musical dynamics. Through the audio microscopes that are flagship headphones, Lina's perfect phase response is undisputedly audible. The above – low output impedance, excellent current-handling, low distortion and frequency extension – all remarkably achieved in the open-loop. After getting these basics of an excellent analog circuit right, dCS then apply the cherry on the cake – closing the loop with negative feedback to make an already good design great. dCS thus achieves the amplifier ideal of a straight wire with gain, adding as little colouration as possible to let your transducers speak freely, to the fullest of their potential. It's been thoroughly thought out. When used with Lina DAC, Lina amp takes advantage of the former's high-current line-stage. The latter boasts an unbuffered balanced input, bypassing unnecessary active input stage devices and simplifying the circuit further for less chance of error.  Now we see – with the gargantuan task of creating a standalone amplifying product that lived up to the dCS name, these digital specialists pulled off a masterclass in analog design. A true testament to the skill of the designers, for the benefit of the most dedicated headphone listeners. Elsewhere, explore the digital chops from the rest of Lina here, or browse our other desktop products here.

    $14,500

    Our Price | $14,500

    DCS Lina Network DACDCS Lina Network DAC
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    DCS Lina Network DAC

    The Lina network streaming DAC boasting Ring DAC technology is both a continuation and a new beginning for dCS Data Conversion Systems. Lina DAC's design combines renowned dCS technologies with new innovations developed for headphone listeners – resulting in a bold new interpretation of the dCS experience, and a complete re-imaging of form and function alongside Lina headphone amp and Lina master clock. READ ALSO The inside story behind Lina DAC's creation What doesn't change, however, is a level of new immersion, resolution and realism that accompanies any dCS; even at Lina's new entry-level point. There are multiple ways to get your music aboard Lina DAC, with Spotify and Tidal Connect, plus Roon Ready status, standing by for easy connectivity right from set-up. With Lina DAC, dCS took core playback technologies, including the dCS Ring DAC and Digital Processing Platform, and added new innovations developed for headphone listeners. [See Product Desc. For More] 5 ⭐ came from What Hi-Fi?. Headfonia didn't do a very good job, trying to prevent their jaw from dropping at Lina's performance. Lina's "energy, dynamics, and a very strong level of detail retrieval" floored Headfonics. It saw Headphone Guru's headphones replace his speakers over a month of testing. She was a Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product. These impressive results translated to speakers too, for Steve Huff. A sensible flex-ridged circuit board allows dCS to deliver all of the features you’d expect from a dCS DAC in a much smaller chassis that would sit handsomely on a desktop or coffee table. READ ALSO The exhaustive breakdown of dCS Ring DAC technology At the heart of all dCS DACs is the Ring DAC, and Lina is no different. Ring DAC denotes a proprietary digital-to-analog conversion system. Ring DAC is renowned for its ultra-wide bandwidth, technical accuracy, and ability to reveal astonishing levels of detail in digital recordings – from the subtlest of sounds, to the sense of time and harmonic movement, and the atmosphere that surrounds a musical performance. A Xilinx Artix-7 FPGA comes loaded with the dCS Ring DAC mapping algorithm, and custom dCS oversampling linear-phase filters. FPGA technology allows dCS to supply constant firmware updates with time, by way of network updates. This showcases Lina's status as a true software product with each firmware upgrade yielding audible and functional improvements that sees dCS DACs always stay relevant. READ ALSO Software-driven hardware design at dCS After digital signal processing at Lina DAC's FPGA, the oversampled signal is then processed by a high-performance array of resistors and current latches controlled by the Ring DAC mapping algorithm, to form the basis of Lina's supreme performance discrete delta-sigma DAC. Designed from the ground up by dCS, not relying on performance-limiting off-the-shelf DAC chips, there is literally nothing out there like Lina DAC.  Lina gives all listeners the capability to expand its potential beyond a single box – its high-current discrete analog line output stage, fully balanced and differential – is designed to preserve the transparency of the Ring DAC. It can feed directly the unbuffered input section of Lina headphone amp, for full resolution and best signal-to-noise ratio.  Lina master clock meanwhile sits alongside ready to supply a reference clock source via dual BNCs for Lina DAC. Pushing phase noise and jitter far below audibility, the difference Lina master clock makes is profound, even on a decoder already as supreme as Lina DAC – and must be heard to be believed. The result is a powerful, supremely capable product designed for use in a wide range of environments, from living rooms to studios and workspaces.  With its wide dynamic range, crisp, clear playback, expansive soundstage, and tonal neutrality, Lina DAC provides a deeply natural, highly detailed, and profoundly musical sound that encapsulates our singular approach to audio. Add unique headphone optimisation technology like digital crossfeed, an elegant and tactile design, and a high-performance streaming platform, and you have a hugely versatile source that delivers spectacular sound, however you choose to listen.  READ ALSO Expanse – digital crossfeed done right View the rest of the Lina family here so that you may build on the magnificent performance of this network DAC, or view our other desktop products here.

    $20,500

    Our Price | $20,500

    DCS Lina Master ClockDCS Lina Master Clock
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    DCS Lina Master Clock

    The Lina master clock is a product inspired by dCS Data Conversion Systems' absolute dedication to achieving the highest possible standards of sound reproduction.  Headfonia didn't do a very good job, trying to prevent their jaw from dropping at Lina's performance. Lina saw Headphone Guru's headphones replace his speakers over a month of testing. She was a Hi-Fi News Outstanding Product. Design of Lina clock, to operate in tandem with Lina network DAC connected by dual BNCs, is informed by dCS experience developing master clocks for professional and home use. Headfonics clearly heard an improvement, certainly in a way he didn't miss Rossini clock. READ ALSO Lina a timely addition to dCS heritage Designed to further suppress jitter and phase noise in Lina DAC, it uses two oven-controlled crystal oscillators to deliver a precise and stable clocking reference for all audio formats and frequencies. [See Product Desc. For More] When paired with Lina DAC, Lina clock allows its sibling's internal clock system to be locked to a master signal, for even greater precision and enhanced audio performance. READ ALSO The scientific basis of dCS master clocks Its standalone design ensures sensitive clocking components are protected from factors that can cause interference. Each crystal oscillator is oven-controlled to ensure its performance remains consistent, even under changing conditions and temperatures. With its own dedicated chassis and power supplies, clock signals are thus protected from power interference, crosstalk and other factors that can affect integrity and in turn, audio quality. The feedback dCS received from listeners and audio experts who’ve experienced significant sonic benefits after adding such a master of time to their system clearly advised their design for the most thorough headphone reference rig available to market. Designed for maximum reliability and longevity, Lina clock is a silent but powerful component engineered to operate with absolute precision and consistency, so you can experience the best possible performance from your system. Combined with the rest of the Lina system that you can view here, Lina clock delivers an even more profound and immersive dCS listening experience, and helps ensure the audio you hear sounds exactly as it should.

    $11,500

    Our Price | $11,500

    Feliks EliseFeliks Elise

    Feliks Elise

    Adding scale and stage to Feliks Audio's impressive Echo II is Elise. Tube character abounds but never enough to take away the life-like realism of actual music in this OTL amplifier in single-ended triode format, based on the 6SN7 driver stalwart. You'll struggle to dispute Elise's quality at portraying an orchestral piece of work, or its magic synergy with Audio-Technica, Sennheiser or ZMF Headphones. Give it one listen, or many. Rarely will a single piece of gear fit as many sources, genres or set-ups. [See Product Desc. For More] Its mids are liquid and forward, great to address any flaws still present in your flagship cans. Warm, natural and wholesome even harmonic sound dominates – a direct result of Elise's single-ended Class A topology. The holy grail of all bias schemes isn't undertaken lightly, and new current sources ensure Feliks Audio's classic single-ended triode amplifier runs stably fully biased at all output levels. This is a decidedly low-distortion affair in an inherently linear amplifier given high tube operating voltages and current. Transconductance increasing with bias current is optimal. And while tube imaging, emotiveness and liquidity is de facto, Elise always sounds natural and fully transparent. Indeed, despite its mid-range vivacity, a massive audio bandwidth is guaranteed given its output transformer-less OTL construction. Literally nothing separates you from your music. Pairs of 6SN7 and NOS 6N13S tubes power your headphones directly, without any chunk of iron in the signal path.  Elise champions frequency extension – the fast, deep bass and airy, open highs from the best OTL associations to perfect phase reproduction and respectable damping factor – therefore. Long tube operating lifespans come courtesy of improved thermal management and more efficient passive cooling driving up to 60 per cent lower operating temperatures in the incumbant, versus its predecessor. Really, it's never only about the parts, and Elise is further proof boasting a new tube cathode heater and power supply design derived from the flagship Euforia. Great design nous gives a premium, Polish-built amplifier the platform to perform quietly and transparently.  Whether you go up or down, you'll be served browsing the rest of Feliks Audio's offerings here, or all our other DAC & amp options here.

    $2,799

    Our Price | $2,799

    iFi Zen DAC V3iFi Zen DAC V3

    iFi Zen DAC V3

    The best step up in iFi Audio's ladder to the Uno exists as Zen DAC V3. Now sporting a USB-C data and power input that sees Head-Fi's favourite desktop entry-level 4.4mm DAC/amp compatible with every modern source, Zen DAC V3 can be used virtually everywhere.  Taking power off a laptop was easy for iFi in the past, but it now works even more flexibly being powered by your portables in smartphones and tablets. [See Product Desc. For More] Take the featherweight Zen DAC V3 off its optional 5V external DC power supply in the morning and stuff it into your pouch to bring along with you ... for whenever you might need iFi's great, balanced 4.4mm sound in a rush.  You'll be set up in no time on whatever surface you choose to – or need to – listen on with Zen DAC V3. Convenience and fidelity from an actual analog potentiometer volume control means more power ... more power to you, the listener. Driving classics from Audio-Technica, Sony and Sennheiser right up to boutique ZMF Headphones whenever, whereever, is exactly what iFi had in mind. If you'd like an even smaller footprint and earphones are your daily drivers, then hip-dac 3 could also be the way to go here. Also check out iFi's other hits here, and all our other desktop DAC/amps here.

    $369

    Our Price | $369

    Questyle CMA18Questyle CMA18

    Questyle CMA18

    CMA18 is another milestone for Questyle Audio with the use of ESS Technology's flagship ES9039Pro DAC. CMA18 packs one of the most sophisticated pure Class A analog stages in a DAC available to market now, the strengths of the Hyperstream IV ES9039Pro and CMA18's current-mode amplification working hand in hand. CMA18 is alive with tone colour and saturation, notes propelled forth with a real zeal and macro-dynamic force about them. Questyle's current-mode amplifier is mounted on a high-performance dielectric Rogers board to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in distortion compared to previous flagships, gaining improved dynamics and reduced background noise for a more immersive listening experience. There is a tangible physicality about this Questyle flagship – listeners enjoy a palpable connection hearing familiar music again, as CMA18 heaves and breathes like it were a real, living, being. And still, in a reference DAC where neutrality is so prized, it presents tonal balance accurately. [See Product Desc. For More] In a throwback to Hi-Fi luminary Dan D'Agostino's work [using Texas Instruments] for Krell Industries at the beginning of the 21st century, Questyle designed CMA18's analog circuit path to operate transmitting signal solely in current instead of the standard voltage, starting from its ES9039Pro's analog current output. Manufacturers have long taken advantage of the ESS flagship's claim to be the most sophisticated DAC chip available, outputting in current for best distortion figures before traditionally voicing the circuit through the crucial I/V current-to-voltage converter stage. But D'Agostino understood then that no I/V stage could completely disappear sonically, colouring the sound artificially in ways unacceptable – he therefore removed the stage entirely, by employing Krell's own current-mode analog circuit. Transmission of signal, entirely in current, without prior conversion to voltage, has been revived by Questyle to the same effect here. Removal of the I/V aspect of CMA18's circuit therefore sees the purest expression ever of Questyle's current-mode philosophy, keeping affairs post-digital conversion magnificently and elegantly simple with fewer parts necessary.  Questyle's choice of current-mode signal is the stuff of legend by now. It eliminates the lag time that might otherwise occur when signal is transmitted in voltage, as it builds up at the capacitances in the circuit – current signal passes through unhindered by comparison, with speed and ease.  By doing away with the issue of transmission delay in CMA18, Questyle virtually eliminates any of the harshness caused by the intermodulation distortion associated with high capacitance, solid-state circuits.  Coloured yet correct, CMA18 presents detail smoothly and organically with a sense of vibrancy that's accurate and still entertaining. Another effect of being unhindered by capacitance in the signal path means that huge signal bandwidth is possible, leading to phase response being accurately preserved in the human hearing range. Indeed, to hear current-mode is to hear a naturalness to music not encountered before in a conventional circuit, and Questyle build CMA18 as the ultimate expression to such a topology. It's an implementation that certainly flatters the ES9039Pro – a chip that packs enough computational horsepower to run its 8x oversampling process in just two passes thus minimising rounding errors – an upgrade on its predecessor that used a concatenation of three stacked 2x oversampling passes which compound errors. Not merely an advertisement for Questyle, but for ESS, the ES9039Pro's patented Hyperstream pulse-width modulation technology is a one-up on standard delta-sigma modulation. It now enters its fourth iteration pushing nigh inaudible high-order distortion levels post-conversion further down. This futuristic quad-mono ES9039Pro imparts a digital filter with extremely low in-band ripple and top noise and distortion rejection to allow CMA18 impart a new realism to your music. A 4.4mm headphone output, a pure Class A small signal and power stage, and LDAC Bluetooth input, then allows users to enjoy Questyle's flagship in ever more scenarios. Current-mode will prove even more effective the closer a load is to ground. The results translate to an ultra-low distortion, linear, analog system in tandem with Class A, without resorting to the excessive use of negative feedback. CMA18 works as a perfect DAC for your Hi-Fi system into component input impedances that have been dropping ever more readily since the turn of this decade. Flip CMA18 to variable volume mode, and its analog potentiometer turns it into an excellent pre-amp. Everything above discusses the less-obvious about a true Questyle flagship, because the plain truth is that CMA18 functions as the perfect headphone amplifier first and Hi-Fi hub second. Check out Questyle's other headphone specialties here, or view our other DACs here.

    $4,699

    Our Price | $4,499

    Cayin iDAC-8Cayin iDAC-8

    Cayin iDAC-8

    After the flagship N30LE music player that ended up receiving rave reviews for leashing AKM's vintage AK4499EQs to tubes, Cayin Audio are back with a valve iDAC-8 DAC/pre-amp that repeats the feat with the new AK4191EQ – AK4499EXEQ tandem. AKM's flagship digital ecosystem makes the claim to be the top dog among chips today, and iDAC-8 counts on that as it outputs via a quad of 6H6b-B tubes ... or its alternative, selectable solid-state path. Sophisticated, open and airy, there's a refined flavour imparted on top of iDAC-8's neutral yet forgiving transparency. Cayin intends for iDAC-8 to be used in tandem with their matching iHA-8 and iDAP-8. Its I2S and AES/EBU inputs certainly allow it to be a wonderful intermediary in digital-to-analog conversion duties.  iDAC-8 makes for a wonderful tube or solid-state pre-amp too. No matter how well its AK4191EQ's 64-bit digital filters and volume control perform, Cayin didn't opt for half-measures here. A JRC NJW1195A analog volume control is built in to avoid any digital loss, to preserve the resolution of iDAC-8 at any attenuation level. [See Product Desc. For More] A modern-day DAC is so much more than its DAC chips, and Cayin have gone the extra mile in hope of everyone seeing the extent of their efforts.  They ensure the very best platform for Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM)’s resurgent flagship DACs to make their mark. Back on their feet with a clean slate, AKM started afresh expanding the basic footprint of a single DAC chip IC into three separate parts – to similarly multiply capabilities by a factor of three. AKM’s AK4191EQ DSP is the brains of the operation, receiving pristine I2S clocking and data from Cayin's MCU. Aboard, AK4191EQ’s delta-sigma modulator takes advantage of its expanded, dedicated, silicone footprint to lay claim to the title of the first chip IC working at seven bits. These seven single-bit modulators flow on into Cayin's AKM 4499EXEQ DACs, one for each channel and built with a single purpose in mind: to turn the interpolated, noise-shaped, digital data it receives into the most precise analog waveform possible afforded by its large footprint. Silicone size matters when it comes to a great DAC IC, and AK4499EXEQ has it. Enabled by much more exact, matched resistors and capacitors aboard for precise DC single-bit decoding, plus dynamic element matching that is less burdened by switching errors – granted by parts accuracy from a bigger footprint. Any conversion errors from AK4499EXEQs outputting in current manifests as DC offset, and not total harmonic distortion, that is easily filtered out. Current analog outputs are expected of any source claiming to be high performance. Cayin's current-to-voltage I/V section follows these AK4499EXEQs, befitting of more expensive DACs and indeed chips that output analog in current for best distortion performances. Four 6H6b dual-triodes follow, divided into two separate pairs that each take care of balanced and single-ended outputs respectively. That's to implement each output specially, with Cayin paying particular attention to iDAC-8's RCA outputs – with which you can feed their Single-Ended Triode tube amps HA-2A, HA-3A, HA-6A and HA-300B particularly confidently bypassing the latter's input transformers for a cleaner, shorter signal path. These single-ended tubes operate in parallel and supply voltage gain in the stage where they will make the greatest sonic impact, before getting boosted by a Vishay FET buffer. This transistor preserves triode square law, and lowers output impedance to 60ohms granting iDAC-8's RCAs enough juice to drive downstream amplifiers. This low output impedance also ensures there's no risk of a high-pass filter forming with the input resistance of another amp. And to further prevent any loss in low frequencies, large coupling capacitors sit at iDAC-8's output to extend its full-range reproduction capably to 5Hz at -3dB. Phase response is therefore excellent in the human hearing range, preserving taut and fast bass. Its high frequencies also soar above 100Khz for preservation of pinpoint musical imaging, should you ever use this overachiever in a stereo speaker system. Its built-in analog pre-amp also keeps dynamic range high, even when you listen soft. These little elements in the signal path hint at Cayin's typical attention to detail. Its overbuilt power supply announces their extravagance in material cost building an affordable compact DAC. An over-specified 45 watt toroidal transformer, nearly 30,000 uF of filter capacitance, linear voltage regulators, dedicated tube and solid-state output supplies plus low-dropout regulators complete this mini-masterpiece of ambitious engineering. You'll want to connect as many of your digital sources as possible to iDAC-8. I2S compatibility is guaranteed via Cayin's own iDAP-6 and iDAP-8, as well as AES/EBU from Matrix Audio's Element S and iFi Audio's NEO Stream. CD players enjoy AES/EBU and coaxial RCA connections. And even TV audio benefits from its tube stage via optical. Check out the matching family iHA-8 and HA-2A for iDAC-8 today. Or, view the rest of Cayin's gear here, and our other desktop items here. 

    $1,799

    Our Price | $1,650