Asynchronous USB DACS

All of the products here use our Streamlength Asynchronous USB code that I developed. These are all USB DACS they do NOT have antiquated SPDIF inputs like other dacs. These are optimized and superior to the older SPDIF technology.


DAC Technology

Before we get to the products it is probably a good idea to address the differing technology associated with the DAC's in these products. In the Crimson and the Cosecant there are DAC modules. These circuit boards have DIN connectors for which they can be plugged into the mother board of the product and take on a different personality. The Firmware that runs the USB controller (TAS1020B) of the product is located on the DAC module and therefore changes the way the DAC and the computer talk to each other. Settings like bit size (i.e. 16 or 24 bits) and sample rate (i.e. 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K and 96K) will be communicated to the computer. All the DAC's on this page use Asynchronous USB mode. Each DAC module has the required low jitter master clock(s) that all the signals will be based on, with matching discrete low noise regulation for the best results. None of these DACs use any type of operational amplifiers (opamps) in their design. The DAC module is the only Solid State portion of the overall DAC. The output stage of all but the Proton are tube based and the key design element which is responsible for their overall sound. In the Proton, close respect in regard to component usage and filter settings makes this dac approach their tube siblings.

If you have a version 2 Cosecant it will need to be upgraded to a version 3 before modules can be ordered.


Transcendental 16/44.1 DAC Module

This is the basis of the Brick and modules are available for the Crimson and Cosecant. Basically Transcendental in math terms means irrational numbers. The reason I used this name was because this technology is really an irrational approach that yields really good results. I have used this name for these DACs since the late 80's. These DACs incorporate the TDA1543N2 (select top 5%) DAC chips with passive I/V using Shinko Tantulum resistors in a configuration that does not use analog or digital filters. Some people call these NOS DACs or what I call zero DACs. The data input is the data output without any up/oversampling or other manipulation, which seems to make for a very analog presentation.

Note on 24 bit Computer DACs: The computer will convert all Red Book 16 bit data to 24 bits by padding, adding 0's to the most significant 8 bits of the 24 bit sample. This is the same way it works on CD/DVDplayers and other DACs.


Numerator 24/96 DAC Module

Keeping with the math analogy the Numerator is what we would call part of the rational number. This DAC module will work at 44.1k, 48k, 88.2k and 96k sampling rates at 24 bits. The Numerator uses a High Performance Wolfson DAC to output the analog signal. Special regulators are done for all the analog and digital sections to make this DAC a stellar performer. Available for Cosecant (AU$350) and Crimson (AU$700) only. Either the Crimson or the Cosecant can be ordered with either the Numerator or Transcendental at no extra cost.


Denominator Sabre DAC Module


I am working on the new details of the Denominator. Since ESS has a new 32 bit dac we are investigating a new design to be available in the near future. For the Crimson only at this time.

Options: Silver or Copper output transformers for the Crimson, Crimson Balanced and Cosecant. Wood Options: Cherry, Maple and Walnut are included with the listed price. We do sometimes have exotic wood on hand and prices typically range from AU$350 for Cosecant and AU$500 for Crimson. Some woods because they are rare will cost more. You can ask about custom wood for any product and we will see if we can supply it. Specifications and options will change as things change, stay tune to the news page for these.

If you have the need for a custom DAC module or have something interesting that I might want to try please contact me.



Crimson USB DAC with upgradable dac module and DHT outputs:

The Crimson is unique in that it is completely programable from the USB side of the equation. Therefore the code for this process is housed on the dac module so that each dac module can completely change the characteristics of the Crimson. The DAC chips on the Crimson are run from an internal battery that is charged when the computer is a sleep or off. The Crimson also uses Directly Heated Triodes (71A, WE101L/M and RE134) as the output tubes. A 6V4 tube rectifier powers the high voltage.

Priced from AU$10,500* 71A outputs, Silver upgrade +AU$10,000, Volume Control +AU$1000 WE101L/M +3dB output +AU$1000, Telefunken RE134 +5dB price on request.
Standard 16/44.1 DAC Module uses the TDA1543N2 (top 5% select dac chip) with Shinko Tantulum resistors for passive I/V and no filtering.
New 24/96 DAC module features a Wolfson dac with the capabilities for 24 bit usage and 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96K sampling rates (yes 16 bit source will work also).
Ultimate DAC using the ESS Sabre DAC chip with custom copper transformers for differential to single ended conversion will be available with standard copper transformers or silver transformers.



*Free delivery in Australia



Cosecant USB DAC v3 (now with ASYNC mode) with 6GM8/ECC86 tube

transformer output and upgradable dac modules:

The Cosecant is where it all started @ CES 2004. At first I did not think this technology would work.... was I wrong! The Cosecant v3 connects the USB controller to a DAC module connector. The USB firmware to run that dac module resides there so each module has it's own developed code. The output of the module connector is sent directly to the 6GM8/ECC86 dual triode output tube which drives the transformer coupled output. The Cosecant has an external power supply with IEC connector to isolate the power from the DAC and it's audio transformers. The Cosecant is also available with an optional volume control if you want to control your entire system from the computer output.

Priced from: AU$4000*, Silver Upgrade +AU$9000, Volume Control +AU$700
Standard 16/44.1 DAC Module uses the TDA1543N2 (top 5% select dac chip) with Shinko Tantulum resistors for passive I/V and no filtering.
New 24/96 DAC module features a Wolfson dac with the capabilities for 24 bit usage and 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96K sampling rates (yes 16 bit source will work also).



*Free delivery in Australia



Brick USB DAC v2 (now with ASYNC mode) with 12AU7/ECC82 reactor follower output:

I first thought of the Brick as a way to bring greater attention to the idea of computer audio. It turned out to be much more than that as indicated in Art Dudley’s Listening #33. This review gave the Brick the Stereophile Class A rating. The Brick uses similar technology as the Cosecant. The Brick uses custom code developed by Wavelength Audio to support USB ASYNC mode. The Brick has a very low jitter central clock that runs the entire audio section. The output 16/44.1K of the TDA1543N2 (5% top selected) multibit dac and passive I/V is directly connected to the 12AU7A/ECC82 output tube which in turns drives the reactor follower output for excellent drive and sound.

For 240V use, Brick v2 only available with Mortar power supply.



*Free delivery in Australia



Proton 24/96 USB DAC with headphone output:

The Proton is for desktops, home audio, travel whatever! The idea is to make a dac that could run without a power supply and still sound wonderful. The idea is simple: we can use the USB power to provide for the necessities and then for the critical areas the LiION battery can supply the extra clean power for the dac and the headphone outputs. The Proton supports 24 bit data at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96k and is indicated on the rear by four leds. The volume control icon for the headphone output will appear on the computer desktop. Setting the volume slider on the computer will result hardware in the Proton to set the analog volume control for the outputs to the desired setting.



*Free delivery in Australia