DA96ETF

DA96ETF

The Fractal DAC is the end result in the quest for the holy grail in digital audio: realistic music reproduction. So here it is, the DAC that finally accomplishes what many have been waiting for since the introduction of digital audio in October 1982. When looking for a new DAC it is obvious that one looks at technical specs. Better specs must surely translate to better sound .... or not? Do we really capture all relevant DAC parameters with the tests we carry out? Why does every DAC with similar superb technical specs still sound so different? Why are we still tweaking our digital audio sets, and why does everything seem to have some impact on sound quality? With digital audio we expect superior music reproduction and since we are using only one's and zero's the music reproduction quality should be absolutely consistent. So what's so different about this Fractal DAC compared to the many existing DACs? First of all it uses the ElectroTos low jitter protocol that no other DAC has, it eliminates known jitter issue like no other DAC can. Next problem is interface switching noise spectrum, you know, everything seems to change the sound, the source, the interlink, applications running on the source, Wired LAN and so on. This is the noise problem we have to tackle. The Fractal D/A converter has a parallel interface that feeds all audio data bits to the D/A converter simultaneously (very low noise). Existing DACs feed the D/A converter bit for bit (serial) this produces much higher switching noise. This leaves D/A conversion, the fractal DAC, as the name implies. is based on fractals or ever repeating patterns instead of bits. This is a fundamentally different conversion method for digital audio that has not been used before. So what are the advantages of a Fractal multi-pattern D/A converter compared to conventional multi-bit R2R converters? First of all it maintains much lower switching noise as we are switching complete patterns (quiet) instead of single bits (noisy). The patterns also offer much higher accuracy with the same component tolerances. Finally the Fractal D/A converter offers much lower output impedance compared to multi-bit converters. This eliminates the need for adding active buffers or converters and eliminates related distortion. The Fractal DAC is externally powered by a matching mains power supply that prevents ground loops and provides very clean 5V/100mA power. The Fractal DAC only understands ElectroTos low jitter protocol and accepts 44.1/16 ... 96/24. DC-coupled passive outputs offer 1.27V rms and fixed 375 OHms pure resistive output impedance. The Fractal DAC is a NOS DAC and relies on the natural 20KHz or lower brickwall filter characteristics of the human auditory system.