HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC (UDAC)
An exquisitely liquid, organic and deeply transparent audiophile listening experience awaits you with the state-of-the-art HeadRoom Ultra Balanced Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). The companion digital HeadRoom product for the Balanced Ultra Desktop Amp, the Ultra Desktop DAC [aka 'The UDAC'] is a true balanced 'differential drive' topology engineered around the superb ESS Sabre 9018 processor.
The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC can receive digital feeds from three sources: USB input from any computer, digital coax input, and digital-optical S/PDIF input. The UDAC offers both balanced and single-ended RCA outputs for full connectivity in any reference system.
- Produces ultra high-fidelity balanced audio from all digital sources.
- Stacks securely and neatly on our Balanced Ultra Desktop Headphone Amp; a perfect pairing!
- Accepts all valid S/PDIF formats & rates; accepts USB to 16/44.1kHz
- Front panel has input selector, noise shaping filter selector, and lock lights.
- Excellent international-use Astrodyne power supply included!
- Engineered and built in Bozeman Montana USA
What's In The Box:
- International-use all-voltage Astrodyne power supply
The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC, lovingly known as 'The UDAC', is the best-sounding, best-measuring D-A processor we've ever manufactured at HeadRoom. Listening to The UDAC, the fine art of music is reproduced with a natural ease and simple clarity that belies one of the most complex and contemporary number-crunching digital-to-analog converters available today. Our audio engineers have revamped the highly advanced topology deep within the Ultra Desktop DAC using the ESS 9018 chipset series embodying numerous product patents, scientific breakthroughs, and proprietary technologies. Our refreshed design updates enable the HeadRoom UDAC to produce warm, near-perfect jitter-free decoding performance that's the closest thing to luxuriant vinyl sonics this side of a five-figure boutique LP turntable. The musical liquidity and resolution power of the HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC extends to the very edges of the audible frequency spectrum and the ability of this up-sampling unit to uncover new details and subtle nuances in your favorite well-worn recordings is nothing short of revelatory. You can read more about the stellar technical specifics via our links in the 'Specs' tab above ... but to hear is to really believe.
HeadRoom has been pleased to be amongst the first audio manufacturers anywhere to incorporate highly advanced ESS 9018 Sabre D-A processor technology into our own proprietary products. The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC accepts S/PDIF digital audio signals at standard rates & depths (44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz from 16 to 24 bit word depth) on both coax RCA and TOS-LINK optical connections, and will decode 44.1/16 digital audio from your computer via a standard USB connection. The UDAC will upsample any incoming signal to 192 kHz including the USB input. The attendant upsampling does not change the incoming word length (16bit/24bit) only the sample rate [44.1kHz, 48kHz etc.]. Hence, no matter what the incoming sample rate is, the UDAC upsamples to 192kHz.
An exquisitely designed analog section and four separate regulators produce both balanced and single-ended audio signal on the rear panel Neutrik XLR and Cardas RCA jacks, respectively. The sleek UDAC front panel controls offer 'locking' sample rate indicator LEDs, an input source selection switch, a switch to control internal noise-shaping filters and the power On/Off switch. Excellent Astrodyne power supply is included suitable for worldwide use anywhere you can find an outlet.
Our 'no questions asked' HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC manufacturer's warranty covers any eventuality and is serviced free for a full 2 years from date of purchase exclusively at our production facility located in Bozeman Montana USA.
The HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC includes the excellent international-use (all-voltage) Astrodyne Power Supply.
However, our own high-current HeadRoom DPS power supply (exquisitely manufactured by HeadRoom) remains highly recommended for maximized timbral clarity, perfect tonal smoothness, deep soundstage openness and fully accurate overall acoustic performance.The DPS can accept connections from up to six HeadRoom amps or DACs -- so it's your 'one-stop-shop' reference power supply for all your sundry HeadRoom gear!
Posted by aimlink from Kingston, JM on 2010-02-06
Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great sound and functionality for relatively small form factor
Cons: Ergo and appearance could do with some work.
This is a very great sounding amp/dac combo that I strongly doubt would disappoint anyone's ears. It's nicely compatible with my ALO K702's, normally quite challenging headphones to drive. Great dynamism, spaciousness, and detail with a nice touch of warmth to it.
The 'crossfeed' makes for an interesting addition that makes listening to some older recordings a lot better, especially those that heavily feature vocals or instruments on one channel only (recordings by The Beatles come immediately to mind). I hardly use the brightness filters but they are reassuringly present for the odd occasion where their enhancement of the high frequency response comes in useful.
I wish it featured a simple preamp out without volume control. I also think the switch labels are too small and the overall appearance is a tad spartan, though I'm one for the spartan appearance. For those into a snazzy appearance, don't make this amps modest appearance fool you into thinking that you'll be hearing a modest sound.
The ultra desktop amp makes for a great, relatively compact investment in listening pleasure. If you are serious and can afford it, I wouldn't pass it up!!
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