Project Description

AllNIC D3000 DAC, £6000

Allnic’s junior D3000 DAC designed down from the flagship D5000. This is a rock solid performer with great value for money at the pricepoint. More to follow soon.

The analog output uses a fully balanced circuit from input to output with no coupling capacitors, only all pure nickel permalloy cored transformers. Each channel uses twin 3A5(DCC90) DHT tubes. The DHT 3A5 amp’s frequency range is from 20 Hz to 50 kHz (-3dB) with a perfect square wave form of 20 kHz. 3A5 tubes operate at a very low temperature that ensures long tube life. The circuit displays no negative feedback, not even a partial feedback. This design has absolutely no microphonic issues, which is the biggest obstacle to DHT realization. KS Park’s design resolved this issue through a newly designed 7-pin gel damper socket. In addition, the main PCB is floated with a drum rubber specific for this application. High S/N ratio and dynamic operation is achieved through full tube designed automatic voltage regulation which protects the DHT amp from both internal and outside voltage irregularities. The front panel displays a current meter which monitors safe operation and status of the tubes.

The D5000 is very unique in today’s DAC world because most of its components are not from any routine audio market source except the DAC chips. The USB interface, SPDIF receiver and high end upsamplers are all specifically customized for this application. D5000 uses very unique technologies for audio signal processing. The clock does not directly connect to the DAC chip. Instead, the audio processor uses clock alignment algorithms that determine exact alignment for the DAC chip in a real-time manner. The ES9018K2M SABRE 32 Reference DAC chip is a high performance 32-bit, 2-channel audio D/A converter with sampling to 32/384 kHz, 128 DSD and uses a 1.5 MHz upsampler through a field-programmable gate array USB interface.

While most ES9018K based DACs use the dac chip for audio processing, the D5000 has a proprietary internal processor that performs real time PCM upsampling or upsampling and conversion to DSD. The SABRE Reference DAC chip only performs the digital to analog conversion.

Real-time PCM to DSD conversion function is implemented when “conversion” is selected. All input samples are converted to 128 DSD with an internal 5.6 MHz/32 Bit upsampler and DSD converter. When de-selected, input audio sampling is either upsampled, if selected, or bypassed to the DAC chip.

The USB interface is implemented through custom hardware by Waversa Systems and is UAC2 standard compliant. This provides very clean audio through complete galvanic isolation, thereby stripping the digital signal of any PC noise commonly created by the server’s internal power supply. Thesycon driver is provided for Windows application. Drivers are not required for Mac/Linux.