On offer for delivery within Australia to Beta-testers as an obligation-free purchase, yes, this is the exact same REDGUM hi-res USB DAC as first spied, and heard in great detail, at the Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show this October, 2016.
With the Magnificata Pre-Power system as a seriously distracting visual beneath it, the modest size of REDGUM’s BlackDac 8 (on the top shelf) belies the importance of what happens within. As REDGUM’s third design, this new USB DAC is multi-format, Asynchronous and hi-res, supporting 16/24/32 Bit resolution and all the sampling rates up to 384KHz. For Beta-testers, its pricing is AUD$600 as an obligation-free purchase (if returned within one month). (See specifications below.)
Clearly, it has to be said that “just a” USB DAC has no need to pretend it is trying to be “the world’s most advanced DAC, ever”! But whatever its size, when it presents as a hi-res USB DAC, it does show a determination to maintain digital accuracy, and that is most particularly when it is an Asynchronous DAC. And REDGUM has a very long history on that aspect!
The sonics of REDGUM DAC/CDP designs have long been trusted, and most likely, whether understood on this basis or not, because of their being asynchronous! Remarkably, that REDGUM design element was firmly in place in 1997, decades before the term became widely used!
In other words, REDGUM’s RGDAC2/RGCD2 & RGDAC5/RGCD5ENR models have been asynchronous since first designed, as their digital streams have always been fully reclocked and reshaped in a separate chip. This additional chip also provides the buffer for the storage of the data stream in real time, thus removing the problem of jitter.
For some years now, the simple addition of a USB input has been standard in all DAC/CD Player models. So for any progression into hi-res, a new REDGUM product would have to bring all these features with it whilst holding to that REDGUM “family sound” that had been so solidly supported by the quality of Burr Brown DAC 20 Bit chips.
Remaining within the realm of the Burr Brown family for its choice of hi-res chip (PCM5102A), then the sonics of the BlackDac 8 naturally had to be tested against those of the RGDAC5/RGCD5ENR models. At the very least! Now it is your turn to be the judge and we would love to hear of your impressions!
We are delighted to offer you the BlackDac 8, our multi-format Asynchronous hi-res USB DAC.
To be a Beta-tester, email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your purchase.
(N.B. Available only to Australian delivery addresses.)
Data rate maximum speed: 384kHz
Bit depth maximum: 32bit
USB Audio Streaming Controller – SA9227:
Supports 16/24/32 Bit resolution and sampling rates of 32KHz, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2Khz, 96KHZ, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 352.8KHz, 384KHz.
THD <0.005% (including noise component)
S/N ratio > 95dB
Audio Stereo DAC PCM5102A:
2VRMS DirectPath™, 112dB Audio Stereo DAC with 32bit, 384kHz PCM Interface
SNR 112 dB
Dynamic range 112 dB
THD+N at –1 dBFS –93dB
Full-scale single-ended output
2.1 V RMS (GND center)
Normal 8× oversampling digital filter latency 20t S
Low latency 8× oversampling digital filter latency 3.5t S
Sampling frequency 8 kHz to 384 kHz
System clock multiples (f SCK ): 64, 128, 192, 256, 384,
512, 768, 1024, 1152, 1536, 2048, 3072 up to 50 MHz