The DAC212 Signature Edition, is probably the most intelligent digital pre-amp produced today. It is the perfect integration of audiophile technology and intelligent software.
The unique software lets you configure the DAC212SE to suit your needs and requirements, without degrading the audiophile performance.
When we designed the original DAC212RCA, we made a very thoughtful consideration to have a very short signal path and a very compact circuit with only the most essential components to guarantee the best possible performance. Essentially the internal architecture of the DAC212RCA is already balanced/differential, and all the benefits of a balanced design including Common Mode Rejection (CMR) are fully utilized.
Due to the demand for an XLR version of the DAC212 we decided to convert the DAC212RCA to XLR.
The design team didn’t take the conversion to XLR lightly by just adding an XLR connector but we came up with a design that maintains the superior performance of the highly appreciated DAC212RCA, but now in a true differential design from input to output.
Balanced XLR connections have the reputation to be “superior” to unbalanced connections. In reality this statement is more subtle and only if done right, will a true differential circuit benefit the sound quality. Making a design balanced often doesn’t come without penalties. In most cases, noise and distortion will be doubled.
When designing a balanced circuit there are basically two things that really matter.
Common Mode Rejection (CMR). This principle works as follows. A differential amplifier receives a differential/balanced signal (this means two poles in opposite phase), then a subtraction amplifier amplifies the “difference” between the two voltages. This has a great benefit that other signals will not be “seen” by the circuit. Those “other signals” can be internal or external emissions and noise fields. We call this “Common Mode Noise” hence the name “Common Mode (Noise) Rejection”.
Low inductance PCB routing. True differential designs give the opportunity (often this possibility is not used in many PCB designs) to route them as a tightly-coupled pair. This implies that the two magnetic fields partly cancel each other out, which results in a lower inductance design. In turn this contributes to lower distortion and a purer signal transmission.
DiDiT’s way of designing a true differential/balanced output stage.
Basically we have copied the differential to single-ended conversion circuit of the DAC212RCA and mirrored it (inverted) for the negative channel of the new balanced output.
To avoid the noise penalty, we have added high current buffers in the I-V stage, to be able to drive the very low impedance circuitry of the double mirrored subtraction amplifier.
All previous objections are solved.
True Differential Output-stage
Double CMR at each halve of the circuit
Differential in > Differential out
PCB routing can be as coupled differential pairs, keeping loops small and allowing very low inductance design.
As you can see, this design journey wasn't an easy one, but we are convinced we succeeded and have produced a top class D/A converter that will continue the legacy built up by the DAC212RCA
If you are interested and want to learn more about the technical design aspects of the DAC212SE download our design guide.
Toslink; 2 coaxial 1 optical
I2S input via HDMI, compatible devices(default setting):
PS Audio: PWD MKI/MKII, PWT
Wyred4Sound: Music Server
Musica Pristina: A Cappella
Cocktail Audio: X50
Stahl-Tek: Opus CDT, Vekian CDT
bluetooth streaming APT-X codec:
XLR balanced output
remark via the software the DAC212XLR can be switched to unbalanced mode. The smart circuitry switches the relays in order to optimize performance for unbalanced use.
Now the DAC212XLR can be used unbalanced via an XLR to RCA adapter.
The DAC212SE has some unique input features which make it a very versatile little piece of equipment. Some of the inputs can be configured via the software (iOS and Android app).
The pin-out HDMI input can be configured to connect almost any I2S output source via HDMI. But also the coaxial inputs can be changed to BNC via an appropriate adapter, and these 2 BNC inputs allow for DSD over BNC, one BNC per channel.
Other features include:
software select-able gain, independent for headphone or XLR output
independent setting of operational mode (DAC or pre-amp) for headphone or XLR output
HDMI can be configured to connect up to 4 extra coaxial inputs via a special adaptor cable
bluetooth audio streaming
I had the next listening session yesterday and I tried some power cords and feets for the dac.
The differences by the power cords are big – now I play with my oxide cable (I mounted an 2€ plug- the Furutech FI-15 plug is ordered).
It brings more pressure in the bass and sounds very balanced I always play any hifi product with special feets – the best results for the DAC212SE I have made with symposium rollerblocks2+
This combination works very well, and the dac fits perfect in my system, but it was important to use this parts to hear what your dac can do.
Before testing your dac I used an lector digicode ( 4500€) and I have to say that your dac makes everything better.
More space, better bass and highes and that all without any sharpness – just only music – everywhere is more than before.
It may be that there are better dacs on the market (especially in price !) – but in my system your dac plays perfect for me, I did´t need more– only music and nothing else.
It is fun for hours listening to music – one record to another.
So I had to say - I have to buy your dac. Udo