130dB+ Cherry DAC DAC 2 HS/V

130dB+ Cherry DAC DAC 2 HS/V

* 4 versions:
* DAC DAC 1 TL – Tube Like Sound
* DAC DAC 1 HS – High Spec, precise
* DAC DAC 2 HS – 130dB SNR, ultra precise
* DAC DAC 2 HSV – Digital Attenuation
* Coax SPDIF input, PCM up to 192kHz sample rate, 24-bit resolution
* External 12VDC power supply
* Indicators for Power, Valid Signal, >50kHz Fs, >100kHz Fs
* 6.5″ x 6.3″ x 2.5″ aluminum enclosure with vibration absorbing Sorbothane feet
* No internal processors or fancy displays for low noise
* DC Coupled Double Differential True Balanced XLR Outputs (RCA adapters available)
* On board jitter removal


In an attempt to make the audio signal path as short as possible, we designed an experimental output stage, and it sounded amazing! We listened for several hours in awe, then we measured the performance with an audio analyzer. To our surprise, THD+N wasn't so low as the input level rose toward full scale, but with the help of a low noise floor (120dB SNR), THD+N was pretty low as the input level decreased. "How is this possible?", we asked. "How can this thing sound so wonderful, but measure so-so?". Well, after taking a better look, we discovered that the distortion characteristics of our shortest-path circuit were similar to that of tube (a.k.a. valve) amplification circuits, providing a smooth, musical sound. We listened again to confirm this (loving every minute of it).... The Cherry DAC DAC TL (tube-like) was born!

We began working on a new output stage circuit for the purpose of comparison, both on and off the bench. We created a daughter card with this new output stage and wired it up.... This was the first DAC DAC HS Prototype. HS has super accurate sound and bench performance to match. Over 124dB SNR and 0.0004% THD was achieved.

Later, we improved the circuits even more, and created the DAC DAC 2 HS, featuring 130dB SNR. A new input stage handles any sample from 32kHz to 192kHz, even odd-ball frequencies. Usable as a studio reference DAC.

Now we are pleased to present our most recent product, the Cherry DAC DAC 2 HSV with Volume Control. The 130dB+ DAC DAC 2 HSV is a very unique DAC and features a natural feeling analog potentiometer that controls digital attenuation. This preserves the ultra-short analog signal path of the DAC DAC while allowing precise volume control. This DAC is especially suited for systems with a fixed volume digital source (such as a CD transport) to drive the amplifiers directly.

​The DAC DAC 2 (HS/HSV) has several improvements compared to DAC DAC 1 (TL/HS). One is the input stage, which can now handle any rate from 32kHz to 192kHz, even “non-standard” rates. The DAC DAC 1 doesn’t play 176.4kHz (handles all the other standard sample rates), but out of hundreds of DACs, this issue only came up a few times since it’s easy enough to use whatever SW or player to convert to 192kHz, and there’s hardly any 176.4kHz content out there. Another improvement is the use of super accurate oscillators and slightly different clocking options for a 6dB improvement in SNR. The analog side is identical between 1 and 2. There’s no TL version of DAC DAC 2 because the extra 6dB doesn’t make sense for that version, and demand is lower for that model. We also added the option of an analog pot controlled digital attenuator on the DAC DAC 2. This preserves the super short signal path of the DAC DAC and allows direct amp drive with non-volume controlled sources (like CD transports and some other disc players). We recommend skipping the preamp whenever possible. Sounds like you agree!

Additional information

Summit Date

Digital Coaxial Input

Balanced XLR Outputs

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