Head-Fi Buying Guide (Desktop Amps & DACs)
Edited on 12/6/16
Head-Fi Buying Guide (Desktop Amps & DACs) 2
Edited on 12/16/16
Head-Fi Buying Guide (Portable Amps, DACs, & DAPs) (page 2)
Edited on 11/29/16
Audio-gd Reference 9
Reference 9 has our newest design of Diamond analog amp for the output stage, this upgrade can improve on the soundstage and background. Reference 9 Technical characteristics: 1. Features: Digital & Analog / Left & Right Completely Separated Internal Layout, from power transformer and rectifiers etc, the radiating interference are carefully shielded. 2. Performance: Reference 9 has built in DSP-1 processor, which is a Two-channel Digital Interpolation Filter and data in-phase processor for digital audio. This Device offers advanced features for high-performance digital signal processing (DSP) applications up to 250-MHz. Data and Master-clock in-phase processing are without jitter. So Reference 9 can offer a clear and focused soundstage, apart from accurate and neutral reproduction of the recorded disc/music. Theoretically when using the DSP1, data will be running parallel, achieving near zero jitter state, no matter the level of CD transport attached, be it hypermarket grade or hi-end level, you will still be getting the best and similar sound quality! Practically, through some experimentation, although we could perceive the sound quality difference between differently priced and level of CD transports (as an audiophile, you can’t just follow pure theory, but you must also venture the practical side too), but final result shows that using entry level CD transport or hypermarket grade DVD player, the improvement of sound quality is huge compared to a typical digital processor chip like PMD-100, DF1704 etc. 3. Clock phase noise: Many amateurs are aware that jitter affects the quality of digital and audio circuit, but the biggest effect is on clocking phase noise, this gear has extremely low phase noise due to circuit linearity and our sensible layout design, which guarantees pure power supply as a whole, achieving high transparency, detailed and transient performing sound signal. 4. Diamond differential output circuits : Benefit from two high speed diamond differential output circuits, excellent linearity and low phase distortion, diamond differential circuit is being loved and supported by more and more audio fans. Although the circuit is complex, the sound quality is impressive. We've done a lot of study and experiments on diamond differential current these many years, aiming to get a better solution of circuit design. For a DAC, high analyzing ability is the most important requirement. The detailed recurrence of resolution lies in the upward and downward characteristics and the noise level of the output amplifier. Because output amplifier is the bottleneck, if the upward characteristic is not good enough, the signal cannot be followed correctly on time and the amplifier can only catch half or even less of the signal level before it disappears. This leads to a downsizing of the original range of signal output from DAC, which directly causes obscurity or even loss of sound effect and a low analyzing ability. A lot of DACs, therefore, even with a highly analytical D/A converter in the digital section, cannot play most of the details due to its low analog circuit speed. To get a good upward characteristic, the only way is to use a high-speed low-noise transistor amplifier. Even operational amplifier and tube cannot compare with high-speed low-noise transistor amplifier in effectively lowering the TIM distortion which has a big impact on the sound quality and promising a pure and pleasant sound delivery. 5. Tin: Reference 9 uses WBT tin solder. 6. Vibration and interference resistance: To achieve the best performance of Reference 9, heavyweight pure aluminum alloy chaises is used which prevents the eddy current of transformers from interfering with circuit board. The device net-weight is 12.5 Kg without packing. The inner sections are separated using 5MM aluminum boards among digital/analogue left/right channel components, which eliminates interference among the circuits. 7. Input mode: Reference 9 has AES and BNC and RCA and Optical, four separate groups of digital input, and two sets of RCA output. Optional USB input available. 8. Power supply: Reference 9 uses three R-core transformers to match different electric circuitry. The power transformers and rectifiers are carefully shielded from the electric field of the power transformers and rectifiers’frequency transmission. More than 50,000uf audio grade NOVER capacitors are used to ensure ample and smooth power feed. The NOVER capacitors are specially made by NOVER (U.K.) according to Audio GD's requirements. 21 groups of voltage regulators are combined into two-stage regulators, respectively feeding power to different circuit parts for a pure power supply. To achieve Silent operation, the control circuit is powered with a separate regulator. Such power supply setup is rare in domestic designs, and more common in Hi-end DACs made by renowned Audiophile Companies, which plays a crucial role in the performance of their DACs.
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