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Furutech ADL Esprit

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I didn't see any thread about this coming USB Swiss knife !! wink.gif

it looks like a nice piece of hardware, hope it's as good as the GT40 ...


adl esprit.jpg


a link to the official page ...




and some to various articles ...










post #2 of 13

This thing looks sweet, but I can't find a distributor.  I've emailed Furutech, hopefully they will fill me in on pricing and availability.  


I'm really taken by how cool this thing looks


EDIT: wow, I got a reply from Furutech in less than twenty minutes.  Apparently this will be officially released in April and will be distributed through HDL Distributing.  Not sure if they state this on the website but I am anxiously awaiting this product.


Has there been a recent revolution in dacs or something?  Seems to be a huge amount of quality products around

Edited by scannon18 - 2/27/12 at 10:18pm
post #3 of 13

Thank you for making a thread about this I am really interested to read more about it.


Coming in April 2012

I hope it's at least 1.5 times better than the GT40 personally, only because it's bigger and it's almost double the pricier.


Also there is a part at the back of the PCB in my GT40 that was left unused, but it was in place for implementation of S/PDIF like the first prototypes had. The Esprit will have it, but the phono equalizer was traded off for it. So it becomes more of a commoner multi-input DAC+Amp combo, although with a rarer digital preamp the GT40 didn't have, and the ADC coming back. Okay I think it's still fairly multi functional.


The USB DAC on the Esprit (Spirit, in French, but that sebchoq you know it ;-) ) is the same of the GT40. This:

24-bit/96kHz Tenor TE7022L Hi-Q USB Audio Streaming Controller supports ASIO(Audio Stream Input/Output )


Around here you can see empty solder spots,



Prototype #2 (notice how it was rated for 32 to 600 ohm and it became 16 to 300 later... the Esprit will be for 32 to 600 because of that same inscription on the device on images)



And here just next to the USB port there are coaxial and optical digital in (and out).


The Esprit has one more RCA input and one less coaxial digital output.


Here's one year earlier prototype (#1)


One day I'll buy one of these super USB cables, just for the hype.



So many knobs... the GT40 and Esprit only have one to do the same job.



Shiny top, rough cuts, not perfectly flat. Only optical in-/ouput this time. Cool power cable plugging.


Having not bought the GT40 in the first place I would have picked up the Esprit... in the end it all depends of your needs and I will stay with the GT40 for my student years, because of those needs (USB music).

Edited by devouringone3 - 3/10/12 at 3:15pm
post #4 of 13

Good morning!

Has anyone had this charming little box hooked to her or his equippment? It seems, that in the European market, it is already being out for am moth or so... usually some of the honorable members of this forum are the first ones on the web to test such gatchets ;-) !

Im am in particular interested in the A/D-conversion quality (mainly for vinyl archiving purpose). More about that, and for the comparison with other A/D-conversion devices I opened a seperate thread, however, it is still a bit empty... Here.

Cheers! Urs

post #5 of 13
Originally Posted by ursdiego View Post

Good morning!

Has anyone had this charming little box hooked to her or his equippment? It seems, that in the European market, it is already being out for am moth or so... usually some of the honorable members of this forum are the first ones on the web to test such gatchets ;-) !

Im am in particular interested in the A/D-conversion quality (mainly for vinyl archiving purpose). More about that, and for the comparison with other A/D-conversion devices I opened a seperate thread, however, it is still a bit empty... Here.

Cheers! Urs


I hope you know that the Esprit doesn't have a Phono Equalizer built in like the GT40.


I LOVE the GT40 and would recommend the Esprit any day to anyone... because it starts of with the same great USB controller, add some jitter controlling mechanics, very high quality optical digital in, more drive-power and SNR for the headphone amplifier. It's a GT40, with one less Phono Equalizer, but with many other things more... in a sense I think it's a more complete package. The phono equalizer is just a gimmick. Both units have great A to D conversion capabilities!


Built quality and finish on my GT40 is mind-blowing... I wish I could even just rub my finger against an Esprit, which is supposed to be superior to the GT40.


Because I only use USB (and not optical) and because I like the fact my GT40 will allow me to listen to vinyls one day (just for the experience), I won't need an Esprit but I'm also on the look out for any review that isn't in complete Japanese.

post #6 of 13

Hello fellows, is anyone aware of a reliable review of that neat looking little piece of gear???

In particular for recording purposes, aka AD-conversion...

There are reports about a nasty noise-issue on long recordings with the GT40, I hope someone can test reliably, if this does not happen with the Esprit!

And of course, if it sounds as nice as it promises. It should, when used for ADC, at least outperform some of those musician interfaces like the apparently legendary Apogee Duet 2 or the more versatile and very popular RME Babyface. And it hopefully even comes close to the Benchmark ADC 1. Its a hifi-interfaces, so lot can be cheaper than in musicians interfaces, as for instance, a little bit of latency won't hurt when archiving vinyl.

Who has the experience to test (and ideally compare) the sound quality of Analogue-Digital Conversion?

For those interested: here is the report about noise when AD-converting with the GT40:




post #7 of 13

What I just saw right now: On http://www.adl-av.com/products/usbdac/esprit/, they pushed the release date from April to July... Its a bit confusing: a reseller in Holland pretended already in March to be able to deliver from stock...??? And japanese magazines already publish reviews...??? Sponsored maybe... ;-) ??? However, are there issues to resolve? Well better, if they do so before delivering!

To devouringone3: Yeah!


I don't care about the missing phono stage in the Esprit. Not being there is even better to me, I'm happy they use the money saved by taking out the phono preamp, for a better AD-conversion. This will in fact be the only feature I use. I will be hooking it up to my preamp that features a phono stage that is all for itself quite a bit more expensive than the entire GT40, so I can safely assume that it should sound at least as good.



Edited by ursdiego - 6/7/12 at 12:06am
post #8 of 13

I have both the GT40 and the Espirit. I'm pretty sure I've got the first Espirit in Norway, I've been waiting for it since the press release. 


I bought it unheard based on my experience with the GT40, and I'm glad I did. The sound is similar, but much fuller and detailed. Those who have enjoyed the GT40 will probably rave about the Espirit. Listnening to L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole with Beyerdynamic T1 got me smiling from ear to ear, and a bunch of other songs kept me smiling for a couple of hours. I could feel tears of joy in the corner of my eyes, I was feeling euphoric with head-fi love. I was totally immersed in the music! This litte bastard is great at conveying emotions, and made the music move me like no other piece of equipment has done before. 


I use coax from computer to the Espirit.

post #9 of 13
Can you connect an Ipad to it using the camera connection kit?
post #10 of 13

Haven't bought the kit yet, I will order one now just to check it out. I have to install driver in windows to get it working, with Mac it's just plug and play. Will get back to this as soon as I've tried it. :)

post #11 of 13

I have a review unit here, which I requested after I heard it at the Tokyo headphone show. It's pretty good with low demand headphones, like modern, low impedance, high sensitivity models (HD-598, Grados, ATs and what have you). It's less great with high-impedance headphones and not suitable for IEMs or orthos. With suitable headphones, I really like the sound.


I don't think it's compatible with the CCK as it uses a Tenor USB receiver.

post #12 of 13

I've been using this DAC for a couple months now and it sounds *great*; however, I've had a problem that their support (although very responsive) has been unable to fix.


I am using JRiver Media Center v18 on Windows 7 64-bit running on a Dell XPS 8300. The Esprit is connected via USB. When I play any 24-bit flac via ASIO I receive the following information:


     Input:    96kHz 24 bit 2 ch from source format FLAC

    Output: 96kHz 16 bit 2ch using ASIO (Not using enough bits to output input directly)


Customer support from JRiver informed me that "That means the ASIO driver is requesting 16-bit". I have checked all my settings and both the ASIO driver and MC18 are configured as per ADL's instructions. I do not have this problem when outputting via WASAPI - Event Style.


Anyone have any idea what the problem may be?

post #13 of 13

Extremely pleased in the main about this lovely little unit. My DVD Recorder is hooked up to the optical input and the laptop goes in via a Musical Fidelity V-Link II into the coaxial socket. Software is Foobar2000/WASAPI.


Why not plug the computer straight into the USB? Although it sounds great through the USB socket, I keep getting the Microsoft Blue Screen o'Death after using it for a few minutes. I've had many things installed and uninstalled on my old laptop, so it's probably some system conflict I'll never be able to track down. I will certainly give the USB option another go when I replace my current laptop. Until then, the current setup delivers the music with aplomb.


The only downside to using the V-Link is that it takes a second or so to identify a signal before outputting data to the Esprit, so if I do a vinyl rip, I make sure each track (or at least the first track) has enough silence left in before the music starts.


I've got it hooked up to a Krell S-300i and it makes beautiful sounds through my KEFs.

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