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Furutech ADL Esprit: Preamp really "Digital"? And more open questions...

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello fellows! I postet this question in the review-thread, but there were no reactions, so I decided to make it an own thread, hoping it gets seen that way.


I just ordered an ADL Esprit. My main aim with it is to record vinyl records to digital, but also, to use it as headphone amp for analogue and digital sources. I do of course already own the turntable and a decent mc preamp (better than the one in GT 40).


Now there are two things I am wondering about, and I was not able to find a definitive answer to them:


1. The Esprit is described as a "ADL Esprit DAC and Digital Preamplifier" on the Furutech website. However... does that mean, the preamp works actually digitally, and all analogue signals are converted to digital (volume control etc.). I hope not ! Because:

When I use the analogue input and listen to headphones, is the signal first converted to digital and then reconverted to analogue? The answer seems quite obvious, because why should the signal be over-processed that way? However, I somewhere read, that the Esprit contains a "Digital Priamplifier" - whatever that means. Given, that it is mainly a piece of gear designed for the digital world (digital input or digital output), I don't exclude the idea, that it it is not really optimized to directly amplify an analogue source. So this is just to be sure, given that you looked into the circuit. Is the digital part really "bridged" if I use only analogue input and output? What's your thoughts on that?


2. Quite confusing is the question about asynchronous or not usb transfer mode. The Tenor TE7022L - USB-chip inside the Esprit supposedly supports only adaptive transfer mode, as reported in different statements I found on the web. However, the ADL product page itself says, that it supports asynchronous mode. I'm of course tempted to believe the official source... however: The chip is the chip, and as far as I remember, audio-gd had to change to another chip when Kingwa wanted to support async mode (and therefore, I had to buy an upgrade module for my former DAC). So... what is true? Does the TE7022L support ansyc mode in this implementations? This is pretty important, out of my proper experience. When I switched from adaptive to asynchronous on another system, the difference was so big, clear and amazingly positive, that I really care for it.


And... as a supplement: When talking about adaptive or asynchronous transfer mode, we usually refer to Computer-to-DAC-streaming. However, who knows, if this differences apply also the other way round, ADC-to-comptuer-streaming?


Oh yes. Among other open questions: The power supply thing... When the USB and the external PSU are connected, does the Esprit cut the power supply from USB? This would be nice, as noisy USB power is known to disturb significantly some electronics. And it would be good to know, if only the external psu has to be replaced, when upgrading, or if at the same time, a USB power supply upgrade has to be added.



post #2 of 2

I have a question about the Esprit.

I'm planning on buying myself a DAC/headphone amp for my birthday in July (or at least, my wife is -she just doesn't know it yet). I want to be able to feed a Sonos connect into the DAC (I think the digital output from the sonos is optical and so will, I assume feed into the optical input of the DAC). At some point in the future I fancy trying a valve headphone amp - not sure which one but like the look of the WooAudio WA7 - and wonder if I could simply connect the USB digital out into the USB digital input of the WA7 DAC, or alternatively the analogue RCA output of the Esprit to the Analogue RCA in of the valve amp?

Hope that makes sense.


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