Audio Research designed two separate data paths to the DAC9’s D-A converters: one for PCM files up to 384khz sample rates, and another to handle serial DSD files at 1x and 2x DSD clock rates. This assures proper integer decoding eliminating interpolation distortion errors that degrade sonic purity. Native sample-rate upsampling is available for all inputs, up to 384kHz for non-DSD (PCM) music files. Selectable digital filters are available for customization. An asynchronous USB input along with four galvanically isolated inputs assures all of your digital sources will integrate with the DAC9. They pioneered using quad D-A converters, with each channel using dual stereo DACs running in mono to increase dynamic range and lower the noise floor.
Cutting-edge engineering on the digital side mates to a vacuum tube analog section that uses a pair of 6H30 dual triode tubes. The DAC9 is a balanced design with a Class-A, zero-feedback analog section and no capacitive coupling. Like other products that have preceded it, the DAC9 combines remarkable resolution with relaxed musicality. Audio Research’s sonic legacy—clarity, dynamics, dimensionality and musical authority—are obvious and thoroughly engaging.