Naim DAC – excellent

Naim DAC – excellent

A very clean example of a the Naim DAC that has had a new burst of popularity since the latest firmware upgrade. Needless to say, this one is fully up to date.

There are some very light marks on the fascia that are evident in the photographs. There has been no attempt made to touch anything in, so these are incredibly minor.

Full working order, boxed in fresh ‘original’ packaging with burndy ‘bung’, grey DIN interconnect, proper Naim mains lead and a 12 month warranty.

This unit, s/n 286412,  dates to 2010.

£995 + £15 carriage

 

Capable of partnering and upgrading a wide range of Naim Audio products, the DAC has more in common with our CD players than with any conventional DAC. Its Burr-Brown converter chips, for instance, are also found in our flagship CD555CD player. The DAC overcomes the jitter inherent in standard digital connections by reading data independent of its timing signal. Its digital filtering, based on a 40bit floating-point SHARC DSP chip running unique Naim Audio code, sets new standards in its class. Our DAC is now DSD compatible and able to play 64 (2.8MHz sample rate) and 128 (5.6MHz sample rate) files; the upgrade required significant optimisation of the core DSP code which has also improved its sound quality.

If the DAC’s music performance is extreme, its flexibility is just as remarkable. With eight S/PDIF and two USB inputs, it’s adaptable to any system configuration and can grow to meet any need.

Technology & Craft

The Naim Audio DAC is the end result of several years of research. It introduced several original digital music technologies that have since gone on to help inform the development of an entire range of streaming products.

The DAC overcomes the jitter issues of S/PDIF by reading the music into a “rotating” data RAM buffer independently of its timing signal and reading it out again clocked by one of ten extremely low noise, fixed frequency crystal sine-wave oscillators. The data entering the downstream digital filtering and DAC chips is then completely isolated from the incoming S/PDIF jitter. The Naim Audio DAC also suppresses RF noise from S/PDIF through electrical isolation of its DSP front end from the digital to analogue converter and analogue circuits. Each element is also run from separate power supplies.

The Naim Audio DAC’s digital filtering is handled by a powerful SHARC DSP chip running unique Naim Audio authored code to create an ultra-high precision 40-bit floating point filter. The filter over-samples by 16 times on 44.1kHz data and provides stop-band attenuation of 180dB on all data. Following the digital filter are the two mono Burr-Brown digital to analogue converter chips, as used in the CD555 CD player. Finally the Naim Audio DAC features a very high performance, low noise, and low distortion fully discrete analogue output stage.

 

 

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