Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Series 2

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Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Series 2

Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Series 2


Not available online, please call to order.
210-805-9927

Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Series 2


Not available online, please call to order.
210-805-9927

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Berkeley Audio Alpha USB Interface
$1,895.00 Free Shipping!
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  • Description

     

    MY TAKE: Without question, the Berkeley Alpha DAC is one of the very best digital to analog converters you can buy, at ANY price. The fact that at $4995 it competes with products costing four times that amount, ranks it as one the highest value DACs on the planet. - Galen Carol


    The best just got better! Alpha DAC Series 2 brings new clocking and isolation technologies that provide enhanced imaging precision, timbrel purity and resolution.

    There are those that would argue the Alpha DAC from Berkeley Audio is the best sounding DAC you can buy. At any price. Their contention is that the Alpha DAC, more than any other competing model, serves up a sound which is more like good analog than digital.

    I first heard the unit (and was blown away) at Winston Ma’s First Impression Music suite at last year’s CES. Winston’s been developing a music server and, after listening to virtually everything on the market, is recommending the Alpha DAC to decode the digital data stream. Winston has some of the best ears in the industry and everything he has recommended to me has always been a winner - the Alpha DAC is no exception. It’s smooth and refined (just like good analog), and yet resolves every last nanogram of subtle detail (like the very best digital). A feat every DAC aims for and very, very few achieve.

    There are indeed a good number of outstanding DACs on the market, but I’ve heard nothing that bests the Alpha DAC at its price point. Wait a second, forget the price point; there may not be a DAC on the Planet that is better overall! Pretty strong words, but I think you’ll agree when you listen to one, the Alpha DAC is a stunner, and at the asking price of just $4995, truly a remarkable bargain.

    • 2008 Product Of The Year Award in The Absolute Sound, January 2009
    • 2009 Golden Ear Award in The Absolute Sound, June / July 2009
    • Best D to A Converter rating in Computer Audiophile Suggested Hardware (CASH) List

    REVIEWS:

    Alpha DAC Series 2 -

    The Absolute Sound: "The original Alpha DAC was a groundbreaking product, both in absolute performance and its spectacular value. The Alpha DAC Series 2 is considerably better, and in musically significant ways. Berkeley Audio Design could have called the Series 2 a "Signature" edition, or even created a new model designation and commanded a higher price. That it improved the product so much yet kept the price the same says a lot about the company.

    The Alpha DAC Series 2 would have received my highest recommendation had it cost $15,000. (Yes, it sounds that good). That is sells for $4995 qualifies as a minor miracle."
    - Robert Harley, TAS

    Alpha DAC -

    "The Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC is the best-sounding outboard digital-to-analog converter I’ve heard. The fact that it decodes high-resolution sources of any sampling rate and word length is icing on the cake. Although the Alpha DAC is spectacularly great on CD, this converter really shows its prodigious resolution, dynamic agility, and soundstaging capabilities when fed 176.4kHz/24-bit digital audio. Moreover, the Alpha DAC’s feature set, operation (instant locking to changing sampling rates, for example), and ability to drive a power amplifier directly expands the product’s utility and makes it ideal for the next generation of high-resolution music servers that is just around the corner.


    The real story, however, is that this performance and functionality is possible at $4995. Although not inexpensive, the Alpha DAC nonetheless competes with, and outperforms, much more expensive converters. At $5k, the Alpha DAC is a spectacular bargain. It is my outboard converter of choice for both CD and high-resolution sources—regardless of price." Robert Harley, The Perfect Vision


    "There is a very valid reason why Berkeley Audio Design is selling Alpha DACs as fast as it can produce them. The Alpha DAC is simply stunning. The Berkeley Audio Design team is one of the most respected in the industry. They have succeeded in their goal of making a very high level of fidelity available to music lovers everywhere." The Computer Audiophile


    "Few products in my experience as a reviewer have offered as much value as the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC. Although not inexpensive at $4995, the original Alpha DAC (reviewed in Issue 189) was nonetheless competitive with the best DACs available, regardless of price. - Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound


       The Absolute Sound 50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio


    CUSTOMER COMMENTS:


    "I'm speechless. Using the stock power cord, all middle range connections, no vibration control, nothing I've heard comes close! And right out of the box. No wonder they can't make them fast enough. And I only tried the 44.1 files. Wow it only gets better. Mercy." DS


    "Hi Galen,Just one word - INCREDIBLE!!! Worth every penny. Many thanks," Paul.



    PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

    • Unequaled interpolation technology up-samples 44.1kHz CD’s to provide almost 176.4kHz quality and
    produces superb fidelity at all sampling rates from 32kHz to 192kHz
    • IR remote control of all functions including volume and balance allows direct connection to power amplifiers
    • Advanced input signal jitter rejection
    • BADA encrypted input allows future support of HDMI and other DRM formats

    CONTROLS & INDICATORS:

    • Input selects AES, SPDIF, Toslink or BADA inputs
    • Lock LED indicates input signal lock
    • HDCD LED indicates HDCD code detected
    • Phase sets absolute phase
    • Invert LED indicates absolute phase inverted
    • 3 digit LED display of Stereo/L/R attenuation, Sampling Rate and Filter type
    • ± controls set attenuation level and select Filter type
    • Mode selects Stereo/L/R attenuation, Sampling Rate and Filter type display modes
    • Dim selects multiple display brightness levels

    SPECIFICATIONS:

    • Input sampling rate: 32kHz to 192kHz
    • Input word length: 24-bit
    • Two channel analog stereo outputs: XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced
    • Digital Inputs: AES - Single XLR 110Ω, SPDIF - BNC 75Ω, Toslink – Optical, BADA encrypted - RJ-45
    • HDCD decoding detects 16-bit flag at 44.1kHz or 24-bit flag at all sampling rates
    • Multiple digital filter options
    • Multiple units can be combined for multi-channel/surround reproduction
    • Balanced analog output level: +18dBu maximum, +12dBu or lower recommended
    • Unbalanced analog output level: 3.25Vrms maximum, 2Vrms or lower recommended
    • Digital attenuation and balance control: 0.1dB/step with .05dB/step trim, 60dB range
    • Frequency response at ≥ 88.2kHz sampling rates: ± 0.1dB from < 0.1Hz to 35 kHz, - 3dB at 59kHz
    for 176.4kHz and 192kHz sampling rates
    • Distortion at recommended levels: all products ≤ -120dBFS
    • THD+N at maximum level: < -110dBFS
    • Firmware field upgradeable through signal inputs
    • Enclosure dimensions: 1.75”H X 16.5”W x 10.4”D, 19” rack mount option
    • Mains voltage: 100/120/240VAC, 50/60Hz
    • Power consumption: 25W

Product Ratings

Average Rating
54321

Choose How Many Stars (5 Being the best)

Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC Series 2


Not available online, please call to order.
210-805-9927

Add Recommended Accessories

Berkeley Audio Alpha USB Interface
$1,895.00 Free Shipping!
Loading...

Description

 

MY TAKE: Without question, the Berkeley Alpha DAC is one of the very best digital to analog converters you can buy, at ANY price. The fact that at $4995 it competes with products costing four times that amount, ranks it as one the highest value DACs on the planet. - Galen Carol


The best just got better! Alpha DAC Series 2 brings new clocking and isolation technologies that provide enhanced imaging precision, timbrel purity and resolution.

There are those that would argue the Alpha DAC from Berkeley Audio is the best sounding DAC you can buy. At any price. Their contention is that the Alpha DAC, more than any other competing model, serves up a sound which is more like good analog than digital.

I first heard the unit (and was blown away) at Winston Ma’s First Impression Music suite at last year’s CES. Winston’s been developing a music server and, after listening to virtually everything on the market, is recommending the Alpha DAC to decode the digital data stream. Winston has some of the best ears in the industry and everything he has recommended to me has always been a winner - the Alpha DAC is no exception. It’s smooth and refined (just like good analog), and yet resolves every last nanogram of subtle detail (like the very best digital). A feat every DAC aims for and very, very few achieve.

There are indeed a good number of outstanding DACs on the market, but I’ve heard nothing that bests the Alpha DAC at its price point. Wait a second, forget the price point; there may not be a DAC on the Planet that is better overall! Pretty strong words, but I think you’ll agree when you listen to one, the Alpha DAC is a stunner, and at the asking price of just $4995, truly a remarkable bargain.

• 2008 Product Of The Year Award in The Absolute Sound, January 2009
• 2009 Golden Ear Award in The Absolute Sound, June / July 2009
• Best D to A Converter rating in Computer Audiophile Suggested Hardware (CASH) List

REVIEWS:

Alpha DAC Series 2 -

The Absolute Sound: "The original Alpha DAC was a groundbreaking product, both in absolute performance and its spectacular value. The Alpha DAC Series 2 is considerably better, and in musically significant ways. Berkeley Audio Design could have called the Series 2 a "Signature" edition, or even created a new model designation and commanded a higher price. That it improved the product so much yet kept the price the same says a lot about the company.

The Alpha DAC Series 2 would have received my highest recommendation had it cost $15,000. (Yes, it sounds that good). That is sells for $4995 qualifies as a minor miracle."
- Robert Harley, TAS

Alpha DAC -

"The Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC is the best-sounding outboard digital-to-analog converter I’ve heard. The fact that it decodes high-resolution sources of any sampling rate and word length is icing on the cake. Although the Alpha DAC is spectacularly great on CD, this converter really shows its prodigious resolution, dynamic agility, and soundstaging capabilities when fed 176.4kHz/24-bit digital audio. Moreover, the Alpha DAC’s feature set, operation (instant locking to changing sampling rates, for example), and ability to drive a power amplifier directly expands the product’s utility and makes it ideal for the next generation of high-resolution music servers that is just around the corner.


The real story, however, is that this performance and functionality is possible at $4995. Although not inexpensive, the Alpha DAC nonetheless competes with, and outperforms, much more expensive converters. At $5k, the Alpha DAC is a spectacular bargain. It is my outboard converter of choice for both CD and high-resolution sources—regardless of price." Robert Harley, The Perfect Vision


"There is a very valid reason why Berkeley Audio Design is selling Alpha DACs as fast as it can produce them. The Alpha DAC is simply stunning. The Berkeley Audio Design team is one of the most respected in the industry. They have succeeded in their goal of making a very high level of fidelity available to music lovers everywhere." The Computer Audiophile


"Few products in my experience as a reviewer have offered as much value as the Berkeley Audio Alpha DAC. Although not inexpensive at $4995, the original Alpha DAC (reviewed in Issue 189) was nonetheless competitive with the best DACs available, regardless of price. - Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound


   The Absolute Sound 50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio


CUSTOMER COMMENTS:


"I'm speechless. Using the stock power cord, all middle range connections, no vibration control, nothing I've heard comes close! And right out of the box. No wonder they can't make them fast enough. And I only tried the 44.1 files. Wow it only gets better. Mercy." DS


"Hi Galen,Just one word - INCREDIBLE!!! Worth every penny. Many thanks," Paul.



PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

• Unequaled interpolation technology up-samples 44.1kHz CD’s to provide almost 176.4kHz quality and
produces superb fidelity at all sampling rates from 32kHz to 192kHz
• IR remote control of all functions including volume and balance allows direct connection to power amplifiers
• Advanced input signal jitter rejection
• BADA encrypted input allows future support of HDMI and other DRM formats

CONTROLS & INDICATORS:

• Input selects AES, SPDIF, Toslink or BADA inputs
• Lock LED indicates input signal lock
• HDCD LED indicates HDCD code detected
• Phase sets absolute phase
• Invert LED indicates absolute phase inverted
• 3 digit LED display of Stereo/L/R attenuation, Sampling Rate and Filter type
• ± controls set attenuation level and select Filter type
• Mode selects Stereo/L/R attenuation, Sampling Rate and Filter type display modes
• Dim selects multiple display brightness levels

SPECIFICATIONS:

• Input sampling rate: 32kHz to 192kHz
• Input word length: 24-bit
• Two channel analog stereo outputs: XLR balanced and RCA unbalanced
• Digital Inputs: AES - Single XLR 110Ω, SPDIF - BNC 75Ω, Toslink – Optical, BADA encrypted - RJ-45
• HDCD decoding detects 16-bit flag at 44.1kHz or 24-bit flag at all sampling rates
• Multiple digital filter options
• Multiple units can be combined for multi-channel/surround reproduction
• Balanced analog output level: +18dBu maximum, +12dBu or lower recommended
• Unbalanced analog output level: 3.25Vrms maximum, 2Vrms or lower recommended
• Digital attenuation and balance control: 0.1dB/step with .05dB/step trim, 60dB range
• Frequency response at ≥ 88.2kHz sampling rates: ± 0.1dB from < 0.1Hz to 35 kHz, - 3dB at 59kHz
for 176.4kHz and 192kHz sampling rates
• Distortion at recommended levels: all products ≤ -120dBFS
• THD+N at maximum level: < -110dBFS
• Firmware field upgradeable through signal inputs
• Enclosure dimensions: 1.75”H X 16.5”W x 10.4”D, 19” rack mount option
• Mains voltage: 100/120/240VAC, 50/60Hz
• Power consumption: 25W