Berkeley Reference DAC 2 MQA - DEMO

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Berkeley Reference DAC 2 MQA - DEMO

Berkeley Reference DAC 2 MQA - DEMO

$15,995.00

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Berkeley Reference DAC 2 MQA - DEMO

$15,995.00

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  • Description

    Here's a great opprtunityto pick up on of the very best digital to analog converters on the planet at significant savings!

     

    MY TAKE: Without doubt, the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 from Berkeley Audio is the very best sounding DAC I've heard. Paired with a good dedicated music server, the Reference will re-establish your benchmark for digital reproduction. - Galen Carol


    Berkeley Audio Design is extremely pleased to announce the new Alpha DAC Reference Series 2! The Alpha DAC Reference set new standards in the industry and the Series 2 raises the bar once again. With a host of upgrades in the analog section, the Series 2 takes an already incredible product into the stratosphere - clearly, nothing better! Current Reference DAC owners  may upgrade for just the cost difference! Please contact Berkeley to schedule your upgrade.

    The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 embodies everything we know about digital to analog conversion taken to an unprecedented level - a level that requires new design concepts and new components at the edge of what is possible. The result is an immediacy and presence of music reproduction that is simply real.

    We literally designed the Reference Series before it was possible to build it. Almost three years in development, the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 uses components designed to our specifications that were not commercially available. Several suppliers were not able to meet our requirements which delayed the release of the Reference Series by more than a year. But those obstacles were overcome and now the Alpha DAC Reference Series is a reality.

    The presence and sonic reality of the Reference Series is the result of digital to analog conversion at a new level of accuracy made possible by tremendous electrical and mechanical noise isolation coupled with extreme time domain stability. Ceramic circuit board materials are used in all critical areas and the enclosure is carefully engineered to minimize electrical noise and maximize mechanical stability. The Alpha DAC Reference Series weighs over 40 pounds and the entire enclosure is precision machined from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy.

    A new high output all metal IR remote control with direct input source selection is provided with the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2.
     

    Careful consideration was given to providing the highest possible fidelity reproduction of DSD files by the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2. 99% of modern DAC’s, including the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 use multi-bit D/A converters because they provide better performance than 1-bit converters - even those who advertise “native” DSD compatibility. So, at some point, the 1-bit DSD stream must be converted to multi-bit for all of those DAC’s.
     

    Berkeley could, like many other manufacturers, convert 1-bit DSD to multi-bit within the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 and show “DSD” in the front panel display. That would be the easiest approach from a marketing perspective. But that would also mean increasing the amount of processing in the DAC during playback which would degrade audio quality, and audio quality is the reason the Alpha DAC Reference Series exists.

    Fortunately, virtually all reproduction of DSD files using external DAC’s occurs with a computer based music server as the source. If the 1-bit DSD to multi-bit conversion is done first in the computer it can be performed with extremely high precision and superior filtering that preserves all of the content of the DSD file. Computer DSD to multi-bit conversion can be at least as good as that performed in a DAC and without adding processing noise near or in the D/A converter chip. Another advantage of computer based DSD to PCM conversion is that if higher performance DSD versions such as DSD 4x appear in the future, they can easily be supported with a software upgrade.

    For all of those reasons, DSD capability for the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 is provided by an included state of the art software application that provides either real time conversion of DSD 1x and DSD 2x to 176.4 kHz 24 bit PCM during playback or conversion to 176.4 kHz 24 bit AIFF or WAV files. The software application is included in the price of the Alpha DAC Reference Series and is compatible with either Windows OS or Mac OS based music servers.

    The Alpha DAC Reference Series supports 32 kHz to 192 kHz 24-bit PCM through four inputs; balanced AES, coaxial SPDIF 1, coaxial SPDIF 2 and Toslink optical. Independent, single-ended and true balanced analog outputs are provided.


    REVIEWS - Series 2:
     

    The Absolute Sound: "The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 delivers significantly better sound quality than its predecessor, and in ways that matter the most to musical enjoyment. After listening to music through the Alpha DAC Reference nearly daily for the past two years, I’m shocked that the Series 2 can push the state of the art that much further. The fact that owners of the original can upgrade for the price difference between the two models, and that Berkeley will offer MQA capability as a software update later this year, is icing on the cake.

    The Series 2 seems to have crossed an important threshold in digital’s long slow march toward musical realism. This DAC’s sound is open, airy, transparent, highly detailed, lively, and fast, yet at the same time smooth, liquid, relaxed, and non-fatiguing. Throw in a newfound dynamic fidelity, ultra-high resolution, and a stunning rendering of spatial cues, and you’ve got the recipe for maximum musical engagement. - Robert Harley


       The Absolute Sound 50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio


    REVIEWS - Series 1:


    The Computer Audiophile: "The Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series is a DAC for the ages. Delicacy, detail, and unparalleled transparency are hallmarks of the RS. Reproducing soft yet present background instruments as clearly as the lead guitar is something only the Alpha DAC RS has done in my system. This DAC is capable of hooking the listener in to hours long listening sessions even at the expense of getting other work done. In other words, the Alpha DAC RS reproduces addicting sound. The Reference Series is what the term "game changer" was meant to describe. It's a PCM only DAC that renders most other universal DACs on the market irrelevant. Irrelevant because they cost more and don't sound as good. A DAC that can make standard resolution (16/44.1) material sound as good as high resolution is a true game changer. The advanced digital filtering algorithms created by Berkeley Audio Design do exactly that with 16/44.1 music. I know of no DAC available today that can reproduce Redbook CD content as well as the Alpha DAC RS. Period. If I could afford it and my job allowed it, the Alpha DAC RS is the only DAC I'd use for the foreseeable future." - Chris Conaker


    The Absolute Sound: "I'll have a lot more to say about this extraordinary new product in my review next issue, but for now you should know that Berkeley's Alpha DAC Reference redefines what we can expect from digital playback. The Reference is simply stunning in its ability to render instruments as real-sounding objects in three-dimensional space. This startling - and I mean startling - quality is made possible not just by the Reference's spatial precision, but also by the timbral vividness and extraordinarily high resolution of the tinniest micro-details. What's more, the Reference performs this magic trick on all instruments simultaneously, even in the most dense and complex passages. This unprecedented (for digital) quality allowed me to easily follow individual musical lines in a way I never thought possible from digital. The build-quality is many steps up from the original Alpha DAC, including a chassis milled from a solid aluminum black. The Alpha DAC Reference is an unqualified triumph." - Robert Harley


    The Absolute Sound: "The Berkeley Alpha DAC Reference Series is not only the absolute state of the art in digital-to-analog conversion, it also goes far beyond even this superlative to redefine what’s possible in digital playback. This is a landmark product in that it crosses a threshold of sound quality and musical expressiveness that renders moot the idea that digital can only aspire to mimic analog rather than offer its own set of virtues.

    "I won’t reiterate the Alpha Reference’s merits, but can guarantee that you’ve never heard digital audio sound like this. This is a product that you have to hear for yourself to believe just how far digital has traveled. I’m also heartened by the Reference’s price. Although not inexpensive, $16,000 for the unquestioned state of the art in digital playback makes it seem like a bargain.

    "On a personal level, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to experience an entirely new and unexpected level of musical involvement from my library of standard-resolution CDs and files. After one particularly rewarding session, I reflected on how Berkeley Audio Design epitomizes the highest ideals of high-end audio.

    "Ritter and Pflaumer toiled for years, researching the finest minutia of design details that affect sound quality to create a product that has allowed me to experience a deeper level of musical involvement and appreciation. Their single-minded pursuit of performance above all else exemplifies the ethos behind the landmark breakthroughs in the history of high-end audio.

    "And breakthrough the Alpha Reference is. I’m confident in saying that the Alpha Reference will be remembered decades from now as a turning point in digital audio sound quality." - Robert Harley


    SPECIFICATIONS:

     

    Input sampling rate: 32kHz-192kHz
    Input word length: 24-bit
    Inputs: AES /EBU, SPDIF on BNC (x2), TosLink
    Outputs: Balanced on XLR jacks, unbalanced on RCA jacks
    Output level: 6.15Vrms at 0dBFS (balanced); 3.25Vrms at 0dBFS (unbalanced)
    Digital volume control and balance: 0.1dB steps, 0.05dB L/R balance, 60dB range
    Remote control: Volume, balance, input selection, absolute polarity reversal
    Digital filter: Custom, user selectable
    THD+N: <–110dBFS at maximum output
    Firmware: Upgradable through signal inputs
    Warranty: Three years parts and labor
    Dimensions: 17.5" x 3.5" x 12.5"
    Weight: 30 lbs.

     

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Berkeley Reference DAC 2 MQA - DEMO

$15,995.00

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Description

Here's a great opprtunityto pick up on of the very best digital to analog converters on the planet at significant savings!

 

MY TAKE: Without doubt, the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 from Berkeley Audio is the very best sounding DAC I've heard. Paired with a good dedicated music server, the Reference will re-establish your benchmark for digital reproduction. - Galen Carol


Berkeley Audio Design is extremely pleased to announce the new Alpha DAC Reference Series 2! The Alpha DAC Reference set new standards in the industry and the Series 2 raises the bar once again. With a host of upgrades in the analog section, the Series 2 takes an already incredible product into the stratosphere - clearly, nothing better! Current Reference DAC owners  may upgrade for just the cost difference! Please contact Berkeley to schedule your upgrade.

The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 embodies everything we know about digital to analog conversion taken to an unprecedented level - a level that requires new design concepts and new components at the edge of what is possible. The result is an immediacy and presence of music reproduction that is simply real.

We literally designed the Reference Series before it was possible to build it. Almost three years in development, the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 uses components designed to our specifications that were not commercially available. Several suppliers were not able to meet our requirements which delayed the release of the Reference Series by more than a year. But those obstacles were overcome and now the Alpha DAC Reference Series is a reality.

The presence and sonic reality of the Reference Series is the result of digital to analog conversion at a new level of accuracy made possible by tremendous electrical and mechanical noise isolation coupled with extreme time domain stability. Ceramic circuit board materials are used in all critical areas and the enclosure is carefully engineered to minimize electrical noise and maximize mechanical stability. The Alpha DAC Reference Series weighs over 40 pounds and the entire enclosure is precision machined from a solid billet of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy.

A new high output all metal IR remote control with direct input source selection is provided with the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2.
 

Careful consideration was given to providing the highest possible fidelity reproduction of DSD files by the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2. 99% of modern DAC’s, including the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 use multi-bit D/A converters because they provide better performance than 1-bit converters - even those who advertise “native” DSD compatibility. So, at some point, the 1-bit DSD stream must be converted to multi-bit for all of those DAC’s.
 

Berkeley could, like many other manufacturers, convert 1-bit DSD to multi-bit within the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 and show “DSD” in the front panel display. That would be the easiest approach from a marketing perspective. But that would also mean increasing the amount of processing in the DAC during playback which would degrade audio quality, and audio quality is the reason the Alpha DAC Reference Series exists.

Fortunately, virtually all reproduction of DSD files using external DAC’s occurs with a computer based music server as the source. If the 1-bit DSD to multi-bit conversion is done first in the computer it can be performed with extremely high precision and superior filtering that preserves all of the content of the DSD file. Computer DSD to multi-bit conversion can be at least as good as that performed in a DAC and without adding processing noise near or in the D/A converter chip. Another advantage of computer based DSD to PCM conversion is that if higher performance DSD versions such as DSD 4x appear in the future, they can easily be supported with a software upgrade.

For all of those reasons, DSD capability for the Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 is provided by an included state of the art software application that provides either real time conversion of DSD 1x and DSD 2x to 176.4 kHz 24 bit PCM during playback or conversion to 176.4 kHz 24 bit AIFF or WAV files. The software application is included in the price of the Alpha DAC Reference Series and is compatible with either Windows OS or Mac OS based music servers.

The Alpha DAC Reference Series supports 32 kHz to 192 kHz 24-bit PCM through four inputs; balanced AES, coaxial SPDIF 1, coaxial SPDIF 2 and Toslink optical. Independent, single-ended and true balanced analog outputs are provided.


REVIEWS - Series 2:
 

The Absolute Sound: "The Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 delivers significantly better sound quality than its predecessor, and in ways that matter the most to musical enjoyment. After listening to music through the Alpha DAC Reference nearly daily for the past two years, I’m shocked that the Series 2 can push the state of the art that much further. The fact that owners of the original can upgrade for the price difference between the two models, and that Berkeley will offer MQA capability as a software update later this year, is icing on the cake.

The Series 2 seems to have crossed an important threshold in digital’s long slow march toward musical realism. This DAC’s sound is open, airy, transparent, highly detailed, lively, and fast, yet at the same time smooth, liquid, relaxed, and non-fatiguing. Throw in a newfound dynamic fidelity, ultra-high resolution, and a stunning rendering of spatial cues, and you’ve got the recipe for maximum musical engagement. - Robert Harley


   The Absolute Sound 50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio


REVIEWS - Series 1:


The Computer Audiophile: "The Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series is a DAC for the ages. Delicacy, detail, and unparalleled transparency are hallmarks of the RS. Reproducing soft yet present background instruments as clearly as the lead guitar is something only the Alpha DAC RS has done in my system. This DAC is capable of hooking the listener in to hours long listening sessions even at the expense of getting other work done. In other words, the Alpha DAC RS reproduces addicting sound. The Reference Series is what the term "game changer" was meant to describe. It's a PCM only DAC that renders most other universal DACs on the market irrelevant. Irrelevant because they cost more and don't sound as good. A DAC that can make standard resolution (16/44.1) material sound as good as high resolution is a true game changer. The advanced digital filtering algorithms created by Berkeley Audio Design do exactly that with 16/44.1 music. I know of no DAC available today that can reproduce Redbook CD content as well as the Alpha DAC RS. Period. If I could afford it and my job allowed it, the Alpha DAC RS is the only DAC I'd use for the foreseeable future." - Chris Conaker


The Absolute Sound: "I'll have a lot more to say about this extraordinary new product in my review next issue, but for now you should know that Berkeley's Alpha DAC Reference redefines what we can expect from digital playback. The Reference is simply stunning in its ability to render instruments as real-sounding objects in three-dimensional space. This startling - and I mean startling - quality is made possible not just by the Reference's spatial precision, but also by the timbral vividness and extraordinarily high resolution of the tinniest micro-details. What's more, the Reference performs this magic trick on all instruments simultaneously, even in the most dense and complex passages. This unprecedented (for digital) quality allowed me to easily follow individual musical lines in a way I never thought possible from digital. The build-quality is many steps up from the original Alpha DAC, including a chassis milled from a solid aluminum black. The Alpha DAC Reference is an unqualified triumph." - Robert Harley


The Absolute Sound: "The Berkeley Alpha DAC Reference Series is not only the absolute state of the art in digital-to-analog conversion, it also goes far beyond even this superlative to redefine what’s possible in digital playback. This is a landmark product in that it crosses a threshold of sound quality and musical expressiveness that renders moot the idea that digital can only aspire to mimic analog rather than offer its own set of virtues.

"I won’t reiterate the Alpha Reference’s merits, but can guarantee that you’ve never heard digital audio sound like this. This is a product that you have to hear for yourself to believe just how far digital has traveled. I’m also heartened by the Reference’s price. Although not inexpensive, $16,000 for the unquestioned state of the art in digital playback makes it seem like a bargain.

"On a personal level, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to experience an entirely new and unexpected level of musical involvement from my library of standard-resolution CDs and files. After one particularly rewarding session, I reflected on how Berkeley Audio Design epitomizes the highest ideals of high-end audio.

"Ritter and Pflaumer toiled for years, researching the finest minutia of design details that affect sound quality to create a product that has allowed me to experience a deeper level of musical involvement and appreciation. Their single-minded pursuit of performance above all else exemplifies the ethos behind the landmark breakthroughs in the history of high-end audio.

"And breakthrough the Alpha Reference is. I’m confident in saying that the Alpha Reference will be remembered decades from now as a turning point in digital audio sound quality." - Robert Harley


SPECIFICATIONS:

 

Input sampling rate: 32kHz-192kHz
Input word length: 24-bit
Inputs: AES /EBU, SPDIF on BNC (x2), TosLink
Outputs: Balanced on XLR jacks, unbalanced on RCA jacks
Output level: 6.15Vrms at 0dBFS (balanced); 3.25Vrms at 0dBFS (unbalanced)
Digital volume control and balance: 0.1dB steps, 0.05dB L/R balance, 60dB range
Remote control: Volume, balance, input selection, absolute polarity reversal
Digital filter: Custom, user selectable
THD+N: <–110dBFS at maximum output
Firmware: Upgradable through signal inputs
Warranty: Three years parts and labor
Dimensions: 17.5" x 3.5" x 12.5"
Weight: 30 lbs.