Audio Horizons DAC-2a DACs

5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $1295.00

Product Description

  • A line filter after the AC power input. At 80db, this is the most effective filter on the market, and it insures that AC noise is virtually eliminated before it ever reaches the power supply.
  • The power supply uses a 10 times larger VA than needed in order to insure a stable soundstage.
  • C coupling transformers and separate digital and analog power supplies reduce interference between the digital and analog sections.
  • Two stages of regulation in the digital supply interface lower the impedance and provide better isolation, which results in quieter digital noise levels. Blackgate coupling capacitors are used to bridge the digital and analog section.
  • The use of a low ESR capacitor bank, with an extremely high 8,800 uf of storage in the analog section, provides extra reserves when sudden dynamic demands are made on the DAC.
  • In addition, the use of a push-pull analog section increases the system’s dynamic range and responsiveness, thereby producing a punchier sound.
  • The absence of a built-in clock circuit reduces digital intermodulation and lowers the noise floor to produce a very quiet DAC even by DAC standards, one with extremely high signal-to-noise.
  • The circuit design reduces jitter to a minimum by using the shortest digital signal path possible.
  • The low output resistance and capacitance design permits the use of long interconnects with minimal sonic degradation.
  • All inner wiring uses Teflon silver coated wiring to provide optimum performance for many years, and to protect the DAC for those who live in environments with high humidity.
  • Instead of an inexpensive Toslink, the DAC-2 uses as standard equipment a close tolerance ST optical digital connection in addition to coaxial for those who have a transport with a quality ST optical connection in order to further isolate ground loop noise from the transport.
  • In addition, the DAC-2a boast two premium line output transformers to remove the ground from the signal path and to provide us with many of the advantages of balanced outputs.

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    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Drte a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: August 3, 2005

    Bottom Line:   
    I've finally found an affordable DAC that is competitive with more expensive high-end DACs costing far, far more. It's the Audio Horizon DAC-2a. The Audio Horizons DAC-2a follows designer Joseph Chow's philosophy of designing audio components that are faithful to the original musical performance. The first thing you notice when listening to the DAC-2a is how dead silent its musical presentation is; there is abosolutely no background or other extraneous noise. The DAC-2a reproduces music with incredible detail and resolution. The sound stage is wide and expansive with great depth so that the orchestra speads out before you in its full glory. Instruments float in space in a very realistic manner as if in a live concert, with each instrument delineated yet integrated into a coherent musical whole.

    There is great dynamic range and power to the presentation. Micro dynamics and details are flushed out and subtle nuances presered. This truly is an example of how one would experience the performers if they were performing live in your listening room. Human voices are rendered with a naturalness that is truly amazing.

    Among solid state DACs I've owned, the DAC2a comes closest to getting female vocals right. The Audio Horizons DAC-2a is so good it deserves to be matched with a high quality transport, preamp and amp to truly maximize its great sonic qualities.

    I have listened to many high end DACs, including Mark Levinson, Wadia, Chord, Krell, etc. Each has its own sonic character. The Audio Horizon DAC-2a is the least colored and brings you closest to the live musical experience.

    With their free home audition program you owe it to yourself to give a listen.

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    Used product for:   1 to 3 months

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2005

    Price Paid:    $1298.00

    Purchased At:   Factory Direct

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by cedar a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: July 4, 2005

    Bottom Line:   
    My digital front end includes a Mark Levinson 37 transport and an Audio Horizons DAC. After good experience with the Audio Horizon cables (speaker, interconnect, power), I volunteered to beta test and voice the Audio Horizons DAC (I have no financial interest in the product; I volunteered as an interested hobbyist). The process took about a year during which time the degree of improvement was remarkable. Initially, the DAC sounded better than comparably priced DACs (for example, the Perpetual Technologies P1/P3 combo). The production model, DAC 2a, is far superior - truly an excellent DAC. It is dead quiet and has tremendous dynamic range. It is articulate and detailed but without glare. It delivers great pace, rhythm and timing. The balance, from the deepest base to the highest treble, is even and clear.
    I tend to listen to classical more than to rock music, but the DAC 2a works well with both types.
    My audio system includes VTL MB185 monoblock power amps and Coincident Technologies Super Eclipse III loudspeakers. The DAC 2a has delivered performance that takes full advantage of these other components. If you are looking for an excellent solid state DAC at an affordable price, then you have found it.

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    Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Purchased At:   www.componentplususa

    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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