ADL by Furutech

Alpha Design Labs (ADL) is Furutech’s "entry-level line" and the Esprit DAC/Preamp/Headphone Amp/ADC ($999) is ready to do all sorts of things to your analog or digital data including making a recording of it (just don't tell the RIAA). The Esprit sports a 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC for 24-bit/192kHz through its S/PDIF inputs (Coax and Toslink) and a Tenor TE7022L for 24-bit/96kHz for D/A conversion via USB. Analog to Digital conversion is handled by an Asahi Kasei AK5385B 24-bit/192kHz converter.

If all that’s not enough, the Esprit includes two pairs of RCA inputs, 1 pair of RCA outputs, TosLink and USB out, three position toggle switch for recording gain (0db, -6db, -12db), volume control and a front-mounted headphone jack. All of that is wrapped up and into a 150 (W) x 141 (D) x 57 (H) mm package. I took a few minutes to listen to some music through a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones connected to the Esprit which was connected to a MacBook Air via USB and running the Audirvana media player and it sounded like I’d like to get an Esprit in-my-house so I can take it for a longer stroll.

ADL by Furutech Stride

Also on active display was the new Stride Portable Headphone Amp ($395) which uses its mini B-type USB interface for power as well as 24-bit/96kHz audio input. There’s also a 3.5mm line in (that overrides the USB audio input), a 3.5mm headphone out, and volume control. The ADL line also includes a whole host of cables including iDevice (Apple 30 Pin iDock to USB A and 3.5mm mini phone jack), HDMI and USB.

I also think its worth a peak at the ADL ad graphic which adorns the cover of the brochure as well as the website because I think its important for us to stress the importance of exercise which is something the hi-fi press rarely does when covering "high performance audio". That said, the idea of stretching my inner sound just feels like something I should do in private.

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