Merging Technologies NADAC

You may know Merging Technologies as the makers of the Pyramix audio workstation or perhaps from their network audio converters, the Horus and Hapi family. Or you may know them because they created DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition). Merging has been around for about 25 years in the pro audio world and they've just released their first consumer product, the NADAC (around $7500 for the 2-channel version) Network Attached DAC.

Just one of the many interesting features of the NADAC is its Ethernet input, "NADAC connects on the network using the Ethernet-based RAVENNA protocol to any Music Server, Player or Streamer supporting ASIO on Windows, CoreAudio/DoP on MacOSX, and through a direct RAVENNA connection on Linux." NADAC supports up to 24/384kHz PCM, DXD, and quad DSD (11.2MHz). Inputs include Ethernet, an AES pair, Coax S/PDIF, and Wordclock. There's also a DC power supply connector for an optional external power supply. Outputs include RCA and XLR pairs.

Why Ethernet? In a word, accuracy. "The Precision Time Protocol (PTP2 or IEEE 1588-2008) is at the heart of the Ravenna protocol, ensuring an ultimate clock precision of one nanosecond and a full compatibility with the AES Audio-over-IP standard AES67." NADAC will come in three versions; 2-channels, 8 channels, and 16 channels and the first NADACs should be available in the Spring. The photo above is of a prototype unit and the production version may see some slight cosmetic changes.