totaldac

There's a whole bunch of buzz over the France-based totaldac components designed by Vincent Brient. There are a few versions of their R2R DAC including the totaldac d1-dual DAC (€9,900), totaldac d1-tube DAC (€6,960), and the d1-single DAC (€6,960). All of the versions can handle up 24/192 via asynchronous USB, Coax S/PDIF (BNC), and AES/EBU inputs, and 24/96 via Toslink. There's an integrated volume control as well as an adjustable 12dB/oct high pass filter and a 69-bit 2 or 3-way active crossover for taming your system's sound in-room. I encourage you to read more about totaldac on their website but from the bit I heard, I'd certainly like to hear more.

Since any DAC, or any other component for that matter, is only as good as the rest of the system you hear it in, the rest of this system was equally compelling and consisted of the totaldac d1-server music server (€4,990), The Lars Type 2 monoblock amplifiers (€55,000/pair) from Engström & Engström, the Anima horn speakers (€32,000/pair), the Anima Pulse subwoofer (€15,000) from TuneAudio, and cabling from bibacord.

The equally intriguing totaldac music server includes a digital volume control, a reclocker for improved jitter performance, and a number of digital inputs so it can function as a digital preamplifier. There is no internal storage but there is an Ethernet input so you can attach to your network attached storage, an HDMI port to connect to a monitor, USB input for a keyboard/mouse, and an iPad/Android app for controlling playback.

I got to hear the d1-tube DAC as well as the d1-dual DAC on separate occasions and they both made delicate, relaxed, and authoritative music in this system. I also had an opportunity to speak to designer Vincent Brient and took the opportunity to pursue a review...

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