Silbatone DAC105 Converter and L105 Line Amplifier

 

Our first digital offering, the DAC105 Converter combines state of the art digital design with highest-performance analog stages we could invent for the task. Our designers are artists when it comes to integrating tubes with modern devices and the circuitry of the DAC105 and L105 are quite unlike any previously-known designs.

The analog section of the DAC105 had an AD797-based IV converter into a fully-balanced, ultra-wide bandwidth (10-500khz) using a Telefunken 6211 and JFET buffer which does not require an output capacitor. All audio wiring is silver litz. We feel the DAC 105 is a technical tour de force and we invite musical comparison with any D/A converter at any price!

Although we have access to superb phono systems and top of the line DC players, we learned that often high-quality FLAC or DSD files are the best available versions of many recordings, certainly superior to CD in most cases. The DAC105 will bring this quality home to your listening room.

Native DSD (2.82mhz/64fs, 5.64mhz/128fs), 32bit/384khz sampling rate with automatic switching, based on 2x ES9018 Reference DAC chips from ESS Technologies. Asynchronous USB eliminates jitter. Two S/PDIF outputs (ABS/EBU and coaxial) with super shielded digital transformers reduce jitter. Optical SS/PDIF is also furnished.

The matching L105 Line Amplifier is a innovative adaptation of the symmetrical, fully balanced circuits used in classic tube studio gear. A balanced FET input buffer stage drives a differential 8416 triode stage which is buffered by balanced parallel JFETs again at the output. Gain is all tube. The output is servo-controlled to avoid the need for output capacitors. Remote control is provided for source selection and volume control, provided by a Tokyo Ko-on broadcast grade attenuator. All audio cabling is our proprietary silver litz. The 8416 triode is a super tube and it sets the character of the L105 in a region that is certain to please music lovers from both sides of the tube/transistor discourse.

Although less expensive than our reference series models, the DAC105 and L105 are built to the high standards of construction and performance that Silbatone is famous for maintaining. We fully understand how earlier hybrid gear earned its lesser reputation as a halfway measure, but the Silbatone DAC105 and L105 require no excuses. Silbatone marries vacuum tubes and JFETs and anlog and digital without any hybrid identity crises. The sound is pure Silbatone!

 

Silbatone DAC100 Silver Edition

 

 

Although we are great fans of analog and we have access to superb phono systems, as well as top of the line CD players, we learned that often high-quality FLAC or DSD files are the best available versions of many recordings,easily superior to CD in most cases. And let's face it, the convenience factor of hard drive storage is difficult to ignore for casual listening.

In pursuit of better digital experiences, Silbatone developed out first in-house digital product last year, the very successful DAC105 USB processor. For 2016, we are proud to debut the DAC100, an upmarket model incorporating refinements on our original digital approach and the finest analog stage we could think up to create a USB DAC that truly satisfies.

The DA100, is like the DAC105, a 2X ESS9018 USB processor that relies on our own control software, non-oversampling on 16/44 and native DSD up to 32bit/384khz sampling rate with automatic switching.

Most ESS9018 designs are minor variations on the published reference circuit, leading to a routine similarity in sound, often considered very detailed but somewhat mechanical. This chip is highly configurable but most run it in the easy but inferior default configuration. Getting rid of the digital volume control was one major improvement as was a thoughtful optimization of the filter algorithms. We tried all options.and ended up very far from the mundane standard, transforming the performance of this popular platform into an instrument of great nuance and musicality.

The tube analog section of the DAC100 is inspired by studio line amplifiers of the classic era, using balanced differential 12AY7 input stage from the I/V converter and a buffer stage of parallel SE Bendix 6900s driving a pure silver output transformer. We tried many configurations and we believe we got it totally right with this design!

We feel the DAC 105 is a technical tour de force and we invite musical comparison with any D/A converter at any price!