Swiss manufacturer Merging Technologies will launch their audiophile D/A converter, NADAC, at the High End Show in Munich. Merging Technologies manufactures high-resolution digital audio recording and editing systems including products that process PCM formats up to 24-bit/384kHz and DSD up to DSD256. The bulk of the DSD downloads now available on the numerous specialist websites were recorded on Merging Technologies’ systems.
NADAC stands for Network Attached DAC, and will be delivered in two different versions, stereo and 8-channels. Both variants have ¼” and mini-jack headphone outputs and the monitoring-grade headphone outputs can be configured to carry a different signal to the main output. Merging Technologies was encouraged to produce NADAC because of the high praise its professional D/A converters have received from leading recording engineers. It uses the same technology and is built to the same exacting standards.
Many of those recording companies are in the forefront of providing a large catalogue of true Hi-Res Audio downloads. These are typically in DSD or DXD and many of them will feature the multichannel DSD files previously used for SACD releases. Merging is forming a dynamic partnership with a growing number of these content providers, to jointly promote the benefits of the listening to the music as the artists intended. Special deals for NADAC purchasers will be announced as they are made available.
NADAC has AES/EBU and SPDIF digital inputs for use with CD players, CD transports or other devices up to 192kHz. An Ethernet interface is provided for use with computer based digital audio systems for carrying through ASIO on Windows and CoreAudio with DoP on MacOS any resolution up to 384kHz, DXD and DSD256. This uses the RAVENNA protocol that Merging Technologies helped to develop for high sampling rate applications and allows very robust and accurate transfer of the digital audio data from the computer to NADAC. The data is stored in a large buffer memory in the NADAC and then clocked out by the unit’s precision internal clock. This and the RAVENNA protocol’s ultra-stable Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588) eliminates the cable and jitter related problems associated with conventional digital audio interfaces.
The NADAC’s line outputs are driven by an ESS9008S SABRE Reference Audio D/A IC. This IC has 8 separate D/A converters and in the stereo version of the NADAC, each channel uses 4 D/A converters with the outputs summed in order to provide improved linearity, greater dynamic range and a lower noise floor. The 8-channel version of the NADAC may also be switched to work as a stereo unit, with the converters configured in the same way. Careful circuit layout and component selection, refined by many hours of listening tests has enabled the highest level of performance from this configuration. This is backed up by results that the test gear can barely measure. The headphone output uses the same type of converter IC configured similarly.
The NADAC has balanced and unbalanced line outputs; two headphone outputs; a digital volume control and any smart device with a web browser can serve as a remote control. The NADAC costs €8600 for the stereo and €9300 for the 8 channel version plus shipping and duty amounting to around 5%. nadac.merging.com