Computer Audio Design, a new British innovator in high-end DAC design, has launched its debut offering: the CAD 1543 DAC
10th January 2013 - Surrey, UK - British audio specialist, Computer Audio Design, debuts with an advanced, no-compromise USB DAC that’s built to delight analogue aficionados and computer music devotees alike. Available in the UK now, the CAD 1543 DAC has a UK SRP of £6,900 in standard finish.
British newcomer Computer Audio Design (CAD), is a specialist high-end audio company that is dedicated to achieving the finest sound quality from computer audio sources. Designed and lovingly hand-built in the UK, CAD’s debut offering, the advanced CAD 1543 DAC, has been skilfully crafted as a no-compromise asynchronous USB DAC that delivers a sonic performance far beyond that of even the most luxurious CD players.
The CAD 1543 DAC has been built on an obsessive design principle that seeks to minimise components in the signal path. The DAC is also unashamedly computer-orientated in recognition of today’s high-resolution digital music files and yet has been designed to deliver the same natural, effortless sound that’s inherent in the best analogue source components. It’s this exclusive sound presentation that makes the CAD 1543 DAC unique in the marketplace and capable of engaging a generation of analogue aficionados with the best that CD- and high-resolution digital music files can offer.
Based around a dedicated, non-magnetic acrylic chassis with superior isolation and damping, the new CAD 1543 DAC has been optimised to work with a computer and painstakingly designed to minimise disruption to the incoming signal. To this end, the DAC has a single high-quality USB input, plus one set of RCA outputs. This configuration enables the signal to pass through the DAC without encountering the highly degrading effects of unnecessary switching. It also allows a super-short signal path (of just 1cm) from the USB board to the DAC.
Designed by Scott Berry, a British-based US-born electrical engineer who has worked for some of the biggest names in the electronics world, the 1543 DAC has been meticulously conceived over several years. It has undergone an exhaustive process of component evaluation and selection, in order to create a product that is truly capable of delivering the best of both the analogue and digital world.
The CAD 1543 DAC also boasts highly advanced power supplies which have their own mains conditioning. The DAC also has a captive mains lead and eschews a mains power switch in keeping with the company’s fewer-components-means-better-sound philosophy. Further features include: extensive internal isolation; no active devices in the output and visco-elastic polymer feet which offer superior damping and absorption properties.
Over 90% of the DAC’s components come from UK manufacturers, including the acrylic case, power transformers, PCB boards (and assembly), PCB supports, the LED backlight and mains power plug. The DAC is modular in design, allowing upgrades and updates to be added over the unit’s lifetime. The special acrylic casework also enables rear panel changes to be introduced cost-effectively if required, in the future.
Price and availability
The CAD 1543 is available now priced at £6,900 (standard finish) with custom finishes and colours available on request.
- DAC chips: 16 x TDA1543/N2
- Input: single asynchronous USB, with full galvanic isolation from computer
- Output: unbalanced RCA (extremely high-quality, low-mass Tellurium copper)
- Sampling frequencies: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz and 176.4kHz operation
- Bit depth: 16 bit (will play any bit-depth)
- Maximum output voltage: ~1.65Vrms
- Output impedance: 135 ohms at 1kHz
- Can drive most power amplifiers directly using digital volume control
For further Computer Audio Design information, images or interview requests, please contact Dan George on +44 (0)7899 808918 or email:
Computer Audio Design contacts for publication
Tel: 0203 397 0334
About Computer Audio Design
CAD is a specialist high-end audio company that is dedicated to achieving the finest sound quality from computer audio sources. A British company, with manufacturing right here in the UK, CAD is unashamedly computer-orientated in recognition of today’s high-resolution digital music files and a future where computer sources will dominate in high-performance systems.
Its debut product, the CAD 1543 DAC, has been designed to deliver the same natural, effortless sound that’s inherent in the best analogue source components. Designed by Scott Berry, a British-based US-born electrical engineer who has worked for some of the biggest names in the electronics world, the DAC 1543 has been painstakingly crafted over several years. The company sources 90% of the CAD 1543’s components from UK manufacturers, with each unit carefully crafted by hand to specification.
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