The all new ARIOSO is our latest offering in the DAC / headphones amplifier category. We took our time in order to create something unique which makes us and you the customer happy. Meticulous design and redesign procedures were necessary before this outstanding DAC ultimately is now ready for shipment.

 

Although the ARIOSO has a well proven ancestor – the u:c:a, we had a lot of work to do. Nearly every subassembly has ultimately put to the test and modified when necessary. Some of these improvements are also present in the u:c:a mk2, while others are exclusively employed in the ARIOSO.

 

What came out is a DAC / headphones amplifier with outstanding characteristics differing from nearly everything the market offers regardless of price.

Product features:

Fully discrete circuit construction – no use of operational amplifiers (OP). Even the most sophisticated OP relies on feedback action. That’s the nature of any OP. Years ago we found out, that loop feedback has a bad influence on sound, so we constructed our circuits without that emergency measure. Sorry, OP’s are not an option for us, although discrete circuits costs more, consume more power and inhabit more board space.

Asynchronous USB transceiver - any form of jitter in the incoming datastream is compensated by a small buffer. The audio data is clocked out by a local high precision quartz master clock. With this operation mode, the DAC is the master, whereas the computer is the slave. Timing errors are effectively eliminated.

Analogue volume control – no use of filter algorithm based attenuation. If someone asks you about the sound of your DAC, you may answer: it depends on the playback level chosen. Many DAC’s use the inbuilt volume control action of the DAC chip since it is easy and free of charge. Unfortunately the tonal characteristic over the full operating range between -80 dB – 0dB changes significantly with this cheap solution. Even if you use a true 32 bit wide volume control, the analogue stages of the actual DAC chip do not sound equal as when driven at full scale. The sound gets progressively paler and thinner, the greater the attenuation level gets, although mathematics predict a wide usable dynamic range.

DSD supportDSD64 and DSD128 are supported natively. A direct signal path between the USB transceiver and the DAC chip modulator leaves out the digital interpolator stage common in PCM processing. The full jitter elimination of the incoming data stream due to the asynchronous mode USB transceiver is most important, because reclocking of the DSD signal is not applicable. Therefore, the USB transceiver plays an important part for the over all performance not only in PCM mode but in DSD mode too.

Linear, interference free power supply – The power supply used in the ARIOSO is a high current design with heavy filtering. An equivalent of 53.000uF is used for the analogue supply rails.

Easy and intuitive operation – no toying around, we already adjusted the circuit to optimal values for the filter algorithms and the filter bandwidth based on critical listening tests with headphones and speakers. The clear and non intrusive concept is also carried out under the hood. When looking inside, you won’t find a rat’s net of cables, instead you will discover a clean layout typical of true High End components.

... no opamp, no cry

More info can be sourced from the manual: Manual ARIOSO

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