Northstar192 DACNorthstar 192 DAC with Empirical Audio TurboModsNorth Star Model 192 DAC with Empirical Audio Turbomods.  This Northstar DAC is in great working condition.  I have conservatively rated it a “7” because the top front edge of the aluminum facep...399.00

Northstar 192 DAC with Empirical Audio TurboMods [Expired]


no longer for sale

North Star Model 192 DAC with Empirical Audio Turbomods. 

This Northstar DAC is in great working condition.  I have conservatively rated it a “7” because the top front edge of the aluminum faceplate is not perfectly smooth due to some “micro-dings”, mainly on the left side of the front edge.  These are hard to see, but you can feel them if you run your fingers along it.  I paid $900 to have Empirical Audio modify the DAC with its TurboMod, which transformed the DAC’s performance. The DAC itself listed for $2,500 when new, so the total package was therefore worth $3,400 new. 

A nice feature of this DAC is that, at the push of a button, you can have the output upsampled to 192 mHz.  This allows the filtering that is always required in a DAC to be set at a much higher frequency, far out of the audible frequency range, where it has minimal effect on the sound. 

This DAC allows 5 different digital inputs of 4 types (see list below), allowing you to connect a variety of sources.  This includes an I2S input using RJ45 connectors, compatible with the Empirical Audio Off-Ramps.  

Three years ago I was considering buying an Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 5 (USB to S/PDID or I2S converter.  At that time the Empirical Audio website listed top DACs to use with the Off-Ramp, with the PS Audio Power Wave DAC at the top of the list.  I wrote to Steve Nugent, the head of Empirical Audio, asking whether I would be better off staying with the TurboModded Northstar DAC or transitioning to the Power Wave DAC.  His response: "The modded Northstar is quite good.  I would try the OR5 with it first, maybe using I2S."  It's that good!

I am selling this DAC because I have upgraded to a Bricasti Design M1 DAC.

Ships in original packaging. 

Included in the box:

  •          Northstar 192 DAC with Empirical Audio TurboMods
  •          User Manual
  •          Power cable

DAC Specifications:

Input signals: 32kHZ to 192kHz, with up to 24 bit depth

Dynamic Range: 120dB

S/N ratio: 117dB

Inputs: 3 S/PDIF (2 RCA coax and 1 Toslink optical), 1 AES/EBU (XLR balanced), 1 I2S (RJ45)

Output Sockets: Gold plated RCA posts

Mains/Power Consumption: 230/115V 50/60Hz 15VA

Chassis size: 43.3 x 17 x 5 cm or 17 x 6.7 x 1.95 in

Weight (with envelope): 5.4 Kg – 11.9 lbs

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