For sale is a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference
(original series). This remains today one of the best D/A converters available
at any price, and it earned rave reviews when it first appeared, including 2014
Absolute Sound product of the year. The Reference
Series improvements in time domain distortion provide super-smooth sound on
strings, jazz cymbals, vocals, etc., similar to analog sound’s best qualities,
but with the transient speed, detail and super low noise floor of good digital.
This DAC also provides depth, impact and tunefulness to the bass register, and among
the very best bloom, air and soundstage among similar and higher priced
competitors. When I first heard it, I was struck right away by how engaging and
stress free the sound was – it just draws you in before you even start thinking
about all the technical points. The volume control and excellent op amp allows
you to use it without a preamp, making it an even greater value. I operated this
model using balanced cables directly into the various amps I have used
(Levinson and D’Agostino). There is also an independently operating pair of RCA
connectors which can be used for a headphone amp or sub.
This unit is in excellent condition; to my eye there are no
scratches or cosmetic issues at all.
Can be upgraded to further improved PCM decoding plus part 2
MQA decoding, via a software order from the manufacturer.
Input sampling rate: 32kHz-192kHz
Input word length: 24-bit
Inputs: AES /EBU, SPDIF on BNC (x2), TosLink
Outputs: Balanced on XLR jacks, unbalanced on RCA jacks
Output level: 6.15Vrms at 0dBFS (balanced); 3.25Vrms at 0dBFS (unbalanced)
Digital volume control and balance: 0.1dB steps, 0.05dB L/R balance, 60dB range
Remote control: Volume, balance, input selection, absolute polarity reversal
Digital filter: Custom, user selectable
THD+N: <–110dBFS at maximum output
Firmware: Upgradable through signal inputs
Warranty: Three years parts and labor
Dimensions: 17.5" x 3.5" x 12.5"
Weight: 30 lbs.