Wavelength PROTON 24/96 Asynchronous USB DACFrom the same designer of the AYRE QB-9, this is a very lightly used Proton USB High Resolution 24/96 DAC and headphone amp, up to 24bit / 96,000 KHz. In like-new condition, in the original box. ...695.00
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Wavelength PROTON 24/96 Asynchronous USB DAC with Headphone Amp [Expired]
From the same designer of the AYRE QB-9, this is a very lightly used Proton USB High Resolution 24/96 DAC and headphone amp, up to 24bit / 96,000 KHz. In like-new condition, in the original box. Bid with confidence from a 14 year eBay seller (same seller ID) with perfect feedback. 7 day money back guarantee.
The Proton is for desktops, home audio, travel whatever! The idea is to make a dac that could run without a power supply and still sound wonderful. The idea is simple: we can use the USB power to provide for the necessities and then for the critical areas the LiION battery can supply the extra clean power for the dac and the headphone outputs. The battery is recharged when the computer is not active, asleep or off on many desktops. The Proton supports 24 bit data at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96k and is indicated on the rear by four LEDs. The volume control icon for the headphone and line output will appear on the computer desktop. Setting the volume slider on the computer will result in commands sent over the USB link to the Proton to set the analog volume control for the outputs to the desired setting. Since both the Headphone and Line outputs change with the volume setting on the computer the Proton can be a powerful DAC Preamplifier combo. Not skimping on quality the Proton uses Mundorf coupling caps for the line outputs and the legendary Black Gate BGN (yes the red ones) coupling capacitors for the Headphone outputs.
The Proton is on the Computer Audiophile CASH list (suggested hardware). The following is an excerpt:
Wavelength Audio's Streamlength Asynchronous Mode USB enables the USB DAC to control the computer. According to some experts Asynchronous Mode USB is a necessity for good D to A conversion. Asynchronous Mode works by using an ultra low jitter master clock in the DAC that controls the audio transfer rate from the computer. According to Wavelength Audio, "Jitter is reduced by a factor of greater than 100 times." Current DACs using similar Asynchronous implementations are the Ayre QB-9, which uses code licensed from Wavelength Audio, and the USB products from dCS. My guess as to why more manufacturers are not using Asynchronous USB is that the learning curve is very steep and it takes someone with the knowhow of Gordon Rankin or a company like dCS to bring this type of product to market. It literally took Gordon years to perfect his Streamlength Asynchronous USB code and it involved so much more than opening an instruction manual and following along. In fact there was no such thing as an instruction manual for this endeavor!
An Asynchronous USB DAC as feature rich and with such intelligent design could literally be priced at two or three times the price of the Proton. In a way I consider the Proton to be the gateway drug of the Wavelength Audio USB DAC line-up. Listeners can get into the wonderful sound of the Wavelength Asynchronous USB DACs for very little money. Once they are hooked on the sound there is no turning back. Better sound can be had by upgrading further into the Wavelength line-up for those who can beg, borrow, or steal the money to upgrade. Fortunately the chances are pretty high that the Proton will satisfy most listener's appetites for great sound for the foreseeable future. Based on the sound quality, features, advanced technology, and very reasonable price the Proton is the value of the year in high-end audio and the next DAC to make the CASH List here at Computer Audiophile.
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