The Ciúnas DAC accepts USB input & outputs line level RCA stereo output. It essentially incorporates the same USB technology as the Ciúnas USB converter but feeds an I2S signal to a PCM5102 BB/TI DAC chip. The PCM5102 DAC sounds superior to the ESS Sabre DAC ES9023 used in one of my previous DAC products.
Battery power provides extremely low PS noise - one of the most important factors in digital audio. The high current output battery used (120 Amps instantaneous current) is the most stable power supply available for digital circuitry. Using this isolated power supply avoids issues of common mode noise & ground loop noise, often associated with non-isolated power supplies. Whereas other USB devices use 'add ons' such as isolators, special power supplies (often battery PS), ground lift techniques, etc., there is no need or advantage to such devices with the Ciúnas range - these issues are already dealt with & designed in from the ground up. The self-powered Ciúnas mitigates the influence of the PC's noisy power supply. As the 5V USB feed is not used or connected in any of the Ciúnas devices there is no influence from this supply; this means special USB cables, which separate out the 5V Vbus, wire are not needed - a wider range of options are available when choosing a USB cable which are not limited by this consideration.
Each element, significant to achieving the best possible signal quality, has been addressed.
Two high quality audio clocks are used to time the audio signals. These clocks are used directly at the DAC chip's input to re-synch the signal timing in order to achieve the lowest jitter feasible. No capacitors in the signal path from the output of the DAC chip give a clear, undistorted, uncoloured sound. Not only will the standard 16/44 sample rates sound better than your CD player but high definition audio will sound stunningly realistic. The DAC doesn't just favour high quality recording, MP3 listening is also greatly enhanced by this clearer rendition of the soundfield.
The Ciúnas DAC will operate with native universal audio class 2 (UAC2) USB drivers found in MAC OS 10.6+, Linux/Unix. It will also operate with PC using a downloadable driver & with Squeezebox Touch (when using the EDO plugin).
The battery is charged via an internal charger. A supply of 5V or greater powers this internal charger. This can be provided by the supplied USB charger cable attached to a spare USB port or alternatively an external 5V or greater PS can be used. The quality of this PS is immaterial as the device uses a battery shunt configuration & is continuously trickle charged. The battery has a lifetime of 20 years when operated in this manner.
Its small size, fitting in the hand, belies the exceptionally high end sound this converter delivers. On the previous DAC (JKDAC32), many users commented on the fact that such a small device could deliver such an expansive and captivating sound. The new Ciúnas DAC captures even more subtle detail & portrays greater
realism & emotional contact with the music.
- Size: 78x43x120mm (w x h x d, case)
- Two low jitter clocks to handle both speed families
- Sampling frequencies (kHz): 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192
- Resolution (bits): 16 to 24
- Inputs: USB 2.0 Type B socket, (2.1mm socket for battery charger power supply)
- Outputs: single-ended line level on RCA
- Output voltage: 2.1Vrms
- SNR: 112dB (A weighted)
- THD+N: 0.002 (-93dB) @ 1kHz, (@ -1dBFS)