According to ARC’s Dave Gordon, the DSPre essentially combines the circuitry of the firm’s DAC 8 digital-to-analog-converter with a “fully balanced solid state analog linestage preamplifier.” The analog section has two fully balanced analog inputs and three single-ended inputs, plus a total of five digital inputs (USB 2.0 high speed inputs with proprietary Mac and Windows drivers, plus four S/PDIF inputs via coax, Toslink, BNC, and AES/EBU connectors). The DAC allows custom labeling for each inputs.
The DAC section offers resolution to 24-bit/192 kHz on all inputs, with user selectable sample rate conversion. The DSPre is based on quad DAC devices, with a single DAC device for each channel; one pair of DACs handles audio files with 44/88/176 kHz data rates, while the other pair of DACs handles files with 48/96/192 kHz data rate—a design approach said to help reduce quantization errors. Two digital filter slopes are provided, to give users further options in terms of fine-tuning the sound of the DAC.
Projected price for the DSPre will be “around $7495 (pending final costing analyses)” with shipments beginning “near the end of September 2011.”
Headphone enthusiasts rejoice: the Canadian manufacturer Bryston is well on the way toward releasing its first-ever headphone amplifier—the BHA-1. The BHA-1 is based on “fully discrete class A Bryston operational amplifiers” and incorporates a plethora of features that will make the amp of particular interest for high-end headphone enthusiasts. Among those features are switch selectable gain, true dual mono circuit design, balanced parallel outputs (via a single 4-pin and dual 3-pin connectors), both dual single-ended outputs, (via a ¼” phone jack and 3.5mm mini-jack), and a very high quality Noble volume control.
The prototype unit shown on the Bryston stand did not yet have its final cosmetics package installed, though it looked very good indeed. The final production units will be styled (and sized) to match the appearance of other existing slim-line Bryston components such as the BDP-1 disc player. Like all Bryston products, you can also expect the BHA-1 to be built like the proverbial “tank.” Projected price: “about $1295.” Availability: Q4, 2011.
The German speaker firm showed significant updates to two of its speaker families for CEDIA, announcing its new Vento.2 and Chrono SL.2 speaker ranges.
In simple terms, the Vento.2 range now gets the special ceramic dome tweeters previously found only in the firm’s upscale Reference range models, plus other changes (revised midrange/bass drivers and crossovers) that pull the Vento models closer than ever before to the performance of the top-of-the-line Reference speakers. In terms of price, Vento.2 models run between $1600/pair and $5500/pair, whereas the References sell for between $4000/pair and $30,000/pair—a big difference.
The affordable Chrono.2 range receives conceptually similar changes designed to give the Chrono SL.2 models near-Vento levels of performance.
The British firm Cambridge Audio highlighted two key products for CEDIA: the Azur 651 BD Blu-ray/universal player and 551R A/V receiver.
The 651 BD is intended as a cost-reduced little brother to the firm’s flagship 751 BD Blu-ray universal player. The video performance of the two units is identical, but the 651 BD uses Cirrus Logic DACs and does not provide upsampling features, while the 751 BD uses more costly Wolfson DACs and features Cambridge’s proprietary upsampling technology. Price: $799 (651 BD), $1299 (751 BD). Available now.