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Decware 24/192 Z-DAC1

  • Having recently communicated with Decware’s Steve Deckert about his single-ended amplifiers, I noticed he now makes a 24/192 upsampling DAC called the Decware Z-DAC-1. It does 24/96 on the USB input, which reportedly bests the S/PDIF inputs for sound quality. Output impedance is rated at less than 100 Ohms.

    From the Decware website blurb: “The ZDAC-1 is an audiophile implementation Cirrus Logic’s flagship 192kHz multi-bit CS4398 DAC Chip. It features Coax, Optical and USB inputs via a digital receiver with 32kHz~192kHz sample frequency range and low-jitter clock recovery. All three inputs, including USB are up-sampled to 24-bit/192kHz and are selectable from the front switches. The output stage features high grade op amps that have been carefully voiced for each channel to handle the I/V conversion from the DAC chip to the dual-mono buffer stage for a nice low output impedance.”

    One poster over at DIYAudio reckons it’s just a reboxed Gigaworks board. Maybe (maybe not), but the Decware box contains mil spec resistors, Nichicon Muse caps, LT1361 output stages and Burr Brown buffers.

    The Z-DAC1 is sold direct for US$875.


    • Digital inputs: 1-Coaxial, 1-Optical, 1-USB (Windows XP/Visa, Mac OS, Linux compatible)
    • Inputs selectable from the front panel.
    • USB is plug and play, no drivers needed. Compatible with 1.0 and 2.0 USB standards.
    • Removable power cord with high-end IEC connector
    • Analog outputs: 2- Gold/Teflon RCA jacks
    • CS4398 24 bit 192kHz DAC chip – 120dB dynamic range with -107dB THD+Noise.
    • Digital receiver CS8416 with low-jitter recovery clock
    • CS8421 up-sampler
    • Dual LT1361 output stage with Burr Brown followers
    • Nichicon MUSE caps, WIMA, Rubycon as well as mil spec 1% resistors used everywhere.
    • Front panel LED indicates on/off.
    • Rear panel LED lights when USB is connected to computer.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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