It’s been a long time between drinks for Emotiva DAC fanciers but it looks like the folks in Tennessee have at last begun shipping their XDA-2 DAC.
I really liked the XDA-1 (still do) and this new unit packs in even more features. A headphone output has been added that promises to “power all standard headphones with a low 0.1 ohm output impedance…”. The USB has been lifted way above the XDA-1’s 16/48 ceiling: ALL six inputs on the new model handle up to 24/192. Volume attenuation is no longer digital, it’s analogue: the XDA-2 runs with a resistor ladder implementation. This has to be one of the least expensive DACs to come to market with balanced outputs.
Armchair audiophiles with allergies to op-amps will probably take one sniff of the specifications sheet and steer clear. Pragmatists should stay the distance; why not take advantage of the 30-day in-home trial? At US$349, it’s not exactly a wallet destroyer.
A DAR reader informs me that Emotiva have confirmed that they are still shipping direct to Australia.
Further information: Emotiva
EDIT: This has now been reviewed here.