I’d come to Apollo Hifi in Marrickville (Sydney’s inner-west) to talk about KEF speakers but something new from Audiolab caught my attention: a new DAC and power amplifier.
Audiolab’s new Q-DAC is an M-DAC with the fat trimmed away. It retains digital pre-amplifier and headphone amplifier functionality but gone is the remote control, the balanced outputs, one of the coaxial inputs and one of the optical inputs. Volume attenuation is handled via click buttons instead of the M-DAC’s rotary knob. The display is slightly smaller. The price is smaller too: AU$730 compared to the M-DAC’s AU$1100.
The Q-DAC’s remaining optical input handles up to 24/96 whilst the single coaxial input and asynchronous USB each do up to 24/192. Take note of the twin digital outputs on the rear panel.
DAC: ESS Sabre32 9016
Resolution: 32 Bits
Digital Coaxial Input: 1
Digital Optical Input: 1
Digital USB Input: 1
Asynchronous USB Data: Yes
RCA Output: 1
Headphone Amplifier: Yes
Dimensions (WxHxD mm): 250 x 59 x 252
Pre Amplifier: Yes
Then there’s the new M-PWR power amplifier: 40 wpc into 8 Ohms, 60 wpc into 4 Ohms, single-ended RCA and balanced XLR inputs. AU$900.
The M-PWR can be matched with either M-DAC or Q-DAC (in black or silver). All three form the backbone of Audiolab’s LAB series.