Rega DAC-R D/A Converter
Developed to be simple to set up and use, the Rega DAC-R is designed to optimise performance from any two channel PCM digital audio source. With the PC now widely accepted as a credible medium for storing and streaming music,the use of high quality lossless files such as WAV, FLAC and ALAC offer performance through the DAC-R equal to, and in some cases better than, Red Book CD. Great care has been taken to remove noise generated by the PC and other input sources. (During development this was identified as a major drawback with many DAC’s on the market today).
The DAC-R is housed in a custom aluminium and steel case and boasts a pair of Wolfson DAC IC’s, three user selectable digital filters and one isolated asynchronous USB, two isolated Co-axial inputs & two Toslink SPDIF inputs.
The DAC-R has been designed and engineered to integrate perfectly into any system and achieve the highest performance in its class. We hope you enjoy this Rega product for many years to come.
The optical and coaxial input stage comprises a Wolfson digital receiver with a high stability, low jitter clock driving the receiver PLL. The receiver and PLL have their own dedicated power supplies.
The DAC stage comprises a pair of parallel-connected Wolfson WM8742 DAC’s, that are driven via a buffer stage, which ensures the integrity of the data being fed to the DAC IC’s similar to the arrangement used in the Isis reference CDP. The USB input stage is comprised of a bit perfect XMOS USB Audio 2.0 with asynchronous clocking. The USB input stage feeds the Optical and Coaxial input stage via an isolating transformer giving total isolation from the host computer.
The output amplifier employs a discrete differential, multiple feedback filter and output amplifier, with a high cut-off frequency for use with higher sample rates. We decided not to use a sample rate converter and process the data at the incoming sample rate which keeps the signal processing to a minimum. Jitter was minimised by synchronously clocking the digital data with our receiver PLL (removing any jitter from the input signal).
All the capacitors associated with the analogue signal path are audio grade bypassed with MMK polyester capacitors, and low impedance conductive polymer capacitors are used for DAC decoupling. The power supply utilizes a toroidal transformer, fast rectifier diodes and again audio grade capacitors. There is a power supply for the control micro controller, separate from the digital & analogue audio stages. Special attention being paid to the inter IC control signals ensures the control data noise is kept to a minimum.
The reviews below are of the recently discontinued Rega DAC. It was replaced by the DAC-R.
What Hifi Review
Tone Audio Review
While there are definitely some other DACs at this price point that offer more functionality, the Rega’s strength is offering truly great sound from its SPDIF input, regardless of resolution. Personally, I’d still rather have outstanding 16/44 through the SPDIF input than multiple input options with mediocre performance. If this is your philosophy as well, I think the Rega DAC would find a very good home on your equipment rack.
Tech Radar Review
It's hard to find anything to criticise. The technical performance is as assured as the subjective and for the very modest price, this seems to be very much the product to beat just now.
Positive Feedback Review
It sounds so good and is so much less expensive, I can confidently recommend it as the most music for the money, all of which leads me to the conclusion that one should never assume that one's setup is optimal.
What Hifi Review
Beefy build; natural, unforced, dynamic and detailed sound.
Ratings & Reviews
Be careful with this one. Bass around 100hz is exaggerated and slow. With the wrong amp/speaker combination you won't be 'tapping your toes' but left wondering why the bass player is step behind. I like the DAC when paired with less resolving gear, but with a full range setup look elsewhere.
I've had the Rega DAC for a few weeks now, and I am absolutely delighted with its sound. It seems to combine the best of digital clarity with the best of analogue warmth and excitement. I use it with a separate CD transport, and the sound is warm, sweet and startlingly real. The sound stage is in the room with me, the excitement of the music gripping, and the tones emotional. Even with ghastly MP3s from the computer, the sound seems richer. It sounds fantastic with headphones too - I use a Bellari HA540 Class A tube headphone amplifier and the sound is rich and untiring. MY CD collection has been transformed - Patrick, Brad, and the folks at Needle Doctor, providing outstanding customer service (thank you!) worked hard with me to find a sound that I wanted and this is it.
I have never been so starkly blown away at the difference a dac could make till I hooked this one up. Cold as a freezer it sounded light years better in my system than the musical fidelity dac I tried before this. This has a very warm and rhythmic sound but does not forget that the highs need to be clean clear and direct with out jabbing it into your eats with needles. I have this hooked to Macintosh ma 6600 with bowers 803d speakers. This is a very detailed exit rig so it needed a warm input. I am a huge analog user with our 800 records in the collection and this is as close as I have ever come to my records. My system strives for a far back stage effortless sound and this fit it perfect. If you are thinking about a dac do not bother its the rest just buy it and you will not be sending it back