The Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge connects nearly all forms of digital media to a centralized unit with exceptional digital-to-analog processing, the same vacuum tube analog stage and power supply as the Reference 5 SE, and an intuitive, easy to use display interface.
The Reference DAC builds on the sonic excellence of the DAC8, as well as technology from legendary Audio Research preamplifiers such as the Reference Anniversary. The chassis has the same size and look as other Reference series preamplifiers. New is the 3.5” TFT display on the front panel, capable of displaying all unit functions as well as metadata from certain sources. The Reference DAC also incorporates the ability to upsample any 44.1 or 48 kHz source to 176.4 or 192 kHz playback.
The idea of the Digital Media Bridge is to unite all digital sources into a singular, high performance chassis to provide an elegant, user-friendly digital audio solution. The Reference DAC has capacity for the following sources:
- Wired Ethernet
- Wireless Ethernet via IEEE802.11b/g/n
- vTuner Internet Radio
- AES/EBU input
- S/PDIF optical input
- S/PDIF coaxial input
- USB 2.0 HS for computer
- USB 2.0 for iPod, iPad, iTouch, and/or iPhone USB input memory stick (thumb drive) front input
This allows music to be sourced from a host of different devices, as well as use UPnP and DLNA for music server access, and listen to internet radio with the built-in internet radio tuner. The Reference DAC also has a Crestron RS-232 control input to integrate into home automation systems, and an IR input for direct remote commands.
Price and Availability
The Audio Research Reference DAC Digital Media Bridge is available in the UK exclusively through Absolute Sounds’ network of high-end audio retailers, for £13,998 inc. VAT.