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Peachtree Audio sonaDAC

Stereo digital preamplifier/DAC/headphone amplifier

Item #: 731SONADAC

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A "triple threat" for digital music lovers

Peachtree Audio sonaDAC and sonaAMP

Pair the Peachtree sonaDAC with the optional sonaAMP (bottom) to create the foundation of a formidable but compact stereo system.

Peachtree Audio has a real knack for creating audio gear that looks and sounds amazing. The retro-cool sonaDAC is no exception. This highly compact silver and black beauty delivers in three important ways. First, it's a versatile digital preamp with an assortment of connections for plugging in your digital music sources, including your computer, network music players, disc players, game consoles, and more.

Second, it's a sophisticated high-end DAC that skillfully decodes those sources, bringing out all the power, emotion, and details in each one. Finally, the sonaDAC boasts a high-performance, built-in headphone amp that can do justice to a wide range of models — from sensitive earbuds to your best audiophile cans.

Enjoy high-resolution audio...

The sonaDAC's highly regarded ESS 9018K2M Sabre Reference DAC stands ready to deliver all of your digital music with warm, natural sound and an exceptionally low noise floor.

If you're into downloading high-resolution audio from websites like HDtracks, 2L, or Blue Coast Records, you'll love the sonaDAC. Not only can it make your MP3 and lossless music sound fantastic, but it also decodes high-res audio sources for better-than-CD sound quality, including PCM files up to 32-bit/384 kHz and DSD files up to 5.6 MHz.

...and other audiophile features

Peachtree Audio included some neat features for the kind of listener who likes to get "hands-on." A digital filter setting switch lets you fine-tune the sound of the DAC to match your system and room. The sonaDAC also includes an innovative volume control bypass function that completely eliminates the preamp's volume control when playing music from a streaming app. This feature allows you to control system volume directly from the application's volume control instead, and provides cleaner sound by avoiding having two volume controls in the signal path. Plus, the sonaDAC's balanced circuit design offers XLR audio outputs for an ultra-low-noise connection to a compatible high-end amplifier.

Product Highlights:

  • plays PCM digital audio sources up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution
  • decodes Direct Stream Digital (DSD) files at 2.8MHz or 5.6MHz resolution
  • 32-bit ESS Sabre Reference DAC (ES9018K2M) with jitter reduction for precise playback of music files
  • asynchronous USB technology for reduced timing jitter and better sound on USB input
  • built-in high-performance headphone amplifier with ultra-high-precision 32-bit volume control for exceptional gain tracking and channel balance
  • volume control bypass feature completely removes the volume control from the signal path for cleaner streaming audio
  • balanced circuit design with independent, isolated signal paths for the XLR, RCA, and headphone outputs for maximum sonic transparency and minimal noise
  • user-selectable DAC filter slopes allow you to tailor sound to personal preference
  • large power supply with multiple regulation points to help reproduce deep bass, smooth high-frequency detail, and pinpoint imaging
  • compact chassis fits almost anywhere
Inputs:
  • USB Type B port for a computer
  • two Toslink optical digital audio
  • two coaxial digital audio
Outputs:
  • stereo XLR balanced audio output
  • stereo RCA unbalanced audio output
  • full-size 1/4" headphone jack
  • USB Type A power port
Other Info & Specs:
  • USB driver required for audio playback on Windows computers (free USB driver download available from Peachtree Audio's website)
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (±0.3 dB)
  • THD: 0.007%
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 106 dB (XLR); 96 dB (RCA)
  • detachable AC power cable
  • 9-15/16"W x 3-5/16"H x 10-1/2"D
  • weight: 8.35 lbs.
  • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in your TV's audio menu. This DAC cannot decode multi-channel Dolby® Digital signals.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Peachtree Audio sonaDAC Reviews


Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Preamp/DAC
  • 59" AC power cord
  • Remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • Windows USB Driver on CD-ROM
  • Instruction Booklet

Product Research

Features
Connections
Controls

Features

3-in-1 Component Design: The Peachtree Audio sonaDAC is three components in one; a reference quality Digital-to-Analog Converter, a balanced line-level preamplifier, and a high-performance headphone amplifier. The sonaDAC is equally at home on your desktop as a DAC/headphone amp driving high-performance headphones, or coupled with Peachtree Audio's sonaAMP (sold separately) to power high-quality bookshelf monitors or audiophile-grade floorstanding loudspeakers.

  • 32-Bit DAC: The sonaDAC utilizes the highly regarded ESS 9018 Sabre Reference 32-bit DAC designed for natural music reproduction and an extremely low noise floor.
  • Preamplifier: The sonaDAC is also a balanced line-level preamp that can drive any power amplifier or powered speakers via its XLR or RCA outputs.
  • Headphone Amp: In addition, the SonaDAC is a personal audio listening station with an extremely powerful and noise-free built-in headphone amplifier that makes listening to music through headphones an absolute delight.
Note: For a complete Peachtree solution, the sonaDAC can be paired with Peachtree Audio's sonaAMP (731SONAAMP, sold separately) for a high-performance, fully-balanced Hi-Fi system.

32-Bit ESS Sabre Reference DAC: The sonaDAC's 32-bit ESS Sabre Reference DAC (ESS9018) will make all of your compressed & high res music files sound superb. It supports everything from compressed MP3s all the way up to ultra-high-resolution music files including 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and 5.6MHz DSD. By utilizing ESS's patented Time Domain Jitter Eliminator and HyperStream architecture, the sonaDAC is able to create incredibly musical sound reproduction from any digital file. You can select from two DAC filter modes - Flat (provides extremely accurate internal digital-to-analog conversion) & Smooth (provides a more sonically pleasing internal digital-to-analog conversion).

Balanced Design w/ Independent Signal Paths: The Peachtree sonaDAC follows a purist design philosophy, utilizing short signal paths and carefully selected components to maximize dynamic range and minimize noise. There are 3 completely independent audio circuits inside the sonaDAC; one from the DAC to the XLR balanced output, a second from the DAC to the RCA output, and a third from the DAC to the headphone output.

  • The XLR and RCA paths are balanced from the DAC all the way to the class A output stage; these audio paths are also isolated from each other and utilize high-performance discrete components for optimal sound quality.
  • The path from the DAC to the headphone output is extremely short, with only a buffer in between the DAC and the headphone amp, for maximum transparency and minimal noise.

Headphone Amplifier: The sonaDAC's headphone amplifier is a minimalist design with very few components in the signal path, offering ultra-low-noise and an extremely wide range of gain. The Peachtree sonaDAC will drive any headphone, from sensitive in-ear monitors to high-impedance over-the-ear models, with ease and transparency. The sonaDAC utilizes an ultra-high-precision 32-bit volume control with exceptional gain tracking and channel balance. With a sonaDAC powering your headphones you'll hear the emotional impact of your music more easily with superior transparency, greater dynamic range, rock solid imaging and less background noise.

Large Power Supply: The sonaDAC utilizes a large power supply with plenty of power reserves and multiple points of regulation. This ensures that the DAC always has the power needed to reproduce deep bass, smooth high frequency detail and pinpoint imaging.

Connections

Asynchronous USB-B Port: The Peachtree Audio sonaDAC is fitted with an asynchronous USB (type-B) port for connecting your Windows PC or Mac computer.  Asynchronous technology allows the digital clock inside sonaDAC to control the flow of data coming from your computer. This method of communication leads to less jitter (timing errors) for the unit's ESS Reference Sabre DAC to deal with which results in clearer more defined sound. Via its USB port, the sonaDAC accepts up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM music files and 2.8/5.6MHz DSD music files.There are two USB modes - USB 1.0 and USB 2.0.

  • USB 1.0: Select USB 1.0 for Windows PC and music files up to 96kHz.
  • USB 2.0: Select USB 2.0 for Mac and music files up to 384kHz. Select USB 2.0 for Windows PC and music files over 96kHz.
Note: Window PC with music files above 96kHz will require the installation of the included Windows USB Driver on CD-ROM. Mac computers do not require the installation of an additional USB driver.

Optical & Coaxial Inputs: The Peachtree Audio sonaDAC is equipped with two optical (toslink) digital inputs and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs on its rear-panel. The optical digital inputs will support 2ch PCM audio signals up to 96kHz, while the coaxial digital inputs will support 2ch PCM audio signals up to 192kHz.

XLR & RCA Outputs: The sonaDAC offers both a stereo XLR and RCA output for connecting a power amplifier, like the Peachtree Audio sonaAMP, or a pair of powered speakers. These outputs can be used in conjunction with one another, so you can connect the sonaDAC to a power amplifier and a powered subwoofer.

Headphone Jack: The Peachtree Audio sonaDAC's is fitted with a 1/4" headphone jack on the front-panel for connecting a set of headphones. Inserting a headphone cable automatically mutes the sonaDAC's XLR & RCA outputs.

USB-A Port: On the rear-panel of the sonaDAC is a USB (type-A) port with a 5-volt DC output that can be used to charge a mobile device. This USB port does not support audio playback.

Optional Bluetooth Receiver: You can add Peachtree Audio's BT1 Bluetooth receiver (731BT1, sold separately) to the sonaDAC, so you can wirelessly stream music from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer. The BT1 Bluetooth receiver plugs into the sonaDAC's optical digital input for audio and its USB (type-A) port for power.

12V Trigger Out: The 12-volt trigger output (3.5mm) enables power on/off control of another component with a 12V trigger input, like the Peachtree Audio sonaAMP stereo power amplifier.

AC Power: The three-prong AC input on the rear-panel of the sonaDAC accepts the included 5' detachable AC power cord.

Controls

IR Remote: The included IR remote provides wireless operation of the Peachtree Audio sonaDAC. From the remote you can control Power On/Standby Volume Up/Down, Mute, Source Selection, and Phase adjustment.

Front-Panel Controls: On the front-panel of the sonaDAC is a power on/standby button, a rotary volume control knob, and source select buttons (USB / OPT1 / OPT2 / COAX1 / COAX2). There is also a "Phase" button on the front-panel.

Rear-Panel Buttons: On the rear-panel of the sonaDAC is the main Power On/Off switch, USB 1.0/2.0 switch, and the Filter (Flat/Smooth) switch. There is also a AC voltage selector switch (115V/230V) on the rear-panel.

Phase Button: There is a "Phase" button on the front-panel and remote control that inverts the phase of the XLR, RCA, and Headphone outputs.

Volume Control Bypass: The challenge with most streaming devices is that the application used to control them also includes a volume "slider", effectively placing two volume controls in the signal path; the one in the app plus the one in the preamp. Peachtree's sonaDAC includes an innovative volume control bypass feature that completely removes the volume control from the signal path. This allows you to control system volume directly from the slider on the associated control application for any given input, in addition to controlling your musical selections. Simply select your music and adjust your system volume right from the palm of your hand using your mobile device or computer. And since this feature can be set individually per input, you can configure the sonaDAC to only control the volume level for the sources that don't include their own volume control.

Our Product Research Team

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