The Amazing AVA DAC 5 - available right now

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 4795 times.

Mary

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 79
  • AVA Associate
The Amazing AVA DAC 5 - available right now
« on: 17 Mar 2017, 06:26 pm »


The new AVA DAC MK 5

The multi-format DAC we previewed at last year's Axpona show to so much acclaim is now available for ordering! We are incredibly proud to present to you the AVA DAC MK 5.

When we set about the designing a new DAC, we really weren't expecting to better the performance of our Vision and Fet Valve Hybrid DACs. We really just wanted to add seamless support for high rate PCM and DSD audio playback. But we ended up outdoing ourselves! It took a long process of carefully evaluating new D/A converter technologies followed by an even longer process of optimizing as many design and construction factors as possible. But in the end we have produced a DAC that easily betters the best we have made before, which itself was the best we have heard to date.

Since previewing the DAC at Axpona, we have made a few improvements. One of the biggest differences is that designer Mithat Konar opted to use independent active low-noise voltage sources for the DAC's voltage references. This takes the already impressive low frequency nonlinearity down to vanishing levels. We have yet to hear a DAC in our system with as much low-frequency authority as the DAC MK 5.

And we certainly didn't neglect the rest of the spectrum. All analog processing is handled by discrete solid-state class A circuitry. These incredibly linear and musical circuits present the kind of liquid mids and transparent highs that you've come to expect from AVA.

All muting during playback is accomplished through shunt JFET switching -- sixteen JFETs in all! The shunt muting approach removes any influence of the muting circuit from the audio when signals aren't muted, leaving you with all of the music and nothing but the music.

The DAC MK 5 supports PCM data streams up to and including 192kHz as well as DSD64 and DSD128 formats. Sample rate and format information is elegantly displayed using subtle LED indicators. It has a total of five inputs: two coax S/PDIF, two optical S/PDIF, and one USB input. USB functionality has been tested with Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

The all-new DAC MK 5 is available in our premium silver faceplate chassis for $1899.
Order one today and make your recordings new again.
« Last Edit: 20 Mar 2017, 03:03 pm by Mary »

JerryM

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #1 on: 17 Mar 2017, 06:36 pm »
That's awesome, Mary.  :thumb:

What an awesome price, too!!

Can this be ordered in black?

Tone Depth

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 457
  • Music Lover, Retired Audiophile
    • SRLPE Wheel Works
Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #2 on: 17 Mar 2017, 06:53 pm »
Another question, will previous DACs be able to be upgraded?

ArthurDent

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8397
  • Don't Panic / Mostly Harmless
Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #3 on: 17 Mar 2017, 07:25 pm »
Nice looking unit Mary. Will add it to the wish list.  :thumb:

avahifi

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #4 on: 17 Mar 2017, 07:30 pm »
Black faceplate not available.  Would require tooling and inventorying another faceplate just to sell it for a bit less  Also the thinner faceplate would also not support the "light pipes" used to indicate bit rate formats.

Regarding upgrades from older AVA DACs, just not possible.  The AVA DAC MK Five required new chassis tooling, new power supply, all new internal circuits, new faceplate, new hardware, ie: new everything.  The upgrade is simple replace your old DAC with this amazing new DAC.

We will be showing it at the May meeting of the Audio Society of Minnesota.

Frank

avahifi

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #5 on: 17 Mar 2017, 07:38 pm »
A little observation of the use of the four small front panel lights

First one on = 44/16 or 48/16 PCM

Second one on = up to 96/24 PCM

Both first and second ones on = up to 192/24 PMM

Third light on = DSD 64

Fourth light on = DSD 128

In addition, a small Red LED on the output board internally turns on when a DSD signal is recognized.  It was installed there in the design process, but we left it in circuit as kind of a "happy signal".  You can see it through the slots in the cover.

Hint:  If you are playing a DSD file and one of the PCM lights turn on instead, this means your music program is converting DSD to PCM instead of playing DSD directly.  Most music playback programs, such as JRiver Media Center, will allow being set to allow DSD to play directly.

Hint: You will need to download the free provided drivers to play high bit rate material on a PC.  On a Mac high bit rate is available automatically.

This is one awesome sounding DAC and it switches between PCM and DSD and between tracks and bit rates automatically and seamlessly. No messing around required.  You will love it.

Frank

Art_Chicago

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #6 on: 17 Mar 2017, 08:24 pm »
man, i want it bad...

rlee8394

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #7 on: 18 Mar 2017, 08:11 pm »
Will there be a tube-based unit availabe either hybrid or CF based?

Ron

NIGHTFALL1970

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #8 on: 19 Mar 2017, 01:19 pm »
Will there be a tube-based unit availabe either hybrid or CF based?

Ron

I called Frank yesterday and asked that same question.  He said no.  He said that there was no need.

avahifi

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #9 on: 19 Mar 2017, 02:02 pm »
The new dedicated class A DAC audio output circuits perform better than our previous best tube DAC output circuits.

Thus a tube DAC is not planned.

smargo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 425
Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #10 on: 19 Mar 2017, 04:55 pm »

Regarding upgrades from older AVA DACs, just not possible.  The AVA DAC MK Five required new chassis tooling, new power supply, all new internal circuits, new faceplate, new hardware, ie: new everything.  The upgrade is simple replace your old DAC with this amazing new DAC.


Frank

Hopefully, the thinking that went into the new dac - it will be upgradable in the future - when a new the dac goes into production

we all think this is the final version - when a manufacturer comes out with a new product

In this day and age - isn't it incumbant for a maufacturer to make his products upgradable - How in the world would you keep old clients like myself? I cant keep laying at full price for products that arent upgradable

dminches

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #11 on: 19 Mar 2017, 05:27 pm »
You are being unrealistic. No designer can predict what new advancements are going to be made in the future.  Plus, what other items are upgradeable?  Cars can't be upgraded.  Most computers have limited ability to be upgraded.  Something that is software-based can usually be upgraded in these dacs.  Otherwise you need to buy a new one.

JerryM

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #12 on: 19 Mar 2017, 08:04 pm »
Frank is notorious for building gear that can be upgraded. Hell, Frank can still upgrade a 50+ year old ST-70 for us. The fact that a few of the newer pieces cannot be upgraded is good news in my book. It means that AVA is breaking the molds; stretching out. We benefit.  :thumb:


ArthurDent

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8397
  • Don't Panic / Mostly Harmless
Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #13 on: 19 Mar 2017, 09:14 pm »
Frank is notorious for building gear that can be upgraded. Hell, Frank can still upgrade a 50+ year old ST-70 for us. The fact that a few of the newer pieces cannot be upgraded is good news in my book. It means that AVA is breaking the molds; stretching out. We benefit.  :thumb:

+1   :thumb:

rlee8394

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #14 on: 19 Mar 2017, 09:14 pm »
"The new dedicated class A DAC audio output circuits perform better than our previous best tube DAC output circuits."

OK, trying to rationalize this. A new DAC circuit/module coupled to the new class A audio output sounds better than the old DAC circuit/module coupled to the previous tube audio output. Fair enough. Is this because of the new AK4490EQ converter as opposed to the Wolfson WM8742 alone? Do we know how the new DAC works with the previous tube output? Is the sound too close to justify the extra cost of a tube based output?

Is the new Vision SL class A circuit better than the Broskie FV that the previous DAC Hybrid was based? Most likely as Frank has stated. If the Fetvalve CF preamp sounds better than the Vision SL class A discrete preamp, would logic dictate that the FV CF audio output would provide even better sonics? Again, would it be too close to justify the cost? Not trying to cause trouble, just trying to understand why the discrete class A circuit sounds better in the DAC, but less so as a preamp as compared to the FV CF preamp. Obviously I obsess over this way too much!!  :)

Finally, are the previous Vision DACs now obsolete and no longer available? They are absent from the website, but still listed on the price list.

Thanks for indulging me on this Frank.

Ron

NIGHTFALL1970

Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #15 on: 20 Mar 2017, 03:42 am »
"The new dedicated class A DAC audio output circuits perform better than our previous best tube DAC output circuits."

OK, trying to rationalize this. A new DAC circuit/module coupled to the new class A audio output sounds better than the old DAC circuit/module coupled to the previous tube audio output. Fair enough. Is this because of the new AK4490EQ converter as opposed to the Wolfson WM8742 alone? Do we know how the new DAC works with the previous tube output? Is the sound too close to justify the extra cost of a tube based output?

Is the new Vision SL class A circuit better than the Broskie FV that the previous DAC Hybrid was based? Most likely as Frank has stated. If the Fetvalve CF preamp sounds better than the Vision SL class A discrete preamp, would logic dictate that the FV CF audio output would provide even better sonics? Again, would it be too close to justify the cost? Not trying to cause trouble, just trying to understand why the discrete class A circuit sounds better in the DAC, but less so as a preamp as compared to the FV CF preamp. Obviously I obsess over this way too much!!  :)

Finally, are the previous Vision DACs now obsolete and no longer available? They are absent from the website, but still listed on the price list.

Thanks for indulging me on this Frank.

Ron
Don't feel bad Ron, I obsess about this stuff too!

Tone Depth

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 457
  • Music Lover, Retired Audiophile
    • SRLPE Wheel Works
Re: We have another new addition to our product line.....
« Reply #16 on: 20 Mar 2017, 05:54 am »
I reviewed the datasheet for the AK4490EQ DAC chip. It seems to have very good characteristics, and I have confidence that AVA has done a very fine implementation of the system. What I've learned over the years is to trust what Frank and company hear and say. I'm sure the performance exceeds the price, as all AVA equipment does. Based on their demonstrated reputation, I would buy the DAC Mk 5 if I were in the market for a new DAC at this point in time.
« Last Edit: 1 Nov 2017, 05:36 am by Tone Depth »

avahifi

The amazing new AVA DAC FIVE available right now!
« Reply #17 on: 20 Mar 2017, 02:47 pm »
Actually the new AVA DAC MK FIVE is designed with separate input and output boards that plug together.  This allows replacement of one or the other in the future if gee whiz future digital audio improvement come along that are cost effective to implement.

The input board talks to the plug in USB board and the optical and coax inputs.  It contains a microprocessor to sort everything out and also a ribbon cable to the front panel display and source switching board.  It also communicates with the plug in output board.

The output board contains the DAC chip along with output digital and analog filters and plug in audio boards boards. It is also microprocessor controlled to eliminate all switching pops, ticks, and transients.

The front panel display and input control board contains a third microprocessor to to run the display and keep everything else happy.

So our DAC MK FIVE is indeed future upgradeable, but since it does not share circuits with any of our previous designs, its not backwards compatible with our older DAC circuits which are now discontinued.

And, finally, there is no room in the chassis for vacuum tube audio circuits.

Frank

rlee8394

Re: The Amazing AVA DAC 5 - available right now
« Reply #18 on: 20 Mar 2017, 11:25 pm »
I recently built a streamer using HD-Plex H5 chassis. This new AVA Mk 5 DAC looks to be just the thing to stream from the USB port. Now what do I do with my AVA Fet Valve Hybrid DAC?  :D

Tone Depth

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 457
  • Music Lover, Retired Audiophile
    • SRLPE Wheel Works
Re: The Amazing AVA DAC 5 - available right now
« Reply #19 on: 21 Mar 2017, 03:46 am »
Perhaps start by doing a comparison between the two DACs and see if you hear similar to Frank, and then let everyone know your results and impressions.

I recently built a streamer using HD-Plex H5 chassis. This new AVA Mk 5 DAC looks to be just the thing to stream from the USB port. Now what do I do with my AVA Fet Valve Hybrid DAC?  :D