ANK Audiokits Valve Amplifiers
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“I envy any customer who has the opportunity to
add the DAC5.1 signature to their high end system"

BRIAN SMITH

 
 
DAC 5.1 signature - NOS R-2R digital to analogue converter
Our new ultimate DAC

ANKits is proud to announce the latest addition to our level 5 series with the new DAC 5.1 Signature. Under development for over 4 years it's quite incredible this product is available as a kit, rather it is an exceptional piece of high-end audio that can also be purchased in kit form or as factory assembled.

 

____DAC 5.1 features include

  • New Digital Board (SHUNT).
  • New Super Regulation Board.
  • New Large Can I/V Transformers.
  • New 12AU7 & ECC99 Line Stage.
  • Triple C-Core O/P Transformers.
  • New WE274B SHUNT Power Supply.
  • Dual Mains Transformers.
  • Mentor Filament Board.
  • WBT Silver 75 ohm SPDIF input.
  • AES/XLR input.
  • Silver Input Cable.
  • Optional USB board.
  • Available as a Kit or Factory Assembled
    (Finished Product).
 
 
 

Our brief was to build on our current DAC expertise and develop one of the finest digital to analog converters on the market today. We leveraged our Mentor shunt power supply technology and combined that with a film capacitor architecture dedicated to delivering unparalleled performance.

The dynamics, the smoothness, the end result - a staggering experience for the modern audiophile and a chance to re-experience their entire digital collection.

 
     
     
  Pictured: DAC 5.1 digital board with the regulation board behind, I/V transformers & the line board  
 

The DAC 5.1 signature architecture

Looking at the heart of the digital to analog section of the DAC 5.1 signature there are four key ingredients:
1. All new digital DAC board with on-board SHUNT regulation.
2. All new super regulator board that feeds ultra quiet DC voltages to the digital board.
3. Large can I/V transformers that transfer the delicate analog signal coming from the DAC board over to the line board.
4. Analog output stage encorporating a 12AU7 & ECC99 high gain, zero feedback configuration driving triple C-Core output transformers.

 
     
     
 

Dedicated WE274B SHUNT power supply
A crucial part to the sound

Demanding audiophiles know that power supply design is absolutely critical for the ultimate in sonic performance. In the DAC 5.1 signature we start by having two separate mains transformers; one dedicated strictly to the HT voltages that power the line stage, the other supplies our new super regulation board and the line stage DC filaments.

At the heart of the power supply is the new WE274B (replica) rectifier tube. This 5U4G variant is a powerful valve more commonly found in 300B amplifiers and there is plenty of NOS choices for this position. The overall design of the power supply incorporates three substantial chokes supplying two separate HT voltages, one for the 12AU7 input stage, and one for the ECC99 output stage. Thus each tube on the output stage has its own dedicated HT path.

The SHUNT design in this unregulated power supply enables the ultimate dynamics and detail, instantaneous current supplies are available to the ever changing analog signal running through the system. The results are staggering dynamics that most audiophiles will have never experienced. We firnly believe that your high end vinyl system will have trouble keeping up.

 
     
     
 

I/V transformers

Current to voltage transformers are key to the Audio Note Dac philosophy. These new large can mumetal I/V transformers in the DAC 5.1 signature facilitate the ultimate in signal transfer between the digital and analog domains. This preserves the small analog signal at birth and presents it to the line stage 100% intact. It is one of the most critical components (and little understood) of the Audio Note DAC design philosophy.

 
     
     
 

Triple C-Core output transformers

The triple C-Core transformers at the output of the 5.1 signature ensure the highest quality transfer of the analog signal to your pre-amplifer or intergated amplifier. The C-Cores bring a level of detail and authority across the entire spectrum and increase definition, authority and high frequency detail, bringing an incredible accuracy and realism to the music. They also have very low output impedance and can run long interconnects. Both of these aspects ensure excellent system matching.

 
     
     
  Finished Product
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You can order the DAC 5.1 Signature as FACTORY ASSEMBLED for an extra $550. Simply select the ‘FINISHED PRODUCT’ option in the shop section of the website.
 
     
 

Construction manual

Download the build instructions for the DAC 5.1 Signature here. The manual will give you a good idea of all the componentry involved In the building of this very high level digital to analog converter.

 
     
 

Philosophy
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Developing an ultra high level DAC requires special attention to not only the digital circuits, but even more significantly, all the analog aspects of the design as well. The DAC 5.1 signature was developed from the ground up to focus on every aspect of digital reproduction that will ultimately have an impact on sound quality.

All the Audio Note DACs use the AD1865 chip and support RedBook 16/44Khz plus 24/96Khz files. 192Khz files will pass through the DAC and use 96Khz processing. We have found that when utilising a high high quality resistor ladder DAC on RedBook and 24/96 the result is superior to higher resolution files processed by Delta-Sigma designs. In a resistor ladder architecture precision laser trimmed resistors are used for each digital bit in order to create the analog voltage from a passive circuit.

Audio Note considers this the ONLY way to successfully build a DAC for audiophile level systems. The alternate and more widely used method is the less costly and easier to implement Delta-Sigma upsampling and oversampling architecture where a computer algorithm decides what the output voltage will be and what your ears are going to listen to.

Remember more sampling means more noise and thus many additional strategies have to be employed in Delta-Sigma designs to combat this including noise rejection & complex filtering algorythms. In our DAC we preserve the integrity of the original signal in the resistor ladder domain and immediately transfer this through the I/V transformers directly to the analog output stage. The results – detail, smoothness and no listening fatigue. With the release of the DAC 5.1 signature ANKits is now producing one of the worlds finest DACs at any price. Enquire to reserve yours.

Contact us for details on our new USB add on component for the DAC 5.1 signature. It can be operated as an internal board or externally to support a computer based source.

 
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Dear Sir, I am taking time to let you know that I am immensely impressed with your products; particularly the Dac 5.1. Based on the build quality and superb performance of your Dac 5.1 I ordered the Mentor preamplifier and a pair of your 300b monoblock amps.

Your ANK Dac 5.1 Signature produces a realism that is hard to believe. My associated equipment consists of Audio Note { Kondo amp and pre amp } some Shindo gear as well as Mark Levinson cd transport and dac converter. The Mark Levinson 390s has been surpassed by you Dac 5.1 and is now in storage.

I am not a stranger to hi fi kits ; going way back to the Eico and Dynakit era. Your products in the four digit price rang really outclass many audio products in the mid five digit range. I can still hear to the 14,000 HZ range and use very high efficiency speakers such as the Shindo Lafitte..Voxativ drivers..and my own very limited production ; the 22,200 gauss flux density Reps R-1 speaker system. Thanks again for making available to us , some really fine audio products that don't break the bank.

Sincerely
Francis M Reps

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Specifications:

Output Tubes: 1 x 12AU7 Electro Harmonix & 1 x ECC99 JJ
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Rectifier Tubes: 1 x WE274b / 5U4GB
We supply the PSVANE WE274B replica with the kit or factory finished
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Outputs: 1 x Stereo Pair RCA
1 x Stereo Balanced
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Inputs:
SPDIF RCA, XLR digital
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PCBs: Sturdy PCBs with 2oz copper trace and thick grounding/ HT traces
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Chassis: 3mm Aluminum with Black Powder Sandtex
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Width: 43 cm
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Height (inc feet): 20.3 cm
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Depth: 44.5 cm
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Weight: 17.3 Kilos

 

Parts Compliment includes:

Large (Dual) Mains Transformers
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Chokes x 3
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Mundorf EVO oil film capacitors x 3
& Mundorf tube capacitors
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Triple C-Core output transformers*
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Audio Note 1W tantalum resistors
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Audio Note copper film capacitors or V-Cap
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Elna Silmic cathode signal capacitors
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Audio Note silver RCA jacks
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PTFE silver plated copper 18g & 22g wire
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Optional USB Board (enquire)
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*Optional Audio Note 027 variant
at extra cost.

 

 

L5 DAC 5.1 C-Core

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L5 DAC 5.1 C-Core
Factory assembled

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The DAC 5.1 is now available as a Finished Product or in DIY form. Download the new construction manual here.

 
 
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