DACs

DAC1

DAC1 is a high performance USB audio DAC designed and built in Australia using the finest components. With an elegant solid CNC milled aluminium anodized  enclosure you can be sure that the superb build quality will provide years  of reliable operation.

 

When you combine this with the latest ES9038 DAC and leading Khadas technology,  DAC1 offers true high end technical and musical performance

  • ES9038 32 bit DAC Chip

  • XMOS XU208 USB Interface

  • USB C Port:

    • Power Requirements 5V DC 500mA (350mA typical)

    • USB2 Data

  • 2 x RCA Output: 2V RMS FS

  • Ultra low jitter / phase noise clock: >30pS

  • THD + N: 0.0003%

  • SINAD: 110dB

  • SNR: 118dB

  • Crosstalk: 126dB

  • Frequency Response: +- 0.08dB 10Hz - 20kHz

  • Sample Rate:

    • PCM to 768 kHz​

    • DSD to DSD256

  • Dimensions (excluding RCA connectors): 180mm x 150mm x 45mm

  • Compatibility:

    • Windows​ (driver-less in Windows 10)

    • Mac OS

    • Linux

    • Android

    • LibreELEC

    • Volumio

  • Supplied With:

    • High Quality Braided 1m USB lead​

    • 2Gb Metal Cased USB Thumb Drive Containing Drivers

  • 3 Year Warranty

 

REVIEWS

Review Performed By Amir Majidimehr, founder of Audio Science Review, Madrona Digital and Contributing Editor, Widescreen Review Magazine

www.audiosciencereview.com

This is a review and detailed measurements of the new MARCH audio dac1 dac.   It is the brainchild Alan March and is on loan to me. It retails for USD $420 but has an introductory price of $350 as of this writing. The company is located in Australia which should be an advantage for people living there with respect to purchasing this unit.

Alan's approach to audio hardware is highly minimalistic from features to design ID. It comes in machined block of aluminum which gives a nice impression of quality:

As you can tell there is only one indicator in the front in the form of a red LED indicating the unit is on. There is no power switch and the unit is powered by the same USB-c cable that feeds it. A pair of high-quality RCA jacks complete the unit. Alan's philosophy is emphasis on computer for control and management so you don't find volume control, etc. on the unit. It does what software cannot do which is convert digital samples to analog and that is it.


Let's get into measurements and see if it delivers.

Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard of a 1 kHz tone:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is right on the money. We have our 2 volt RMS output which is what I like to see., Distortion is quite minimal and mostly due to second harmonic with zero hint of power supply noise/mains leakage. SINAD (signal over noise and distortion) is excellent especially in Channel 2, placing the unit in the top tier of DACs tested:

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

Intermodulation distortion and noise is very good sans the typical rise we see in many ESS DAC chip implementations:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Jitter is excellent with no spurious response above -140 dB:
 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linearity is likewise exemplary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

All of this translates into very little garbage at the bottom troughs of our 32-tone test signal simulating music/more complex waveform:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reconstruction filter shows flat response to 20 kHz as required and then dropping > 75 dB at 22.05 kHz Nyquist limit:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

And here is square wave response for you audio measurement nerds out there:
 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions
The MARCH audio dac1 delivers solid performance in an attractive packaging that you are not likely to find in more budget priced DACs. Yes, it is more money than many other budget DACs but there is a luxury feel to this product that you won't find there. For those of you in Australia, you can source this product without the excess shipping and import duties.

Given the performance of the unit, I don't have any hesitation to recommend the MARCH audio dac1. 

 

 

 

 

Download Detailed Test Report Below.  All Measurements Performed Using Audio Precision APx555 Audio Analyser.


 

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