Model S will be discontinued by the end of this year

The Model S DAC has been initially released 11 years ago. A current version of this reference TDA1541A D/A converter, a Mark3, will be the last one, and it will be gradually discontinued by the end of this year.

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AYA 4: surplus items now available

AYA 4 is another edition of famed AYA DAC, now with no-compromise 192 or 384 kHz asynchronous USB stage. Optionally, this USB front end can be four channel capable. The AYA 4 is offered both in DIY form and as a completed unit.

Currently, several items that remained from the AYA 4 second run are available.

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The Audial website has been relatively open for contributions during the previous years, however we got a bit constrained with blog layout, and apparently reached the point when it is necessary to facilitate communication.

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Model S4

Things emerged slowly, but the outcome is another statement piece.

Model S4 is TDA1541A based reference DAC, that includes S/PDIF, and sonically improved and up to 384 kHz capable, asynchronous USB input.

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Firmware updates for USB interface boards

Two major firmware options became available since USB boards were released. F/w version 3.5 enables 352.8 kHz and 384 kHz support with TDA1541A simultaneous data or PCM1704 output, while version 3.6 brings 4-channel functionality with I2S output. In that way, USB board with firmware 3.6 and two stereo DACs can be used as a two-way digital crossover.

These updates are available for download for both original, and Mk2 USB interface board version.



Another story about TDA1541A: 384 kHz

So, is it 384 kHz capable?

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Binding posts

Premium version of Model A uses Audial made, real copper binding posts. Now, these are available for separate purchase.

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Back to the roots: 14 bits (of TDA1541A)

How much does the number of bits matter? TDA1541A distortion performance shows no practical difference between its regular 16 bit, and 14 bit “mode” of operation. When it comes to the ladder (“R-2R”) DACs distortion, it looks like everything is about converter accuracy. More bits improve only on S/N ratio.

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USB interface, series 2

Originally released in 2016, as ready made module, this high quality asynchronous USB interface featured galvanic isolation, two XO master clocks and reclocked output. It was unique for its ability to output TDA1541A simultaneous data format, but it could also output I2S / SPDIF, or PCM1704 format, supporting dual balanced DAC topologies at that as well.

This interface was offered again in 2017, both as a module, with u.FL, and as a completed device, with BNC output connectors.

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Transformer coupling pros and cons

Purely sonically, transformer coupled output has a more calm presentation, with a more quiet background, and somewhat more precise soundstage. On the other hand, transformers can lack some definition at the most bottom end. Actual benefits and shortcomings will also depend on the environment.

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Classic and transformer coupling: System grounding difference

The use of a signal coupling transformers requires a somewhat different approach to the system grounding.

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Model A ultimate volume control

Two new articles bring more details about the ultimate volume control used in the Model A. The first article describes the approach, and the second brings more information about cermet potentiometers.

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Model A volume control

Cermet potentiometers




Even though it was discontinued in 2009, the interest in this great DAC never actually disappeared, so it had several after-runs. “DS” was its 2015 release.

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About Audial

Officially operating for more than decade now, Audial became well established among the audio devotees, and recognized for its unique products qualities. We shipped the products to more than 40 countries so far.

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