TDA1541A reference. That simple.


Designed on the principles and standards set with previous Audial S DACs, the S5 takes another step forward, bringing the highest resolution and precision, in a delightful way.

It is also the best equipped TDA1541A DAC ever, with USB, S/PDIF, optical, and I2S direct input, and optional transformer coupled output. And two S5 units can even operate as a four-channel USB DAC.

€ 2,350
or € 2,500 with output transformers

Notice: We are migrating to the revised S5 version. Due to several changes, it will have its specific mark, S5b. You will find more about the changes in the blog area.

We will start shipping these revised S5b units on 25th April. Thanks to everyone for patiently waiting for the previously ordered unit.

This migration is still causing a longer lead time, so all the orders placed currently will be processed in 30-35 days. We will be back to the regular 15 days by the middle of May.

Performance and connectivity

The S5 mates so many things that usually don’t come together in the audiophile world. No compromise performance and ultimate connectivity. Non-oversampling D/A conversion and high-resolution capability. Advanced topology and fancy parts. Firm soundstage and natural ambiance. Definition and natural colors.

Under the hood

• Non-oversampling, real multibit TDA1541A DAC
• Master USB device (“asynchronous USB”), operating up to 384 kHz, with galvanic isolation and two low jitter master clocks
• True 75 Ohm BNC S/PDIF input
• Audial proprietary, high performance, zero feedback, hybrid discrete / IC output analog stage
• Output impedance 3 Ohm coupled by 23 uF capacitors, or 30 Ohm transformers coupled (optional)
• High-quality parts, including Renesas and Toshiba semiconductors, Panasonic PPS and OS-Con and Elna Silmic II capacitors, Allen Bradley and Vishay carbon resistors
• Ten fully separate supplies, with three-stage passive common-mode filtering
• Fully discrete, low noise, zero feedback regulators
• Extremely optimized layout
• Mains isolation transformer, acting as a mains filter and balanced power source


In addition to the USB, coaxial S/PDIF and optical S/PDIF (Toslink) input, the S5 also includes a PCM / I2S direct connection, using the interface with HDMI connectors, per our specifications (A-link). By using this connection, and due to the S5 four channel capable USB stage, two S5 units can also operate as four channel USB DAC.

This interface specifications are available as open source (please check out the documents below).

Toroidal output transformers

Back in 2018 we worked with designer Menno van der Veen and transformers manufacturer Trafco, and came up with high performance, very unique devices, designed exactly for our needs. They were first employed in the S4 DAC, and we continue using them in the S5 too.

The low external field of toroidal transformers ensures unbeatable resistance to environmental noise, so they clean out the artifacts caused by the system grounding issues, not picking up the noise on their own at that.

  User manual

  A-link (PCM / I2S direct) specifications

Windows USB drivers download requires login with the customer account.

Harmonic distortion, capacitor coupled output, 1 kHz, -6 dBFS dithered sinewave, THD = 0.0022%

Harmonic distortion, capacitor coupled output, 1 kHz, -60 dBFS dithered sinewave, THD = 0.886%

Intermodulation distortion, capacitor coupled output, CCIR IMD = 0.0015%

Square wave 1 kHz, capacitor coupled output

Square wave 10 kHz, capacitor coupled output

Square wave 10 kHz, transformer coupled output

S/PDIF input jitter suppression effectiveness, while locking on data (red curve) or pre-amble (back curve), with middle-class S/PDIF source (J-test signal)

September 2022, starting with serial #A01-3422:

The output stage power supply regulators are improved.

Polystyrene I/V resistors’ bypass capacitors are replaced with PPS.

In accordance with the A-link specifications from November 2021, both A-link connectors’ pins 19 are not connected to the ground anymore but are left floating.

The other minor parts changes and practical improvements (with input switch etc.).


June 2021 (applies to all units shipped after 1st June 2021):

Elna Silmic II (RFS) is used instead of Rubycon ZA for the output stage local supply bypassing.

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