Plans for 2018

This year I have designed the second version of USB board, and I was very pleased with results. As such, it overcame USB front end used in the Model S USB. In the heartbeat, these are very similar circuits, however USB board, and then its Mk2 version, both brought some improvements (which you might expect, since Model S USB remained the same since its release, in 2011). Consequently, I started thinking about implementing these improvements in this reference device too.

On the other side, TDA1541A gets harder to obtain every day, and all this started plans about another Model S revision, this time the one that would replace both currently offered units.

So, about Model S Mk4.

In short, Model S Mk4 will include both S/PDIF and USB front end, with all its later tweaks, and apart from the changes in the input side, it will be mostly similar to Mk3. Its price will be somewhat higher, however probably not much. Model S USB will be discontinued.

This change will take place in the first quarter of 2018. For those preferring to have direct input to TDA1541A, Model S Mk3 will remain available for ordering, however it will be discontinued some time in 2018 too.

Apart from that, one completely new DAC comes soon too.

The first new Audial DAC, in may years now. It was initially announced some time ago in one of the newsletters, but has been delayed, and now it is a short term plan, to have it released also in the first quarter of 2018.

It will be 8 channels USB device, intended for multichannel playback, but also as a hardware basis for digital PC crossover. And sure, you can use it for home cinema too, or for real cinema, and also in the studio environment. Or just as a stereo DAC, of course. It will include several additional features too.

Just as all the other Audial devices, this will be a high quality DAC, however since it is 8 channels, we have to think practically here, so it will be the first Audial DAC that is not ladder (“R-2R”) DAC, but delta/sigma.

Having said that, it will use the best available parts and solutions, and it will be affordable.

USB interface board and AYA II are not forgotten either, and might keep evolving too.

So, another series may come, but we will firstly have to check the actual interest, at this moment. A more detailed plan, and probably survey too, will be posted in a couple of days. With USB board, the idea is however already more clear, and it is to move to the multichannel world too, and make it 8 channels I2S, or 4 channels TDA1541A simultaneous data output.

Cheers for now, and happy holidays!




Related topics:

Model S4 is coming

AYA 4: 2018 AYA release, featuring 192/384 kHz async USB