|Warranty length||1 Year|
|Product Award||HiFi World 5 Globes|
The Longdog Audio VDt1 is a stunning DAC making waves in the hi-fi industry with a host of stellar reviews. The VDt1 is relatively unique in that it uses a fully balanced valve output stage, and is unquestionably one of the finest sounding DACs at this level that we've listened to. Designed by Nick Gorham, the VDt1 impressed at the Bristol Sound and Vision show, and should definitely be auditioned when considering other high end models such as the Chord Electronics QDB76 and QDB76 HD.
The VDt1 is DSD ready, and capable of handling files up to 24bit/192kHz, and offers many unique properties making it innovative and unique when compared with the competition, and with a specification unrivalled at this price point.
What makes the VDt1 Special?
The VDt1 offers both S/PDIF and USB inputs to allow for a range of connections and an XLR AES/EBU digital input (110 Ohm) is available on request. The 2 S/PDIF (750hm RCA) inputs are galvanically isolated with high performance pulse transformers, and support bit rates and resolutions from CD (16bit/44.1kHz), right up to high fidelity 24bit/192kHz for quality playback of any high resolution downloads you might have. The S/PDIF receiver is supplied by three separate ultra low noise voltage regulators.
The USB input is powered from the host computer and offers galvanic isolation between the PC and DAC which prevents noise from the computer being coupled into the DAC. The USB input is capable of handling 16bit/44.1kHz to 24bit/192kHz, although 32bit is accepted. DSD over USB is also supported as well as 64bit DSD and automatic switching between PCM and DSD.
The DAC module itself is an AK4396 which has been selected for its sonic properties when used in balanced out mode. The DAC features a fully balanced valve output stage using 5687 dual triodes as well as custom Sowter output transformers with nickel cores and balanced winding patterns. The use of balanced design ensures that distortion levels equal to solid state output stages while maintaining the sonic properties that only valves can deliver. All the resistors in the signal path are high quality Takman carbon film types.
Analogue output from the DAC is taken directly to output buffer, no op-amps, capacitors or additional solid state devices in the signal path once it has left the DAC chip.
The power supply digital board features four stages of pre regulation using low noise regulators, which feed 9 individual ultra low noise regulators mounted next to the driven device. A Custom baord design provides isolated ground paths between stages to reduce noise induced jitter to a minimum. High quality parts are used throughout the digital stage to ensure the optimum performance.
The analogue board contains three regulated power supplies, one for the digital board main supply, one for the output stage valve heater supply and a valve regulated high voltage supply using high voltage mosfet and EF86 pentode design. Low noise HT supply ensures ultra low analogue noise floor.
The VDt1 At A Glance
- Digital Inputs: USB, 2x S/PDIF 110 Ohm (with AES/EBU XLR input available on request)
- DAC Module: AK4396
- Bitrate/Resolution: 16bit/44.1kHz - 24bit/192kHz (32bit accepted via USB)
- Outputs: High Quality RCA Sockets (Fully balanced XLR available on request)
- Output Stage: 5687 dual triodes
- Output Signal Level: 2.18v RMS full scale (Single Ended)
'This DAC is well made; the manufacturer has obviously taken great care to produce a finely finished product both inside and out' (Hi-Fi Choice Magazine)
'This is a warm, expansive performer that will delight analogue addicts, thanks to its particularly natural tonal balance.''the Longdog gives a smooth and sweet - if not quite sumptuous - performance that makes extended listening a pleasure (Hi-Fi Choice Magazine)
'It's not just big and punchy in a hi-fi sort of way, it's actually very naturally musically satisfying, too' (Hi-Fi Choice Magazine)
'an interesting new DAC that can hold its head high even among considerably more expensive types in terms of pure sonics' (Hi-Fi Choice Magazine)