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Naim DAC-V1 USB DAC Pre and Headphone Amplifier


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Found it cheaper? Click here. SKU: 7112
Ex VAT: 1182.5

This award winning DSD compatible DAC can be used as a desktop headphone amplifier for listening to music from your Mac/PC or as a pre amplifier with suitable power amp (often matched with the Naim NAP 100).

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Warranty length 2 years standard (5 years on registration)
Colour Black
Brand Naim Audio
Product Award What HiFi Award 5 Stars

Tech Specs

S/PDIF: 5 x Digital
BNC: 1 x coaxial
RCA: 2 x coaxial
TOSLINK: 2 x optical
Sample: 32-192kHz, 24bit (48kHz)
USB: 1 x asynchronous (type B)

Analogue: 2 (RCA and DIN)
Line Out: Variable/2.1VRMS fixed
Output Impedance: <10?
Load Impedance: 10k? (min)
Headphone Output: 1/4" TRS
Freq Resp: 10Hz – 20kHz, +0.1/-0.5dB

Remote Control: Infra Red (RC5)
Sample Rates: S/PDIF,32-192kHz
USB: 44.1kHz - 384kHz (16 to 24bit)

Windows: 7/8 (up to 24bit/348kHz)
Mac OSX: 10.7+ (up to 24bit/384kHz)

Supply Voltage: 115/230V, 50/60Hz
Max Power Consumption: <17VA

Supplied With: Remote handset
Dimensions (HWD): 87 x 207 x 314mm
Weight: 4.3 kg

Product Description

Naim DAC-V1 is a USB DAC (asynchronous), pre amplifier and headphone amplifier in one, a perfect partner for high quality listening from your Mac or PC, with the addition of multiple digital S/PDIF inputs for other digital sources. An excellent sounding dedicated headphone amplifier or indeed partner it with a Naim power amplifier for a desktop hi-fi separates setup and high-resolution audio hub.

Digital Made Musical

Connect the DAC-V1 to your PC, Mac or Laptop via a standard A to B USB cable and the quality of your music will be defined not by the limitations of the computer hardware, but by the quality of the data itself. And with DAC-V1 that can be incredibly high, up to 24bit/384kHz resolution.

Flexible Yet Powerful

While the DAC-V1 is perfectly suited to being positioned on a desk near a computer it is also highly versatile. It can integrate seamlessly into a traditional hi-fi system or be used with any two-channel digital audio source such as a games console, satellite box or any other device with a digital output via one of its five S/PDIF digital inputs. The DAC-V1 can also be combined with the Naim UnitiServe hard disk music server and its matching power amplifier, the NAP 100, to create a compact high-end music system.

Connect to:

- PC/Mac/Laptop – Make the most of music from your computer via asynchronous USB
- Hard disk player – Create a compact powerful system by using DAC-V1 with NAP 100 and UnitiServe
- Games Console – Immerse yourself in games and multi-media sound from your favourite console
- CD Player – Take over preamp & DAC duties for your CD player forextra connectivity
- DVD Player – Play sound from your movies, documetaries, live concerts and more
- Satellite TV Receiver – Improve the sound quality of your TV or set top box
- Speakers – Use with NAP 100 power amp to drive wide range of demanding speakers
- Headphones – play direct through your headphones from the front panel of the DAC-V1


What is Asynchronous USB?

Digital audio isn’t just about the data – 0s and 1s – and ensuring that each sample value is accurately converted into a corresponding output voltage. Also vital to achieving the highest fidelity is ensuring that each successive sample is reproduced at a precise time interval from those around it. If that time interval varies – an effect known as jitter – then the output waveform will be distorted.

To prevent this, the master clock that controls the process should, ideally, be placed right next to the digital to analogue converter circuitry, not remote from it. Asynchronous mode USB provides for this because it allows data to be ‘pulled’ from the source as required, whereas in other modes the data is ‘pushed’ down the interface under control of the far inferior and distant clock in the computer.

World Class Headphone Amp

Naim has a long tradition of using discrete transistor, single ended Class-A amplifiers for all its pre-amplifier stages. This has now been extended to the headphone amplifier of the DAC-V1. The headphone amplifier cleverly uses the pre-amp output amplifier for headphone drive. The moment headphones are plugged in, the output current drive is automatically turned up five times to give dynamic drive for all headphone impedances. The amplifier runs from a high voltage power supply so has the ability to drive high impedance headphones with the voltage swing they require for open and dynamic sound. The result is the audio stages are kept as simple and pure as possible for both normal and headphone modes.

Single ended Class-A is long known for its natural sound quality and exhibits zero crossover distortion. Its Achilles’ heel is that it is inefficient, for headphone drive this is not important so all the benefits can be exploited. Most headphone amplifiers are Class-AB, where the amplifiers output stage is in two halves; one pushing and one pulling. Here the two halves meet in the middle and can produce non-consonant distortion or distortions that do not occur naturally in music.

- High-speed asynchronous USB input up to 24bit/384kHz
- 5 x S/PDIF inputs up to 24bit/192kHz (1 x BNC, 2 X RCA, 2 x TOSLINK)
- Selectable fixed or variable analogue outputs (DIN or RCA)
- Zero S/PDIF Jitter design in common with the original Naim DAC
- Naim custom designed Digital Filtering with 16 times oversampling
- SHARC ADSP21489 DSP for Digital Filtering and zero S/PDIF jitter
- Classic discrete Naim preamplifier gain stage topology with selected components
- High-quality Burr Brown PCM1791A DAC, in common with NDX and SuperUniti
- Single ended Class-A headphone amplifier. Front panel ¼ inch headphone output
- Optical isolation between digital and analogue sections
- Naim digitally controlled analogue volume control for performance and precision
- Linear power supply with 210VA transformer, windings for Digital, DAC and analogue stages
- Operates with computers running OSX, 10.7 and above, Windows XP, 7 and 8
- Floating or Chassis ground switch for optimum performance with any system
- Field upgradeable firmware
- OLED display for adjusting settings and checking incoming bit-rates
- Control via IR remote control or front panel controls
- DAC-V1 can control computer playback and volume
- Compact non-magnetic low-resonance chassis and sleeve
- British design and build

Press Reviews

  • A big soundstage, inside which all the strands in the mix are located with laser-guided precision. (Hi-Fi Choice magazine May 2013, reviewed with Naim NAP100)

  • The new Naim DAC-V1/NAP 100 combo you see before you is the Salisbury company's latest attempt to make computer audio accessible. The easiest form of high-resolution playback is, of course, straight off your computer, effectively using it as a digital transport, and the new digital converter [the Naim DAC-V1] is designed to facilitate precisely that. (Hi-Fi Choice magazine May 2013, reviewed with Naim NAP100)

  • This is another masterful showing from Naim. It takes the good bits from the pricier Naim DAC, adds an excellent aysnchronous USB implementation and a volume control and packages with a really capable little amplifier that's good enough to rip into most speakers. In doing so, Naim has come up with a package that's greater even than the sum of the parts - and brilliant value too. (Hi-Fi Choice magazine May 2013, reviewed with Naim NAP100)

  • Excellent sonics; fine USB implementation; packaging; compact size and fine build...super-sounding DAC that gives you easy access to hi-res music. (Hi-Fi Choice magazine May 2013)

  • As well as being able to handle hi-res audio, the Naim has been designed to ensure it's getting exactly the right data from a computer source: there's a 'bitperfect' test routine built-in, and Naim offers a sequence of files for download to allow the DAC to check accurate data transmission. There are layers upon layers of detail here, and the Naim offers a transparency that allows you to hear each part with superb clarity, all while making it feel very much part of a whole. (What Hi-Fi Magazine)

  • What Hi-Fi Award 2013 - Best DAC £1000+

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