audio research

Digital-to-analog converter with tube output stage.



DAC3 MKII (1996)

From the ARC website

The DAC3MKII uses a high-performance monolithic input receiver and a delta-sigma converter supplied to Audio Research by Crystal Semiconductor. The differential converter is capable of 107 dB dynamic range in the audio band, and includes 8x interpolation and a 64x oversampled delta-sigma modulator which outputs to an all-tube (four 6922 twin triodes), class A operation analog output stage. Constant-current source technology and highly regulated power supplies similar to Audio Research's best preamplifiers contribute to the natural musicality of the output stage. The suppression of sonically destructive jitter in the DAC3MKII is accomplished via three primary methods: by two voltage-control oscillators used to reclock data in the digital interface and in a phase-lock-loop circuit just prior to the analog stage; and by extensive internal damping of critical components and chassis areas to minimize mechanical resonances.A detachable AC line cord has built-in filtering.

Among other conveniences, the DAC3MKII offers selectable phase inversion via a front-panel toggle switch. The DAC3MKII offers a full array of digital inputs for compatibility with any high-quality CD/LD transport or player, and provides both-single ended and balanced analog output connectors for similar compatibility with high-quality line-level preamplifiers. Audiophile-grade digital and analog interconnects such as Audio Research brand DigitaLink and LitzLink2 are strongly recommended for best performance.

Platinum grey faceplate.

MSRP (US new retail)
$3,995. Later increased to $4,495. Later increased to $4,995. (DAC3 MKII)



Frequency response 0.1-20,000Hz, ± .2dB
Distortion -86dB (0.005%) 1kHz
S/N ratio 90 dB (unweighted 20-20,000Hz)
Phase linearity ±0.5° (20-20, 000Hz)
Channel separation 120dB (1kHz)
Resolution 1 bit, 64x Oversampling delta-sigma, 8x interpolation
Output impedance 200 ohms unbalanced, 400 ohms balanced
Analog outputs 1.50 Vrms (+5dBV full output)
  Unbalanced RCA Phono Jacks 3.00 Vrms (+11dbv full lntput)
  Balanced XLR Jacks
Digital outputs TOSLINK Optical 660nm (digital pass-through)
Digital inputs ST type glass fiber optics; 1300 nm, 62.5/125 fiber
  TOSLINK fiber optics 660nm
  (Switch selectable): BNC coax 75 ohm (SPDIF) or XLR Balanced AES/EBU
Tube complement (4) 6922
Power requirements 95-135VAC 60Hz (190-270VAC 50/60Hz), 55 watts maximum
Other Format: 32kHz (DBS), 44.1kHz (CD), 48kHz (DAT).
Input resolution: 18 bits (maximum).
Reclocking method: PLL x 2. 2nd PLL corner frequency @ 12Hz.
Inverting switch: Digital Domain.
Panel indicators: Power On, Digital Lock.
Compliance: RF interference complies with FCC and VDE.
Power supply: 2 Transformers, 2 Discrete Regulators, 8 IC Regulators.
Line fuse: 1 1/2A slo-blo (3/4A slo-blo 240V).
Dimensions 19" (48 cm) W x 5.25" (13.4 cm) H x 11.75" (29.8 cm) D. Handles extend 1.50" (3.8 cm) forward of front panel. Rear chassis fittings extend .75" (2.3 cm)
Weight 15.2 lbs. (6.9 kg) Net; 27 lbs. (12.3 kg) Shipping.