D/A Converter Audio Research DAC 7

Via laptop, the audio showed research DAC 7 (3500 euros) impressively which achieved sound regions with computer playback now.

  1. D/A Converter Audio Research DAC 7
  2. Data sheet

From the usual optical reluctance of his digital Guild, audio is absolutely nothing to track research at the DAC 7 from the American amplifier specialist. Dressed in a sumptuous body in the professional 19-inch format, he visibly announced: “I’m proud to be a D/A converters.” His spectacular optical appearance reminiscent of these stocked tube signal processors from the 60s, what bulb specialist audio research no doubt intended.

Given the size of the enclosure, you might think because actually that, under its hood, the one or the other electron tube does their service. Absent: The DAC 7 used only semiconductor as active components. But not just the now usual Ladybug large SMD Bausteinchen, but rather those who are if necessary even by hand – solder leaving.

7 internal DAC: great sound takes place

His extremely generous Board seems already almost archaic in times of slime traces on five-layer boards. Since it would be – like one of the countless field effect transistors, to reduce noise in groups of three in parallel – the full symmetric output stage to do its job.

Technically, however, is the DAC 7 absolutely not from yesterday: heart of its digital signal Department is the originating from Burr-Brown D/A converter chip PCM 1792, which delivers so to speak a through ball for the output circuit with its symmetric push-pull outputs. Thanks to this chip, the audio processed research even high-resolution sound fare up to the 24-bit-192 kHz format. Unfortunately this is only for about S/P-DIF- and AES inputs about digital signals – at power supply via USB, it converts only with sampling frequencies up to maximum of 48 kilohertz.

This prevented the DAC 7 but isn’t, to play big in the listening test: powered by laptop via USB with audio products in CD format, he showed impressively which sound regions with computer playback now reach can be. With his open, gauzy sound character, he earned the tester hearts right off the bat: there was space between the musicians with their instruments, their Klänge air to breathe- and no single clenched together sound balls, which would push annoying on the ears. 64 points were the testers for this very charming idea.

Still a gang set to the audio could research even with hi-res operation in 24/96 format: he played while retaining all its aforementioned virtues now still something though, edge sharper and more differentiated. When connecting the balanced outputs the DAC 7 reproduced although still slightly more energetic and more compelling – but also somewhat less charismatic: balanced wiring so is not a must for him.

Audio Research DAC 7

Manufacturer Audio Research
Price €3500.00
Rating 65.0 points
Test procedure 1.0

Technical data and test results

Dimensions (W x H T) HöheTiefe 14.0 x 48.0 x 26.0 cm
Weight 5.2 kg
Digital volume control
Analog volume control
Remote control
Display sampling rate
Word width display
Digital effects loop
Maximum sampling rate RCA / AES 192
Maximum sampling rate optical 96
Maximum USB sample rate 48
USB asynchronous mode USB
Adjustable digital filter characteristics
Number filter options 0
Inputs CD player
Digital RCA 1
Digital BNC 1
Digital optical 1
Digital ST 0
Digital AES / EBU 1
Digital DSD
I2S 0
FireWire 0
Output D/A converter
RCA outputs 1
Outputs XLR stereo 1
Outputs headphone 6, 3 mm 0
Outputs headphone 3.5 mm 0
Digital output to RCA
Optical digital output
Digital output other:
Test result
Short conclusion Impressive, extremely pleasant and fragrant sounding D / A converters for hi res mode up to 24 bit / 192 kHz. USB port only up to 48 kHz.
Sound Absolute top class
Sound points
(maximum 70 points)
Sound points preamplifier
Measured values
(maximum 10 points)
(max. 15 points)
(maximum 10 points)
Overall rating
(max. 120
91 outstanding
Price / performance Very good
tested in issue: 2 / 10