Graham Slee Majestic DAC & Pre Amp
Low distortion low noise DAC using re-clocking on every digital input including USB.
With seven digital inputs and one analogue input the Majestic stereo DAC is more than a DAC, it's a preamp for the digital age.
The only truly high resolution analogue source most people have is vinyl, so the Majestic has an analogue input suitable for the output of a phono stage. Often all the other sources are digital, whether that be a DBS radio tuner, recording device, CD player, music server, or computer. The Majestic has 7 digital inputs to cater for these.
The Majestic stereo DAC gives you a fixed low-level RCA jack stereo output, and a level controlled TRS jack stereo-balanced output. By special order the RCA jack output can be made level controlled too.
The digital performance is dependant on implementation as much as the chip-set. In the digital domain signal transitions are measured in nanoseconds (ns), and one nanosecond is the cycle time of a 1GHz frequency.
The Majestic stereo DAC splits switching, digital and analogue circuits between three optimised ground plane printed circuit boards, preventing ground return currents from modulating each other or transmitting themselves to different parts of the circuit.
Multiple voltage regulators (9 in total) isolate the various functions from each other.
That results in the Majestic stereo DAC's very low distortion, intermodulation, and appreciably low jitter (140 ns, 100Hz corner).
To ensure a smooth yet highly detailed analogue sound the D-A converter is run below full scale to prevent signal clipping. It is also run in hardware mode so there is no microcontroller adding its own signature through power supply modulation or interference. Even its mute function is deprecated to a manual front panel switch to remove another layer of complexity.
The Majestic stereo DAC uses a digital oversampling filter sending the Nyquist frequency to 364 kHz, thus allowing for a gentle roll-off and a more natural sounding analogue low pass filter.
The differential DAC outputs drive modified Sallen-Key third order 'in-amp' low pass filters, so there is no analogue pass-band ripple. Phase lag reaches 45 degrees beyond audibility, yet it achieves 47dB sampling frequency attenuation.
The low pass filter and level control buffer are operated in our proprietary 'ultra-linear' mode, which sounds remarkably similar to valves (tubes), but with lower noise and distortion as well as the ability to drive much lower impedances.
The level control is a true analogue channel matched dual gang potentiometer, allowing for precise level adjustment. The scale is marked as an indication of the balanced output level. When driving 600 Ohm loads the output will be 6dB lower than indicated.
Prior to the level control an input for a stereo analogue source is provided, and for users who have only one analogue source the Majestic stereo DAC is an ideal manual operation preamp.
Powered by our latest auto-reset PSU1 (no fuses), the Majestic stereo DAC is afforded double regulation to all circuits.
DACs operate at high current to be able to process all their digital functions. This usually means that high performance DACs run hot, but that can be disastrous for electrolytic capacitors, shortening their lifespan. The Majestic stereo DAC voltage regulators are optimised for minimal power dissipation (but are still linear regulators) which keeps working temperatures low, prolonging lifespan, and alleviating the need for re-capping.