audio research

Digital-to-analog converter.

From the ARC website

With the growth of the iTunes culture and the increasing popularity of storing music on a hard drive, we were asked repeatedly to offer a USB DAC that could connect with Macs, PCs and servers to deliver a new benchmark in high resolution digital music playback. We listened, and after more than a year in development we are excited to introduce the DAC7 digital-to-analog converter. With an affordable price and extraordinary sonic attributes, we expect this product to be immensely successful.

Although our initial development was focused on the USB input, our intent was to provide greater flexibility and allow it to act as a hub for multiple digital sources. The DAC7 has five digital inputs including USB, XLR, RCA, BNC and Optical (Toslink®). Operationally, the DAC7 is also quite flexible. Housed in a preamplifier-sized chassis, front panel functions include Power, Mute, Invert, and Input select. There is also a "Lock" LED to indicate whether the selected input has a digital lock. The supplied remote not only controls Power, Mute, Invert and (discrete) Input select, its HID (part of the USB protocol) controls the Play/Pause, Stop, Track Up and Track Down functions of the USB device to which the DAC7 is connected.

The DAC7 is a fully balanced solid-state design utilizing a new direct-coupled FET output stage and generous regulated power supplies with seven stages of regulation. Separate audio and digital power transformers are mounted to boards made of the same material as our Reference products. The Burr- Brown DAC is 24/192 capable and utilizes passive I/V conversion for best sonics.

Connect the DAC7 to your Mac, PC or music server to enjoy a higher level of resolving power and naturalness. Compressed MP3 files will sound their best ever, but your full-resolution music library will reveal a dynamic, transparent, you-are-there immediacy that is captivating. There is a sense of spaciousness with pinpoint imaging that was not previously apparent. For the growing numbers of music lovers who are tired of sorting through piles of CDs, who just want to touch or scroll down a screen to find their cherished music, the DAC7 is the prize in their search for convenience and great sound. And, the DAC7 will also bring new life and musical meaning to your traditional digital music sources, whatever they may be.





MSRP (US new retail)


Frequency response 0.5-20,000Hz +0 -1dB
Distortion .03% 1kHz.
S/N ratio BAL 114dBA below 20kHz. SE 110 dBA.
Phase linearity  
Channel separation BAL 120dB 1kHz.
Resolution 24 BIT DAC.
Output impedance 500 ohms BAL, 250 ohms SE.
Analog outputs Balanced XLR 5.2V RMS (+14.3dBv) max.
Single-Ended RCA 2.6V RMS (+8.3dBv) max.
Digital outputs  
Digital inputs USB: Spec 1.0 to 2.0 16 BIT 32kHz to 48kHz, MAC or PC.
RCA: 75 ohm SPDIF 16/32 to 24/192
BNC: 75 ohm SPDIF 16/32 to 24/192.
XLR: 110 ohm AES/EBY 16/32 to 24/192.
OPT: 660 NM TOSLINK FIBER 16/32 to 24/192
Power requirements 100-135VAC 60Hz (200-270VAC 50/60Hz), 15 watts maximum (8 watts SLEEP.)
Other Jitter reduction: High-stability crystal-controlled re-clocking for all outputs.
Power supply: 2 transformers, 7 regulators.
Compliance: RF Interference complies with FCC and CE MARK.
Dimensions 19" (48 cm) W x 5 ¼" (13.4 cm) H x 10" (25.4 cm) D. Handles extend 1 ½" (3.8 cm) forward of the front panel. Rear connectors extend 3/4" (1.9 cm).
Weight 11.5 lbs. (5.2 kg) Net; 18 lbs. (8.2 kg) Shipping.