If you followed every post of our blog, you would have noticed it, that one of our customers owns a pair of AudioNote Conquest (300B PSE). His AN Conquest broke down moons ago after the 300B failed on him. It was sent in for overhaul and upgrade. Unfortunately (or fortunately?!?!) the output transformer compartment was too small, or else, a pair of Level 3 NanoC OPT from J&K would have gone inside. His looked something like this (pic taken from the internet).
Now he's come back for more, to build a custom ultimate J&K modular DAC. Modular means - the DAC receiving and decoding stages, are separate from the IV conversion stage, or the gain stage (tube based, of course) for some DAC chips with V-out. The fun part of this J&K modular DAC is that, for those that buy our DACs, are able to swap around and play with different DAC and output modules by exchanging between themselves. We have some here in our local community that are already playing with that. They have TDA 1541, AD1865, AD1862, ES9038, and etc.
Back to this guy with AN Conquest, due to his limited HIFI rack real estate, has a very limited and specific dimension reserved for the DAC. The DAC is going to share the space used for his AN Conquest, and therefore the shape (and outlook) of the DAC will have to mimic his amplifier for consistent outlook.
We usually purchase ready made full aluminum chassis from our vendor to keep the cost down. In this case, those ready made ones do not match the size and look that he's looking for. We will have to custom make one just for him, following closely the AN style. It's not cheap, but ART is priceless. It has higher WAF (wife acceptance factor) too!
- Top: 2mm copper plate, polished, clear paint
- Base: 2mm mild steel, powder coated, matte
- Front plate: 8mm hairline brush aluminum
- Holes: CNC
We hope to post more pics when the DAC is finished. Just a head's up on what's coming on this DAC:
* PCM1702 dual mono
* Separate Level 2 & 3 power trans for PSU, Super Hi-B for analog, EI Z11 for digital
* Western Electric output trans for tube based IV stage
* Telefunken RGN1064 tube rectified, 6J5G NOS triode gain stage
* Western Electric choke for PSU / B+, with full Mundorf film capacitors
* Mundorf electrolytic capacitors for DAC stages, with capacitance more than a power amp
* Mundorf Silver Gold wires all over
* WBT silver solder + WBT sockets
Like I say, it is one helluva tube DAC...!
J&K Audio Design