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SPL Audio Director MK2 Preamplifier DAC

SPL Audio Director MK2 Preamplifier DAC

Regular price $6,299.00 AUD
Regular price Sale price $6,299.00 AUD
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Director MK2 Preamplifier DAC

...The Director sets the tone

The central unit of a HiFi system is the preamplifier. With remote source selection and volume control, tape monitor path, retro-look-VU-meters, premium DA-converter and the all superior VOLTAiR technology, the Director Mk2 caters for musical blockbusters.

MILLED FROM SOLID

The massive 45mm volume control knob milled from aluminium is a haptic highlight. Its mass together with the motorised Alps RK27 “Big Blue” potentiometer enhances the “spoon in the honey” feeling even further, whilst te red marker LED ensures good visibility of the volume parameter even in darkened environments.

REMOTE CONTROL

The volume control can be remotely controlled with any infrared remote control.  The Director Mk2 learns to communicate with it with the simple push of a button. 

LEARNING MADE EASY

The video below explains how you can use any infrared remote control to remotely control the volume and the source selection.

REVIEWS

“With its 120 Voltair technology, SPL offers a perfect nest for one of the best DA converter chips currently available. This results in excellent dynamic characteristics, but especially in a highly precise, finely staggered sound stage.”

Nick Mavridis - Fair Audio

“Director Mk2 controls, takes nothing away, adds nothing, doesn't gloss over anything. An honest contemporary in the role of asset manager, blindly trusted.”

Falk Visarius - HiFi-IFAs

“Frankly, the sound of the SPL even startled me. Because it replaced the ... preamplifier and my... Directstream DAC... and I liked it better at first sight than this almost ten-thousand-euro duo. The Director Mk2 impressed from the first bar.”

Wolfgang Kemper - HiFi Statement

“The SPL Director Mk2 in its double function as DAC and preamplifier is an excellent director in the sound chain and proves to be a high-end conductor for the HiRes orchestra.”

Volker Frech - Lite Magazin

“The Director offers a very smooth sound image throughout with lightness and variety in textures. It is far from dry and hyper-defined electronic aspects.”

Bruno Castelluzzo - Haute Fidelity

SOURCE OF JOY

Up to ten (10) stereo sources can be connected to the Director Mk2. Six for analog and four for digital input signals.  The source selection is shown in the dot matrix LED display: IN 1 through IN 6 for the analog inputs.

AES, USB, COAX, OPTIC for the digital inputs, where the detected sample rate is displayed after about two seconds. For example U768 = USB input with 768 kHz sampling rate.

The source selection can also be operated remotely if the rotary switch is set to the “Remote” position.  The Mk2 offers two pairs of balanced inputs with XLR connectors and four standard inputs with gold-plated RCA connectors.

On the digital side there are four additional inputs. PCM audio is received in S/P-DIF format via coaxial Cinch, optical Toslink and balanced XLR (AES). Both PCM audio and DSD audio can be converted via USB.

WELL INFORMED

The DAC automatically picks up the sampling rate and resolution of the digital playback source. No matter if a streamer, computer or CD player is connected. No further settings on the Director Mk2 are necessary.

The detected sampling rate is shown in the dot matrix LED display. For example, U768 is an acronym for the source “USB” with a sampling rate of 768 kHz.

  

THE DAC768

The highly acclaimed AKM AK4490 Velvet Sound™ premium DAC chip is used as the converter chip in the digital-to-analogue converter, which thanks to its architecture reproduces the finest sound details.

It converts PCM audio with a resolution of 32 bits and a sampling rate of up to 768 kHz, which is equivalent to 16 times CD resolution. Direct Stream Digital is also supported up to a resolution of DSD4 or DSD256. In contrast to the DAC 768xs, the DAC768 not only offers an AES/EBU digital input, but also the SPL DLP120 with VOLTAiR technology.

THE DLP120 (DUAL LOW-PASS)

The analog output of the DAC chip must be filtered by a low pass filter. Phonitor xe has two of them: One for PCM audio and one for DSD audio, since different roll-off frequencies are required. In contrast to all other DACs in the world, the low pass filters here are built using VOLTAiR technology, which provides a plus in dynamics and headroom and sound.

GOOD OL' TIMES

Two mechanical VU meters visualise the input levels for the left and right audio channel. With the VU switch you can optimise the display for different signal levels.

TAPE MONITOR

A tape monitor circuitry is quite retro. Who still owns a cassette recorder or a tape machine? Who else loops in an equaliser?

Or to put it another way, Who would like to do it and can't do it because no manufacturer offers a tape monitor circuit anymore?

Well, those who want to, can, again.

Today’s audio levels are much higher than in the past and many recorders will be overloaded by them.  In that case simply press the switch and the level to the recorder is lowered by 10 dB.

To compensate, the level from the recorder is increased by 10 dB. Et voilà.

ALL VARIABLE – OR SLAVE THRU?

The Director Mk2 provides two stereo output pairs for connecting power amplifiers or active loudspeakers.  One pair of outputs with XLR, the other with RCA outputs. Both have the same output signal, which is controlled by the big volume control. Thus, a pair of speakers can be fed via one stereo output and a subwoofer via the second stereo output. The playback volume for both stereo outputs is adjusted together via the volume control on the Director Mk2.

With a DIP switch on the back of the device, the volume control for the RCA and XLR outputs can separately be switched out of the signal path – this makes the respective output a “Slave Thru” output to e.g. connect a headphone amplifier with its own volume control. The volume control of the Director Mk2 no longer affects the playback volume of the connected headphone amplifier when a stereo output’s Slave Thru mode is active.

HOME THEATRE BYPASS

Since the hardware revision 2.2, the Director Mk2 features a Home Theatre Bypass function. This allows the Director Mk2 to be used in combination with a multi-channel home theatre system. The L and R channels of the home theatre system can be simply connected to Input 6 of Director Mk2. When the Home Theatre Bypass is active (DIP 4), Input 6 is no longer affected by the volume control of the Director Mk2.

EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL – AMP CTL

The standby mode of devices with 12V trigger input, can be switched on and off via AMP CTL, together with the Director Mk2. This allows, for example, the SPL Performer s800, Performer m1000 or Performer s1200 power amplifiers to be ideally integrated into the set-up.

SOUNDS GOOD

With all devices of the Professional Fidelity series SPL Audio's engineers develop not only according to the design plan, but also by ear. A number of components are installed on the circuit boards using Through-hole technology, ensuring the best sounding components.

THE VOLTAIR TECHNOLOGY

The 120V technology is our reference technology. The 120V technology is unique in the world. It operates at a DC voltage of 120 volts. This is four times that of IC-based semiconductor op-amps. In the Professional Fidelity series, SPL refer to this unsurpassed technology as VOLTAiR technology.

THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE AUDIO QUALITY REQUIRES THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE AUDIO OPERATING VOLTAGE.

The 120V technology works with +/-60 V. To be able to handle such a high voltage, we have developed special proprietary operational amplifiers that can operate with a DC voltage of +/-60 V: the SPL 120V SUPRA operational amplifiers. This high voltage would destroy conventional components and operational amplifiers.  The 120V technology achieves exceptional technical specifications and sonic benefits. Technically, in terms of dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio and headroom. Sonically, in terms of richness of detail and an absolutely relaxed listening experience.

“120V” in the name of the technology has nothing to do with the local mains voltage from the mains power socket. This is about the operating voltage inside the device with which the audio signals are processed.  The mains voltage from the mains power socket is transformed to the required secondary voltage in the device’s internal linear power supply with toroidal transformer. Rectifiers convert this AC voltage into DC voltage required in the audio device.

Technical Specifications

Analog Inputs & Outputs: XLR (balanced), RCA

  • Maximum input & output gain: 32.5 dBu
  • Input impedance (RCA): 47 kΩ
  • Input impedance (XLR): 20 kΩ
  • Output impedance: 75 Ω
  • Common mode rejection (XLR): -82 dBu
  • Frequency range (-3 dB): 4 Hz – 300
  • Crosstalk (1 kHz): -108 dBu
  • THD (0 dBu, 1 kHz): 0.000992 %
  • Noise (A-weighted): -102.5 dBu
  • Dynamic range: 135 dB

Digital Inputs, DAC768

  • AES/EBU (XLR), PCM sample rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz
  • Coaxial SPDIF (RCA), PCM sample rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz
  • Optical SPDIF (Toslink F06), PCM sample rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/with Glass fibre <1m: 176.4/192 kHz
  • USB (B), PCM sample rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384/705.6/768 kHz
  • USB (B), DSD over PCM (DoP), sample rates: 2.8 (DSD64), 5.6 (DSD128), 11.2 (DSD256) MHz
  • 0 dBFS calibrated to: 15 dBu

Internal Linear Power Supply with Shielded Toroidal Transformer

  • Operating voltage for analog audio: +/- 60V
  • Operating voltage for relays and LEDs: + 12V
  • Operating voltage for DAC768: +7V, + 3.3V

Mains Power Supply

  • Mains voltage (selectable, see fuse chamber): 230 V AC / 50; 115 V AC / 60 Hz
  • Fuse for 230 V: T 500 mA
  • Fuse for 115 V: T 1 A
  • Power consumption: max. 40VA _
  • Stand-by power consumption: < 0,3 W

Dimensions & Weight

  • W x H x D (width x height incl. feet x depth)
    • 278 x 100 x 300 mm
    • 11 x 4 x 11.81 inch
  • Unit weight
    • 4.55 kg
    • 10 lbs
  • Shipping weight (incl. packaging)
    • 5.9 kg
    • 13.01 lbs

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