USB DAC

USB-DAC

ADL Esprit DAC and Digital Preamplifier  |  24/192 DAC and ADC - 24/96 USB - Low Jitter Clock Recovery System

esprit_description space_is_the_place

As the great jazz composer Sun Ra says, “Space is the place,” and audio enthusiasts all over the globe know that to be true. Most of us live in tight quarters and there’s little room for large, energy-inefficient components. Plus a growing number are using their computers to store and play music. But audiophiles and music lovers still want what they want, better sound and more convenience.

That’s why Furutech introduced the well-reviewed GT40 USB DAC/Analog Recorder last year. The GT40 was the stripped-down sports racer of the group and the Esprit is a faster, more luxurious GT model. It’s a compact DAC/Preamplifier that can also record and playback from hard disk in both analog and with the Esprit, digital. It even offers a toggle switch to choose Recording Attenuation: dB: 0dB, 6 dB, or 12dB.

The Esprit is designed around a high-performance 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC. ADC duties are covered by the CIRRUS LOGIC CS5361 24-bit/192kHz converter with Multi-bit architecture at 114dB dynamic range. It also features optical, coaxial and a pair of line-level inputs for whatever home entertainment devices you’re using. The Esprit also carries both analog and optical outputs (Optical output for USB source only: Optical S/PDIF output signal via USB playback only. The S/PDIF signal output will support digital surround multi-channel formats such as AC3/DTS Decoder). Completely control an analog, digital or computer-based system with superior sound while recording vinyl or any other analog or digital source to hard disk! The exceptional headphone amplifier drives 16 to 600 ohm ‘phones with aplomb.

The sound is vivid, captivating, palpable and unheard of in this price category. The ADL Esprit brings Furutech’s signature smooth, detailed clarity to high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz files and 16-bit/44.1kHz files sound better and more satisfying!

Product Specifications

Esprit USB DAC Specifications

  • USB/Analog Playback/Multimedia Recording
  • Connectivity: USB-B Interface, analog input/output on RCA jacks, optical Toslink input and coaxial input RCA connectors, output Toslink connector (USB output only)
  • USB Playback Resolution 24-bit/96kHz (Max)
  • USB Recording Resolution: 16-to-24 bits, Sampling Rate: 32/44.1/48/96kHz
  • Coaxial and Optical Playback Resolution: 24-bit/192KHz (Max)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz (±0.5 dB)
  • S/N ratio: -95dB (A-wtd) / Line Output
  • Max. Line Output Level: 7.5 VRMS (THD <1%) Line Output impedance : 100 ohms
  • THD: Line Input < 0.01% , Digital Input <0.05%
  • Headphone Max. Output Level: 1% THD 1kHz, 156mW (16 ohms), 224mW (32 ohms), 241mW (56 ohms), 130mW (300 ohms), 76mW (600 ohms)
  • Power supply-1: 5V DC from USB bus-powered USB chip - optical output only
  • Power supply-2: ErP Step2 Compliant, 2-wire AC, Class II, AC/DC Switching Adaptor
  • DC 15V / 0.8A / 12W
  • Dimensions: 150mm / 6" (w) x 141mm / 5.5" (d) x 57mm / 2.25" (h)
  • Weight: ~ 970g / 2.14lbs 
features
  • 24/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC
  • 24/192kHz Cirrus Logic CS5361 ADC converter with Multi-bit architecture at 114dB dynamic range
  • 24/192kHz CIRRUS LOGIC CS8416 Digital Audio Interface Receiver with low-jitter clock recovery
  • 24/96kHz Tenor TE7022L Hi-Q USB Audio Streaming Controller
    1. Supports Asynchronous Mode and ASIO
    2. Supports USB 2.0 Full Speed and USB Audio Class 1.0
    3. 2 isochronous input endpoints for recording, 2 isochronous output endpoints for playback, and 1 interrupt endpoint for HID
    4. Supports 32/44.1/48/96kHz sampling rates
    5. I²S bus separates clock and data signals for very low jitter connections
    6. Supports 2 input and 2 output channels with one I²S pair with independent sampling rates
    7. Optical output functions with USB sources only
    8. Output S/PDIF signals support digital surround multichannel formats like AC3 and DTS
  • Toggle switch chooses recording attenuation of 0, 6, or 12dB
  • Toggle switch chooses S/PDIF sampling rate playback at 96kHz or 192kHz
    1. Reset sampling rate switch after changing by turning the Esprit off and on
    2. Set to 96kHz for better performance when playing sampling rates of up to 96kHz on source components like CD or DVD players
    3. Set to 192kHz for 192kHz source material only or there will be no audio output
  • Dual External power supplies
    1. Power supply 1: 5V DC from bus-powered USB chip and optical output only
    2. Power supply 2: External DC 15V / 800mA / 12W AC/DC Switching Adaptor for high resolution audio
  • Headphone Amplifier: TI TPA6120A2 driving 16-to-600 ohms 'phones at >120dB dynamic range
  • Highest Quality Parts like ELNA ROB or ELNA RFS-grade capacitors
  • Line In, Out and DAC OPA : Burr-Brown OPA2134 (with DIP socket) and upgradable
  • OP Amp ( ADC ): JRC NJM5532 Low-Noise Dual Operational Amplifier
  • No drivers are necessary with Mac computers and a single standard driver is supplied for Windows
  • Furutech gold-plated PTFE-insulated RCA connectors
  • Best quality aluminum chassis and beautifully-machined and operating volume control
  • Inputs: LINE1 and 2, OPTICAL and COAXIAL



USB-DAC rear

REVIEWS

Esprit USB DAC Q & A

Q1. Computer does not recognize the Esprit

A1-1. Not connected correctly
(Refer to manual and check if the Esprit is connected correctly to the computer via USB cable.)
A1-2. There is a problem with a USB Hub
(ADL does not recommend the use of a Hub when connecting the GT40 to a computer. If using a Hub, please refer to the USB Hub’s user manual to check whether connected correctly))
A1-3. Computer does not recognize the Esprit as both the playback and recording USB device
(Disconnect the USB cable and reconnect after 10 seconds. If it still does not recognize the Esprit restart the computer.)
A1-4. Install the Esprit driver for Windows OS
(Install the Esprit driver for use on Windows OS computers. Download from: http://www.adl-av.com/products/usbdac/esprit/ )

Q2.System error occurs when switching between settings on the Esprit

A2. Switching between settings during playback
(There is a small possibility of an OS system error when switching between settings on the Esprit during playback. Avoid switching during playback.)

Q3.There is no sound

A3-1. The sound has been muted
(Open the volume control tab on the computer and unselect mute.)
A3-2. Volume output setting is too low
(Open the volume control tab on the computer and set the volume to maximum.)
A3-3. Another device is set as the default playback device
(Open the Sound and Audio Device properties tab and select USB Audio Device Esprit USB DAC as default playback device.)
A3-4. There is a problem with the external amp or speakers
    (Check the connection between external components and the Esprit LINE OUT RCA jacks.)
A3-5. Headphones are plugged into the 6.3mm phone jack on the front panel of the Esprit
(When headphones are plugged in , there will be no signal output form the Line Out jacks.)

Q4. No sound from computer internal speakers

A4.USB device is set as the default for playback
  (When the Esprit is selected as default audio device for playback, there will be no sound from the computer speakers which is perfectly normal.)

Q5. No sound through headphones

A5-1. The volume is set too low on the Esprit
(Adjust the volume on the front of the Esprit to the appropriate level)
 (When adjusting volume level for headphones the Line Out RCA jack’s volume level is also adjusted)
A5-2. The Esprit power is not switched on
(Push the power button on the Esprit front panel. It will show as blue when switched on)
A5-3. The Esprit Input selection knob is not at the correct setting
(Adjust the Input selection knob on the front panel to the correct input setting: Line 1, Line 2, USB, Coaxial or Optical)

Q6. Uneven sound balance during playback

A6-1. Balance is not set at neutral
(Open the volume control tab on the computer and set the balance to neutral – centered.)
A6-2. There is a balance problem with the external amp or speakers
 (Check the balance settings on external components.)

Q7. No sound from CD’s in the CD-ROM drive

A7. CD-ROM drive does not have digital output
(If the system does not stream digital output from the CD-ROM drive、then there will not be sound output via USB. CD-ROM drives and CD transports must be connected to the LINE IN RCA jacks for listening with headphones)

Q8. No sound via LINE IN RCA jacks

A8-1. Check that the connections are correct
(Check the connection between external components and the Line Inputs 1 & 2 or digital inputs Optical In, Coaxial In, USB In. If there are no problems with the external components, then check the cable connection.)
A8-2. There is no sound output from external components
(Check if there is sound output from external components.)
A8-3. The volume control on the front panel is set to minimum
(Adjust the volume control by turning to the right.)
A8-4. The Esprit power is not switched on
(Push the power button on the Esprit front panel. It will show as blue when switched on)
A8-5. The Esprit Input selection knob is not at the correct setting
(Adjust the Input selection knob on the front panel to the correct input setting: Line 1, Line 2, USB, Coaxial or Optical)

Q9. Not able to record

A9-1. Another device is set as the default recording device
(Open the Sound and Audio Device properties tab and select USB Audio Device Esprit USB DAC as the default recording device.)
A9-2. Check that connections are correct
(Check the connection between external components and the Esprit input jacks. If there is no problem with the external components, then check the cable connections.)
A9-3. Check if recording software (not supplied with Esprit) recognizes the Espit as the default recording device

Q10. Sound cuts out

A10-1. During playback or recording the computer’s CPU overloads
(Especially during recording make sure all other computer applications are closed.)
A10-2. During playback or recording another USB device is connected to the computer
(The sound will cut out during playback or recording if another USB device is connected to the computer.)
A10-3. CPU is unable to process data fast enough
(If the CPU does not meet the required specifications the expected results may not occur. If the CPU meets the requirements, but the sound cuts out, close all other applications or adjust settings in the recording software)

Q11. Noise and interference

A11-1.  Check the computer’s AC adaptor
(There is the possibility that the adaptor is not providing stable quality power: Noise at 60Hz or 120Hz or both)
A11-2. Connections are not correct
(Check all terminals for correct connection)

Q12: Can the ADL Esprit be used directly with active speakers via the speaker’s RCA inputs?

A12: Yes, Please note that when pairing the Esprit with actives speakers, before playback the Esprit volume should be set at its maximum and the speaker volume at its minimum. Volume would then be adjusted at the speakers.

Q13: Can the ADL Esprit be used as a preamplifier

A13: The Esprit has been designed to work both as a standalone preamp and with an external preamplifier

Q14. Can the ADL Esprit be used with 64bit operating systems?

A14: Yes

Q15. Is a driver required for the ADL Esprit?

A15: The ADL Esprit requires a driver for Windows OS only (not necessary for MAC OS). Please download from the Esprit product page at the following link: http://www.adl-av.com/products/usbdac/esprit/.

Q16. Is the ADL Esprit supplied with Software for recording?

A16: the ADL Esprit does not come with recording software. There a numerous free and pay recording software packages available for download. Recording software will be required for recording to hard drive via the Esprit.
An example of Free-to-download recording software: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Q17: Is the ADL Esprit compatible with WASAPI?

A17: WASAPI is an OS application and may not be compatible with some playback software. Foorbar2000 software is known to be compatible with WASAPI.

Q18: Is it possible to connect linear PCM recorders directly to the ADL Esprit via USB for playback?

A18: The esprit USB DAC is compatible with computer based sound data only. Please upload PCM recorded data to your computer and then playback via the Esprit.

Q19: Does the ADL Esprit’s front panel volume control adjust volume for the headphone output only or does it also adjust volume output for the rear panel Line Out jacks?

A19: The volume control adjust volume output for both Headphone and Line Out jacks, so the ADL Esprit can be used as a preamplifier

Q20: Is it possible to record 24bit/192kHz digital signal via USB with the ADL Esprit?

A20: The Esprit’s maximum bit rate and sampling frequency is 24bit/96kHz via USB.For the playback of 24bit/192kHz digital signal the Esprit’s S/PDIF inputs (Coaxial & Optical Inputs) may be used. When playing back 24bit/192kHz digital signal via the Esprit’s S/PDIF inputs, it is necessary to select the correct sampling rate, 96kHz or 192kHz (Switch on the rear panel). The Esprit must be switched on and off before a new selection is made between 96kHz or 192kHz.

Q21: Is it possible to playback AC3 or DTS digital signals via the Esprit’s S/PDIF inputs (Coaxial & Optical Inputs)?

A21: It is not possible to playback multichannel sound format signals (AC3, DTS, etc.) via the Esprit’s S/PDIF inputs. Only playback of linear PCM 2ch digital signal is possible.
However it is possible to playback USB source AC3 and DTS digital signal via the Esprit’s Optical Output.

Q22: Is it necessary to uninstall drivers of other DACs that were installed before installation of the Esprit’s driver?

A22: It is not necessary to uninstall other drivers as product identification codes differ. However if another device uses the same chip as the Esprit there is the possibility of both devices being recognized.
Should either of the following occur, please install the Esprit driver before connecting the Esprit:

  • When connecting the Esprit to your computer before installation of the Esprit’s driver a message appears asking you to “Install esprit driver”.
  • When disconnecting the Esprit from the computer (driver not yet installed), previously used DACs are no longer recognized by your computer when connected.
Q23: How do you open the compressed .rar file which contains the Esprit driver?

A23: You will need to use an archiving software utility that can unpack .rar files. WinRAR is one such archive software.

Q24: When the Esprit is connected to a preamp is it possible to adjust the headphone output volume at the external preamp.?

A24: No, the headphone output volume can only be adjusted with the Esprit’s volume control.

Q25: Is it possible to listen via external speakers (line out) while headphones are plugged into the Esprit’s headphone jack?

A25: No, there is no signal output from the line out jacks while headphones are plugged into the Esprit headphone jack.

Q26: When both optical and line cables are connected to their respective outputs, how should signal output be changed?

A26: It is not necessary to change signal output at the Esprit. Signal input should be changed or selected at externally connected components.