Thursday, March 31, 2011

Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB


The Alpha USB is an asynchronous High Speed USB to digital audio interface that provides the highest possible audio quality from computer audio sources.

The Alpha USB features a High Speed USB 2.0 input data connection and selectable audio output signal type – either coaxial SPDIF using a BNC connector or balanced AES using an XLR connector. Sampling rates up to 192 kHz and word lengths up to 24 bit are supported.

Great care has been taken in the design of the Alpha USB to isolate the noisy computer/USB environment from the digital audio output. The USB receiver and processing are powered by the computer, while the output master clocks and line drivers are powered by a separate linear power supply.
Two key factors account for the amazing audio performance of the Alpha USB: the unprecedented electrical isolation between USB input and audio output and the ultra low noise/low jitter performance of the custom audio output master clocks.
The Alpha USB is designed to work with both Apple Macintosh and Windows PC computers and also works with some versions of Linux.
Apple Macintosh computers using Snow Leopard or later operating systems have a High Speed USB Audio Driver that interfaces directly with the Alpha USB.
It is not necessary to install a special driver. For optimum audio quality, use of high resolution music server software such as Pure Music® is highly recommended.
Microsoft Windows PC’s require the included Alpha USB Windows driver which works with Windows XP, Vista and 7.
A User Guide, Windows driver CD and 6’ power cord are included with the Alpha USB. A USB cable is not included.
  • Output Select: switch selects SPDIF or AES type output
  • Status LED: Green indicates USB Lock, Amber indicates Standby
  • Input: High Speed USB 2.0 connection - type B receptacle
  • Output: switch selectable, coaxial SPDIF - BNC, 75Ω or balanced AES type - XLR, 110Ω
  • Supported sampling rates: 44.1kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192kHz
  • Supported word lengths: up to 24 bit
  • Supported operating systems: Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows
  • Enclosure dimensions: 2.3”H X 10.5”W x 5”D, 2.55”H including feet
  • Mains power: 100 or 120 or 240VAC, 50/60Hz, IEC power input connector
  • Power consumption: 3 Watts line, 1.5 Watts USB, designed for continuous operation