Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Resonessence Labs Invicta

Canadian Resonessence Labs's Mark Mallinson was former Operations Director for chip maker ESS Technology. Their design engineers and owners are DAC experts and were key in the design of the ESS Audio DAC, including the 9018 SABRE that is used in some of the world best (including our reference, the Weiss DAC202).

Their first product, Invicta, a stereo DAC, combination of careful audio, electrical and mechanical engineering. The Invicta supports many major audio inputs and outputs. Two headphone outputs along with an SD card reader. The back panel reveals a high speed asynchronous USB audio, Toslink, BNC and AES/EBU input. All common sample rates are supported, and are displayed on the front panel. The analog outputs boasting both RCA and XLR.  The Invicta uses a large OLED screen where audio source, volume, song selection, are displayed (for SD Card playback). 130dB signal to noise ratio (typical) and 0.0002% total harmonic distortion (typical) specs are up there with the best.  Solid engineering couples with deep digital know-how and good ergonomics should ensure that this will be a great unit.

  • ESS SABRE32 24/192kHz DAC chip
  • Digital filtering DSP and controls via Xilinx MicroBlaze soft processor cores
  • Ultra-low phase noise oscillator
  • 1 x Toslink input and 1 x Toslink output
  • 2 x BNC digital input, can also be set to use as part of I2S
  • I2S over 3 x BNC connectors (word clock, Sdata, Sclk)
  • 1 x AES/EBU input
  • USB 2.0 (asynchronous mode, ofcourse)
  • HDMI DVI audio input
  • 2 x headphone outputs on front panel
  • SD card input on front panel (WAV format only, up to 24/192)
  • OLED screen
  • Firmware upgradable
  • Non-switching linear power supply
  • Output: RCA: 2.4vRMS, XLR: 4.8vRMS
  • US$3,995