Modena

Digital-to-Analog Converter

Imagine owning a high-end digital-to-analog converter (DAC) whose excellent sound is not identifiable as originating from the use of either vacuum tubes or transistors.  Imagine, too, that the DAC uses both vacuum tubes and transistors in the analog output stage to achieve that goal of excellent sound reproduction.  These circuit elements are further used together in a way that minimizes audible distortion, called the differential amplifier.  You might think about it a bit more, though, and rightly conclude, hey, there are other DACs out there that use tubes and transistors.  But wait.  Imagine further that there are no coupling capacitors used, rather, the interface between the digital stage, the analog output stage, and the output jacks are either accomplished without any coupling elements or, if coupling elements are necessary, audio transformers are used.  And these transformers are not just the sort of transformers that your father might have used building a DynaKit, they are Lundahl transformers that use high tech metal alloys to provide the very highest level of musical fidelity.  Now you have the complete picture!  This DAC is the Sonus Veritas Modena.

Sonus Veritas has designed a versatile DAC that uses an unconventional approach to support the goal of extracting the maximum pleasure from your music sources.  We focused our efforts on developing a DAC with the following goals in mind:

  • Very quiet circuitry to ensure that electronic noise is never an issue that detracts from low level musical detail resolution
  • Low output impedance to both unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR) outputs to enable a high quality interface with all preamplifiers
  • Stabilized vacuum tube operating conditions so that no adjustments are ever necessary to get the best performance throughout the life of the DAC, even in the face of periodic tube changes
  • Exceptional interface flexibility with provision for a variety of standard and optional digital inputs as well as standard balanced and unbalanced outputs

After experimenting with a number of approaches, we chose a pair of stereo Burr-Brown PCM1794 current output DACs configured as two dual differential mono DACs implemented with jitter reducing asynchronous sample rate conversion and coupled these digital circuit components to a single stage differential transformer-coupled topology that satisfies the goals above and provides a music reproduction experience that has to be heard to be believed.

Features

Digital Inputs

  • Standard:  Two Coaxial S/PDIF (RCA), one Optical (TOSLINK) and one USB
  • Optional:  I2S and AES/EBU (XLR)
  • Innovative TubeLife Monitor that indicates when tubes should be replaced
  • Remote Control for power, mute, polarity inversion, and panel lights.  Remote Control for volume if Volume Control option is selected

Analog Outputs

  • Two stereo pair unbalanced (RCA) and two stereo pair balanced (XLR)
Output Level
2VRMS @ 0dB digital full scale
Output Impedance
400 ohms
Frequency Response
-0.5dB at 20Hz and 20KHz
Tube Complement
4 x 6N30P (6H30pi)
Weight
40 lbs (18.1 kg)
Shipping Weight
44 lbs (20 kg)
Dimensions
18” W x 5” H x 15” D (46 W x 13 H x 38 D cm)

 Please contact us directly for Warranty details.

Contact us for current options available on the Modena.