- Written by Michael Jude Galvin
- Published on 20 May 2013
Introduction to the Audiolab M-DAC Digital-to-Analog Converter
As the compact disc continues its rapid spin into obsolescence, the digital to analogue converter (DAC) has stepped up to become an pretty much indispensible part of any serious home audio system. And these days, there is no shortage of quality DACs in almost every price range. At around $1000, the market is particularly crowded, featuring highly-regarded models from Rega, Wyred 4 Sound, Benchmark, and Peachtree. DACs can offer serious value for money because unlike a CD player, they hold the possibility of improving the sound of all digital sources, including CD, DVD, MP3 and other digital audio files, Apple TV, and even video games, all with a single component and some digital cables. This is, of course, a double-edged sword—because a DAC's footprint in a system can be so large, any flaws become a sonic signature of the system.
On its website, respected British manufacturer Audiolab proclaims the M-DAC is the follow-up to the 8000 DAC, introduced all the way back in 1992. I have gathered that DACs were quite popular in that era because CD players had not become all that good yet. With the market now awash in quality DACs, I guess it is safe to say we are in a DAC renaissance.
AUDIOLAB M-DAC DIGITAL-TO-ANALOG CONVERTER SPECIFICATIONS