C1 Digital to Analog Controller
Of course, it is digital conversion that lies at the heart of the C1.2. The perfect preservation of time and amplitude information is critical to reproducing musical signals stored in digital formats and we believe that the advances incorporated in the C1.2 build significantly on the solutions adopted in the C1, taking digital performance(s) to a whole new level.
Both noise and jitter are central to the design of any high-performance DAC. We have developed an entirely new MEMS-based, shunt regulated and thermally compensated clock for the C1.2, improving clock accuracy significantly (as well as providing highly developed clock-sync and external reference clock options). A four-fold increase in processing power has allowed us to further refine the proprietary CH-PEtER algorithms, introduce 32-bit fixed point processing and increase input compatibility to include all high-resolution digital formats, whether from optical or file replay sources. Our proprietary CH-Link HD interconnection allows the transfer of native DSD and MQA data in the digital domain, from the D1.5 transport to the C1.2. The AES/EBU and S/PDIF inputs accept PCM at up to 192kHz/24bit resolution, while the HD streaming input will accept PCM data at up to 768kHz/32 bit resolution and DSD512(8x). Local regulation of the DSP and FGPA further reduce the system noise floor. The DAC itself employs no fewer than four converter chips per channel, in a fully differential, dual-mono topology. The vital analog output stage is discrete, fully differential, Class-A and DC coupled. The modular input architecture ensures that the C1.2 remains future proof, able to adapt to changing digital standards or system demands.
Having created the C1.2’s digital decoding core, the next step was to construct the system architecture around it. As well as the established digital input standards (AES/EBU, S/PDIF and TosLink) the provision of separate Ethernet streaming and USB input cards allows users to configure the C1.2 specifically to their system and replay requirements. Alongside the multiple digital input and clock-sync options, there is also a by-passable hybrid volume control, operating across both the analog and digital domains and an A-to-D facility, allowing the C1.2 to accept balanced or single-ended analog inputs, creating a genuine analog/digital domain control option, allowing the C1.2 to stand at the center of any system, irrespective of the source components in use.
With the vast array of user definable parameters on offer, from input offsets for both analog and digital connections, to balance, output level and absolute phase, a comprehensive, non-intrusive display is essential. This requirement led directly to the creation of our latest 800 x 480 pixel AMOLED screen, with its user-configurable content, brightness and power-down options. Users can even select a specific RGB color for the content! Although each and every setting in the C1.2 can be accessed and adjusted from the dual-concentric control on the front-panel, the CH App allows direct, remote access to every parameter from an Android tablet or smartphone, making this not only one of the most adjustable, configurable and adaptable DAC Controllers on the market – but also one of the easiest to use.