The New NM24 Tube DAC and Line Amp
New DAC at Yesterday's Price
* New model with Headphone Amp built in!
A few words on the New Model 24
It's four units in one package: a tube DAC, a solid state DAC, a tube line amp, and a tube headphone amp)
You may evaluate the sound of the SS DAC by feeding its output(the Upper Analog out terminals on the rear panel, see picture) back into M24's Line In, either directly with a good (short)RCA interconnect, or better still, through a coupling transformer (more on this later)
Then you can instantly compare the difference of the SS DAC and the Tube DAC by
pushing the button next to the volume control.
We have provided the additional SS DAC for these reasons:
In the older NM24, the Line Output can drive any dynamic headphones direct, through a simple RCA-to-Phone Jack adaptor. Preferred headphones are Sennheiser HD650(300 Ohms impedance) but lower impedance headphones(Grado, etc) can also be used. We do recommend using a 300Ohm-to-30Ohm step down transformer for Grado RS-1's. With the new NM24 there is a dedicated headphone jack.
Why only 24/96? We are often asked why we do not upsample to 192KHz or even 384 KHz? To put it simply there is nothing to be gained by increasing the sample rate, and doing such is nothing more than a marketing ploy that instills that the "bigger the better." Monarchy is not into the numbers race. More importantly, we believe any advantage from higher sampling rates is probably offset by the strain it puts on the system: the transmitting and receiving interfaces, the interconnects, the chips that need to handle the higher frequencies without inducing jitter, etc. In fact, many outboard DAC's cannot even receive higher rates than 96K, although they claim 192K or even 384K sampling rates, which actually only occur in the filtering process.
To support our contention one must realize that CD's are produced at the Redbook specs of 16-bits and 44.1 KHz, and only rarely can 24-bit 96 KHz audio be downloaded. The NM24 can handle both. If using a computer for your audio playback, then you will be limited by the constraints of the software. In most cases only the native (for CD's this is 16/44.1) sample rate will be used for playback by most audiophile quality applications (Amarra, Audirvana, PureMusic, etc.)
16 or 24 Bit? All commercial CD's are coded with 16 bits only(unless otherwise specified). So even if the system performs 24 bit decoding, it is decoding (24-16=) 8 bits of blank data for nothing. The 1's and 0's are processed within the word clock. The best way to upsample your CD's from 44.1 KHz to 96 KHz is to do it via an external device such as the DIP Combo, which not only works as an upsalmpler but a wordclock. The DIP Combo actually dumps the incoming clock (from the CD/DVD transport or any digital signal source such as a PC or Mac), and carries the audio data on a new precision clock at either 44.1K (Classic) or 96K (Upsampled) sampling rates, by a simple front panel switch. The wordclock is one of the more important components in the computer audio system especially when using TOSLINK.
Building an Audio Server We will walk you through the steps necessary to building a quality audio server using an Apple Mac mini, with the DIP Combo and NM24 at the center of it. We will teach you: How to optimizie your Mac mini for audio, and build an audio/music server with Monarchy Audio
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