The DSX 1000 Reference network music player uses Chord's proprietory DAC technology to get the best sound from digital music files streamed via wired ethernet and has a built-in very high quality analog
volume control for the most direct path to a power amplifier. The DAC can also be accessed via a separate coaxial (BNC) digital input for other digital sources such as a CD transport/player.
Partnered with a SPM 1050 or SPM 1200E MK2 amplifier, the DSX 1000 offers a state of the art two-box digital sound system at an extremely competitive price for this level of quality.
The DAC is an enhanced version of the award-winning QBD76 HDSD ($8000) and the volume control circuit is the same used in the flagship CPA 8000 ($45,000).
Most users will take advantage of Chord's easy to use iPad/smart phone App (a custom version of Songbook) that lets you conveniently select music and operate the analog volume control circuit in the DSX1000 (with absolutely no loss of sound quality) from the comfort of your chair.
The front panel features a 3.4 inch 320x240 pixel color display and compass four-point navigation knob as an alternative method.
A remote control is also provided.
Chord Electronics has a great deal of experience in class leading digital electronics and has perfected the interface of the Streamer to the DAC - the technical measurements are exemplary.
The combination of a superior DAC and interface, analog volume and high quality output circuits, and direct power amp connection, gives the "most impressive" (HiFi News), "outstanding-among the best" (HiFi World) sound that has excited the press.
Chord's proprietory QBD76 DAC technology, developed in collaboration with leading industry expert Robert Watts, is deployed in field programmable gate array configurable chip architecture which gives the flexibility for system on chip (SOC) solutions and the ability to design subsystems (DAC, FIR filter, noise shapping etc) without the constraints of off-the-shelf chip application.
With this freedom, massive parallel and low latency front to back digital to analog conversion is possible.
Technology giants that design and fabricate off-the-shelf DAC chips sell these to many industries across a broad range of application and design requirements and also fabricate and design hundreds of other chips.
Such chips also require additional external companion electronics in specific architectures.
A key component in Chord's complex DAC chips is the phase linear WTA 'FIR' filter.
With most DACs the designer has to trade off transient response (timing) for ripple and pre/post processing artifacts (harmonic fidelity) as most analog or digital filters are not linear phase because they introduce a different amount of delay for different frequencies components of a signal.
A FIR filter is phase linear; it keeps the delay the same for all frequencies, there is no harmonic distortion introduced, and since there is no feedback,
impulse response is excellent (the trailing edge of a step response has hardly any ripple). Hundreds of millions of computations per second are required
to implement this response hence the need for super processor FPGA chips such as the Xilinx Spartan 3 chip.
QBD76 technology also uses unique 8th order noise shapping (highest of any DAC) and 2608 times oversampling for better resolution and a smoother more natural sound.
Jitter is reduced by the newly designed digital phase-lock loop (PPL) with 27 bit accuracy and a RAM buffer.
Data-related jitter is now completely eliminated leaving only random master clock jitter of 3pS.
Analog volume control
Except for vinyl records, music is increasingly commercialized as a digital media and the need for traditional volume control and source selection preamplifier components becomes harder to justify when many of the inputs are not used.
Amplifiers (unless they are fully digital) nonetheless require a line level analog signal input of high quality. As an early component in the system, preamplifiers should however not loose any signal information especially sensitive very low level voltage signals.
Many digital volume controls (software or hardware based) loose information when affecting volume changes - by truncating bits for example - and always downgrade the original source signal.
To avoid this problem the DSX 1000 uses a very high quality analog circuit that can be controlled remotely from an Ipad/Iphone and other UPnP digital devices.
Full signal fidelity is preserved and since even the best preamplifier can not be 100% sonically transparent, removing it from the system gives the signal an even more direct path to the amplifier and saves the cost of a preamplifier.
There is also a headphone socket.
As you would expect from quality electronics, the DSX 1000 presents musical information accurately with neither embelishment nor restraint.
QBD76 technology gives excellent bass definition particularly with plucked double bass where some DACs can sound a bit soft and loose.
Cymbals shimmer with radiance without harshness and the midrange is clean with a transparent directness.
The fine linkage of the streaming section to the DAC has preserved all spatial information and a full width deep layered sound stage is apparent with all the recorded ambiance be it natural or studio engineered.
The Chord Electronics DSX 1000 Reference network music player can be confidently recommended for putting aside any remaining misgivings about making the move towards digital music file playback.
It provides an excellent introduction to Chord Electronics and those looking for a simple fantastic sounding digital replay platform need look no further since the price is exceptionally competitive.
U.S Retail Price: $13,000 including integra legs - call for promotional pricing