In Barn for Review: Sonnet Morpheus DAC & Sonnet Hermes Digital Bridge

Netherlands-based Sonnet Digital Audio is a relatively new company, but one with a long history in digital audio design.

The man behind Sonnet Audio is none other than Cees Ruijtenberg of Metrum Acoustics fame. Sonnet has three products at present, two of which are in Barn for review —the Morpheus DAC and Hermes Digital Bridge. The Kratos mono power amplifiers complete the lineup.

photo credit: Sonnet

The Sonnet Morpheus is a R2R ladder DAC design, employing two of the company’s custom developed SDA-2 D/A modules per channel. Each module houses four R2R ladder networks in balanced mode for a total of sixteen R2R ladders, operating with a variable reference voltage so Morpheus can also offer user-defeatable variable volume out.

Inputs include S/PDIF (Toslink, Coax), AES, and USB that can be replaced with I2S over Ethernet, which is how the review sample arrived. Morpheus offers both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR output. Due to its modular design, buyers can opt to add MQA capability (+$200) and those DAC modules can be swapped down the road if newer, improved versions become available.

As you can see, Morpheus’ front panel is all business with a Volume/Mute knob, a display, and two buttons for source selection and power. The included remote offers these same functions. That aluminum faceplate comes in silver or black.

The Roon Ready Sonnet Hermes Digital Bridge is your gateway to served and streamed music.

The Hermes offers an I2S over Ethernet output in addition to AES and S/PDIF (Toslink, Coax).


Sonnet Morpheus DAC
Price: $3,399.00

Specifications

Balanced Non oversampling DAC
Two SDA-2 dac modules per channel in differential mode
Power supply 15VA 110/115V AC 220/230V AC 60/50Hz. Power required max 8 Watts
Input 1x optical, 1x coaxial and 1x AES/EBU and USB
Output 1x stereo pair single ended 2 Volts RMS
Output 1x stereo pair XLR balanced 4 Volts RMS
Recommended gain of used power amp in variable gain mode 22 – 26dB!
Frequency Response 44.1 kHz sampling 1Hz – 20 khz -2.5 dB
Frequency Response 192 kHz sampling 1Hz – 65 kHz – 3dB and 384kHz (USB)
Distortion 0.004% THD
Channel separation 120dB
Noise Floor -155 dB related to 2 Volt RMS
Output impedance RCA 100 Ohm, XLR 100 Ohm
Sampling rate Optical 44.1 – 96 kHz
Sampling rate Coax and AES/EBU: 44.1 -192 kHz
Sampling rate USB: 44.1 – 384kHz

Sonnet Hermes Digital Bridge
Price
: $1,199.00

Specifications

Working principle: Linux based ROON end point using precision clocks
Power supply: 10 VA. Power consumption: Standby < 1 Watt. Full operation max 6 Watts
Power requirement: 110-230 V AC 60/50Hz
Inputs: Lan (local area network) max. 100 Mbps
Outputs: 1x optical Toslink, 1x RCA coax, 1x AES/EBU and I2S.
Sampling frequency:

Optical : 44.1 – 96 kHz sampling
Coaxial: 44.1 – 192 kHz sampling
I2S: 44.1- 192 kHz sampling. Max cable length in case of UTP CAT5e 20 meters

Dimensions (H x W x D): 19 x 6 x 25 cm.
Weight: 2500 gram

Company Website: Sonnet Digital Audio
US Distributor’s Website: Audio Art Cable