I bet you saw that coming from 3506.39 miles away.
My enthusiasm for the digital to analog converters from France’s totaldac stretches all the way back to 2013 when I reviewed the company’s d1-dual DAC for AudioStream. I have since reviewed the d1-streamer, d1-tube-mk2 DAC, d1-six DAC, d1-seven DAC, and the d1-direct DAC (I owned, lived with, and loved the last three). You could say I have a lot of experience with DACs from totaldac and you’d be right.
The new totaldac d1-tube DAC/Streamer (7320euro or roughly US$8600) in-Barn for review is a throw-back of sorts in that it employs a single R2R ladder per channel like the company’s earliest DAC offerings. Each R2R ladder in a totaldac contains 100 Vishay Precision Group 0.01% VAR Bulk Metal Foil resistors which also represents a fair chunk of change in material cost. If we move up the totaldac line, we find more R2R ladders culminating in the d1-twelve-mk2 DAC where you’ll find about 600 Metal Foil resistors doing the digital to analog conversion. It’s worth noting that every totaldac can be upgraded to higher-model status which will add, among other things, more R2R ladders.
As its name suggests, the d1-tube DAC/Streamer (6400euros excl VAT without the streaming option) also contains totaldac’s optional Roon-Ready Streamer Board (920euros excl VAT out of Europe) making it a one-box streaming DAC solution with a tube output stage using one ECC82/12AU7 double triode per channel. Also included in the totaldac care package was the upgraded live-power small size power supply (620euros excl VAT), totaldac USB filter/cable (330euros excl VAT/.025M) for making the rear-mounted USB-USB connection to employ the streamer board, and the totaldac Ethernet filter/cable (360euros excl VAT/2M).
In addition to its Ethernet input, the d1-tube DAC/Streamer also offers four additional digital inputs (Coax, Toslink, USB, and AES/EBU) which bypass the internal streamer board. Also around back reside balanced and single-ended outputs and the screw-down power inlet for the external power supply.
What I can say at this point with complete confidence is the d1-tube DAC/Streamer sounds like a totaldac.
More information: totaldac