WAVERSA SYSTEMS CUSTOM DIGITAL PROCESSING
With a digital section designed by Dr. C. Shin, Founder, Lead-Engineer and CEO of WAVERSA SYSTEMS INCORPORATED and an expert in high-resolution digital and digital-to-analog design for both military and commercial applications, the Waversa DAC3 is unique in the marketplace. Except for the DAC chip it employs, the ES9018K2M SABRE 32 Reference DAC (“Sabre DAC”), all of the DAC3 components are designed in-house. In addition, the USB interface and modular inputs are specifically customized for use in the DAC3, and custom-built, high-end up-samplers are utilized for user-selectable DSD conversion and PCM up-sampling. Waversa Systems’ approach to signal processing is completely unique to the high-end audio industry.
The first two graphs below are taken from a high-resolution capable DAC, with the first graph demonstrating a low bit depth, low sample rate source. The second graph demonstrates the same high-resolution DAC processing a higher quality signal with both a higher bit depth and sample rate. When a quality dac is fed a quality signal, the waveform reproduction creates a more true to source signal reproduction.
Waversa Audio Processor takes a completely unique approach to signal processing by comparing the signal simultaneously from multiple points in virtual space and time and superimposes this information creating a more precise signal reproduction, instead of artificially filling in information and unintentionally creating high-frequency noise that often is perceived as “cold digital sound.”
The DAC3 offers the listener the flexibility to select listening directly to:
⦁ the source drive’s audio signal at its native sampling rate, or down-sampled if that signal is above the limits of the DAC3 digital inputs, 192 KHz (so long as the source is S/PDIF compliant – see “Operation”);
⦁ a PCM signal from the source drive converted to DSD 256 in “real-time”; or
⦁ a PCM signal up-sampled from the source native rate by a custom up-sampling chip within the Waversa DAC3.
The ES9018K2M SABRE 32 Reference DAC is a high-performance 32-bit, 2-channel audio D/A converter with sampling to 32/384 kHz, DSD 128 and a 1.5 MHz up-sampler using a field-programmable gate array (“FPGA”) USB interface. In the DAC3, however, the Sabre DAC chip is used for digital to analog conversion only; all audio signal processing is performed by a Waversa Systems custom-designed processing chipset.
Unlike a typical high-end DAC, the Waversa DAC3 uses its own in house proprietary chipset that synchronizes with the neighboring internal processors, thereby greatly reducing jitter. These Waversa Audio Processors (or WAP) consist of two parallel clocks (44.1 kHz / 48 kHz) that create mathematically accurate sampling at higher frequencies up to 352 kHz / 384 kHz.
The DAC3 converts PCM to DSD in real-time when CONV (“Conversion”) is selected. When conversion to DSD is selected, all PCM input samples are converted to 256 DSD via a proprietary, custom-built internal 5.6 MHz up-sampler and FPGA DSD converter.
The DAC3 up-samples PCM when UPSAMPLE is selected on the DAC3 chassis face or via the remote control. When up-sampling is selected, all PCM input samples are up-sampled using a custom-built audio signal processing chip to 1.5 MHz. The SABRE chip then down-samples the music to the sampling rate selected by user before D/A conversion. If 1.5 MHz standard was adopted, then the SABRE chip would D/A convert from 1.5 MHz.
The USB interface is implemented through network player hardware by Waversa Systems and is UAC2 standard compliant. This provides an extremely clean digital audio signal through complete galvanic isolation, which strips the digital signal of any PC noise commonly created by a server’s internal power supply. Firmware updates and music data are also communicated through the single provided USB input. This is accomplished by a special interface, again unique to Waversa Systems. Data under-run or over-run, therefore distortion, can occur when a source’s word clock and a DAC’s internal word clock are not absolutely synchronized. When an external clock is used using an optional module, potential errors caused by data under-run or over-run inside a DAC can be eliminated. Both source and DAC3 would be synced to this external word clock.
INTRODUCING THE WAVERSA DAC3
Key Features of the DAC3:
The Waversa DAC3 has many special features. Waversa Systems’ digital features include:
⦁ Dual mono ES9018K2M SABRE 32 Reference Audio DAC chipset for D/A conversion
⦁ Dual Waversa Audio Processor (WAP) Chipset
⦁ 44.1, 48kHz implemented as a complete system Unified Clock System composed of independently-specific MEMS Master Clock
⦁ Real-time PCM to DSD 256 conversion using a custom-built 5.6 MHz up-sampler and FPGA DSD converter
⦁ DSD to PCM Upsampling (world's first)
⦁ PCM Enhancement: Bypass, 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x
⦁ Custom built, FPGA based, 1.5 MHz up-sampling then conversion to 384 KHz for D/A processing.
⦁ All digital inputs and a customized S/PDIF receiver accommodating rates up to 192 KHz (so long as the source is S/PDIF compliant – see “Operation”)
⦁ A UAC2 standard-compliant custom audio interface design, with Cypress FX2/FPGA USB input handling:
⦁ DSD 64, DSD 128, DSD 256
⦁ PCM 44.1 KHz, 48 KHz, 88.2 KHz, 96 KHz, 176.4 KHz, 192 KHz, 352.8 and 384 KHz.
⦁ Operations via Linux OS with UAC2 and MAC OSX 10.6, with the Thesycon driver incorporated for use in Windows OS environments
⦁ Optional in and out reference word clock connectors for use with an external clock
⦁ Complimentary Full Balanced Analogue Circuit
⦁ Discrete / Transformer output mode can be selected
⦁ Output Voltage Control: 100%, 75%, 50% to adjust output gain and refine sound depending on the individual system.
⦁ Select equipped with digital inputs and outputs, modular (up to 4)
- Ethernet Network Player, Coaxial, AES / EBU, Optical, Word Clock Input, Accessory Clock Module options, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, headphone amplifier, analog input
⦁ Cutting duralumin chassis, and internal block reducing vibration and improving RF and galvanic isolation.
⦁ The digital portion and analog portion are independently powered using dual toroidal transformers, each with duralumin isolation and independent linear circuitry.
⦁ Front LED display (1,800 LED): source, the input sampling rate, menus, artist, song, etc.
WDAC3 which retails at $9800 can be optioned with a tube output stage for $3000 upcharge.
New units sold will be fitted with a SwissBIt single layer capacity microSD card to run the firmware and Audio Magic Beeswax Ultimate fuse - for sonic optimization.
Waversa Systems DAC3 - current production version
WAP / X (Waversa Audio Processor Extension)that reproduces the sound of vacuum tubes
The characteristics of a vacuum tube amplifier that has been deeply loved for its warm tone are reproduced using digital technology. These overtone characteristics of WAP / X were developed focusing on the 1940's WE300B.
The technology adds a sense of overtones in WAP / X and WAP, realizing the sound of a transparent and warm vacuum tube, digitally reproduced technology designed to be upgradeable in future firmware updates.