Korg DS-DAC-100 1-Bit USB DSD DAC
The DS-DAC-100 1-Bit USB DSD DAC from Korg is a digital to analog converter system composed of a hardware-based native DSD DAC and a software interface for converting your files to DSD format. It supports native DSD playback of both 2.8224 and 5.6448MHz DSD files, and offers a variety of output options, including stereo XLR and RCA speaker outs in addition to a front-panel 1/4" headphone out.
The downloadable AudioGate 3 software converts your MP3 files, WAV files, and CDs to DSD format, allowing them to be played back in higher-resolution via the DS-DAC-100 DAC itself. Because the DSD conversion takes place within your computer, the DS-DAC-100 receives DSD files via its USB connection for conversion to analog.
AudioGate 3 and DS-DAC-100
Connect the DS-DAC-100 to your computer via USB cable, and you have a DSD audio playback system. The system consists of AudioGate 3 software that plays back audio material from your computer together with the DS-DAC-100 which converts the data from AudioGate 3 into an analog signal for playback through your headphones. When it comes to playback of computer audio, the software and hardware are equally important; if either is lacking, you can't expect optimal audio quality
Real Time DSD Conversion
Audio files such as MP3s and WAVs from your computer (even a CD!) can be converted to 5.6448 MHz/DSD data in real time and played back by the dedicated AudioGate 3 software. Since conversion to DSD data can be impractical for stand-alone hardware due to the enormous amount of processing power that is required, the power of your computer is used to perform this task, extracting the maximum information from the musical source before sending it to the DAC. The DS-DAC-100 takes the audio optimally designed for DSD, then converts the data to an analog signal for audio playback
DSD Native Playback of 2.8224MHz and 5.6448MHz DSD Files
The unit supports playback not only of 2.8224MHz DSD data but also the still higher-resolution of 5.6448MHz
The data is conveyed via "asynchronous transmission," which does not synchronize with the USB clock of the computer, thus allowing high-quality playback with minimal jitter. The power supply section is driven from USB bus power, thus avoiding any noise component that might enter via the power cable. The DA converter uses the CS4398 made by Cirrus Logic. It provides performance equivalent to that of the MR-1000
Dedicated Windows and Mac Drivers for AudioGate 3 and DS-DAC-100
The data on the computer must be conveyed to the DS-DAC-100 unit with as little loss as possible. Korg has developed native drivers to implement native playback of DSD data, where the data is conveyed via the USB cable while still in DSD format and then DA-converted within the converter unit itself. To ensure trouble-free compatibility between the playback software and the DAC, Korg has created drivers for both Windows and Mac.