Auralic VEGA G2.2 - Streaming DAC
AURALiC has been at the forefront of the audio streaming industry since 2014 with the debut of the world's first streaming bridge, the ARIES. Continuing this legacy, AURALiC is releasing four new products this year: ARIES G2.2, VEGA G2.2, ARIES G3 and VEGA G3. These products represent a generational shift in the technology platform while maintaining the understated elegance and classic design of the G series Unity Chassis II that incorporating a pure copper sub-enclosure and multi-point tuned sprung base assembly.
All the latest products incorporate AURALiC's new Tesla G3 streaming platform, using a 64-bit architecture that enables it to achieve eight times the processing power of the previous version. The memory capacity has also been increased to 4 GB, and Direct Memory Access Technology (DMA) has been integrated into the system. These advancements are engineered in such a way in that all audio-related circuits to connect directly to the system memory, substantially reducing latency and jitter by 90% comparing to its predecessor.
The VEGA G2.2 streaming DAC represents the latest evolution in high-end DAC performance and cutting-edge analog circuit. AURALiC is at the forefront of digital audio technology, continuously pushing the boundaries with innovative new technologies.
- Fusion DAC
When it comes to audio digital-to-analog converters (DACs), there are two primary designs: discrete ladder DAC and Delta-Sigma DAC. The popular discrete ladder DAC design allows designers to use different components for various parts of the circuit, providing greater flexibility in tailoring the sound signature. However, the discrete ladder DACs can suffer from non-linearities caused by precision mismatches in the resistor values. Uneven temperature changes also play a significant role in introducing non-linearity to the system. This can lead to distortion and reduced overall performance.
Delta-Sigma DACs are known for their high accuracy and resolution, which is achieved through precise manufacturing processes. These DACs also offer a high dynamic range and low noise and distortion level, making them well-suited for high quality music playback applications. However, Delta-Sigma DACs are often integrated with complicated digital circuits like Phase Lock Loop (PLL), digital filter, and oversampling circuits, which can make them less customizable for designers. This can limit their suitability for high-end applications where customization and flexibility are important.
AURALiC's Fusion DAC design in the VEGA G2.2 and G3 products is a pioneering technology that combines the best features of discrete ladder and Delta-Sigma DAC designs. This innovative approach uses a high performance, manufacturer DAC chip as a basis for modification. Most of the DAC chips’ functions, such as PLL, digital filter, and oversampling circuits are bypassed, and instead AURALiC's proprietary clock reconstruction, digital filter, and oversampling technologies are deployed. This unique approach ensures that only the precise switching network inside a DAC chip is used for the final digital-to-analog conversion stage, resulting in exceptional sound quality. This Fusion DAC design facilitates a unique level of customization and flexibility, providing users with the ability to fine-tune and optimize the DAC to their individual preferences. Overall, AURALiC’s proprietary implementation of this unique, in-house developed technology represents a significant advancement in DAC design, offering exceptional performance and unparalleled sound quality.
- Direct Data Recording
Both the VEGA G2.2 and VEGA G3 are equipped with AURALiC's proprietary Direct Data Recording (DDR) technology. Unlike traditional DACs that rely on a Phase Lock Loop (PLL) circuit to reconstruct the incoming clock signal, our DDR technology avoids using a PLL circuit as it cannot fully remove the distortion and jitter present in the original clock signal. Instead, we record the audio data directly into the Tesla G3 processing platform's system memory in binary format, bypassing the original clock signal entirely.
Next, a series of advanced digital filters and oversampling algorithms process the audio data, optimizing it for the best possible performance. To power the DAC operation and time the Tesla G3's data output to the DAC chip, a dual 60fs Femto Clocks - one for 44.1x and another for 48x sampling frequencies - acts as a master clock, independent of the input audio signal.
As a result of these cutting-edge technologies, the VEGA G2.2 and G3 are immune to the input signal's distortion and jitter, delivering the highest level of sound quality possible. The result is an unparalleled listening experience, with stunning detail, clarity, and precision that is free from any distortion or jitter.
• Passive Analog Volume Control Analog volume control is widely regarded as the superior approach for achieving high-performance audio playback. Whilst digital volume control can accurately reduce the signal level, it cannot reduce the noise floor level of the output signal. As a result, when using digital volume control to attenuate the signal by a large amount, the system's dynamic range is inevitably heavily compromised. Analog volume control, however, can reduce both the signal level and noise floor, whilst retaining the system's dynamic range.
- Passive Analog Volume Control
Analog volume control is widely regarded as the superior approach for achieving high-performance audio playback. Whilst digital volume control can accurately reduce the signal level, it cannot reduce the noise floor level of the output signal. As a result, when using digital volume control to attenuate the signal by a large amount, the system's dynamic range is inevitably heavily compromised. Analog volume control, however, can reduce both the signal level and noise floor, whilst retaining the system's dynamic range.
The VEGA G2.2 and G3 feature a true analog ladder resistor volume control that delivers exceptional and noise-free control without introducing any distortion. This volume control system includes eight coil-latch relays that remain inactive when not in operation, consuming no power and emitting no EMI noise. Once the system is adjusted, it remains electronically invisible, thereby further enhancing the already outstanding audio performance of the VEGA G2.2 and G3.
- Analog Preamplifier
The VEGA G2.2 and G3 maintain the successful analog preamplifier function from the original VEGA G2.1. This feature has been enhanced in the new design, with the output level increased from 4.4Vrms to 6Vrms to meet the demands of even the most power-hungry amplifiers. Additionally, the ORFEO Class-A output modules ensure that the balanced output can drive loads well below 600ohm with minimal degradation in performance.
If desired, users can disable the preamplifier function through software, with the option to reduce the output level to 2Vrms, allowing for the use of external preamplifiers. In addition, a convenient home theater bypass mode is available for analog input channels.
- Galvanic Isolation
Modern high-end DACs are capable of providing exceptional dynamic range that can reveal minute details in the original recording. However, achieving such a dynamic range requires extremely clean clocks, power supplies, and signal feeding into the DAC. To ensure that no noise can be coupled into the DAC circuit, the VEGA G2.2 and G3 are equipped with high-speed galvanic isolators that are strategically positioned between the Tesla G3 processing platform and the ultra-sensitive audio circuit. These isolators provide physical separation and protection against interference for the DAC whilst enabling data