Upgrading a successful product – especially one that has been named as one of our Products of the Year – could seem like a daunting prospect, but that hasn't stopped Furutech's Alpha Design Labs (ADL)...

The Tokyo-based manufacturer has decided that now is the time to build upon the success of the GT40 "DAC with a difference" – a device that combined a DAC with a headphone amp and both moving coil and moving magnet phono stages.

The company's latest release is the GT40α – the A-like character otherwise known as Alpha. 

A key selling-point of this DAC remains its ability to digitise your record collection - but now it's up to 24-bit/192kHz high-res audio, thanks to the inclusion of a 24/192 analogue-to-digital converter. The previous GT40 had similar functionality but was limited to a 96kHz sampling rate.

MORE: Furutech ADL GT40 review

Like the GT40 before it, the new Alpha model has the requisite MM and MC phono inputs, with easy switching between the two or the line-level input.

High-end audio connections include gold-plated, Teflon-insulated RCA jacks, no less, an aluminium chassis and volume control dial, plus an external power supply.

The outer design of the GT40α has also undergone a subtle tweak – a new red 'clipping' light has been added to warn if the amp is overloading during recording.

The Furutech GT40α is on sale now priced at £395.

MORE: Awards 2014 – Best DACs

MORE: Best DACs to buy in 2015

 

Comments

iMark's picture

Why?

Why would anyone digitize LPs at 24/192? You get humongous files that won't sound any better than 16/44.1 files. Good LPs sound very nice, but hires audio it ain't.

It looks well built though. Not sure about 'teflon insulated RCA jacks'. Does that mean the sound will simply slide of the jacks?

Graham Luke's picture

Why, indeed?

I s'pose there's a limited time to milk this nonsense so they may as well go for it...

Al ears's picture

Because it can?

Well I will be purchasing one specifically for the higher res alone, never considered the original GT40. The files created would not be as massive as some of my DSD downloads.

When it comes to hires how much more can you get than analogue? I must confess that I, unlike many, it would appear can tell the difference between an analogue LP track, a ripped CD file and a DSD download, so they higher the quality I can rip LPs in the better. Overall a lot of capability in this device considering, for the money.

AudioMad's picture

Furutech GT40a ADC looks promising

Most analogue junkies I know, like me appreciate that 44.1Khz per second sampling frequency is just not quick enough to capture the finer detail and ambience of good recordings.  That's why we prefer analogue as CD uses the same limited 44.1Khz sampling rate.

I guess it's a historic bottleneck, In the late 1970s, when Philips & Sony were developing the Compact Disc, it came down to how fast the chips would compute and how much data would fit on their new & small laser disc.

Professional studios tend to use 96Khz, but I can tell you from long term experience that when I have digitized vinyl & studio 1/4 inch master tapes using 192Khz 24-bit, the quality is very, very close to an anaologue mater tape.  I have never been satisfied with 96Khz.

I have used rack mount studio ADC converters and Lynx Audio PCI cards.  Both quite costly & complicated for hi-fi use.  So this Furutech unit looks potentially very conveniet and a great way to capture your best vinyl in superb quality to your home theatre PC (HTPC) or laptop and then use your favorite media player to arrange the tracks into playlists or & stream to elsewhere.

The proof will be in the pudding, depending on two major questions, the choice & implementation of the ADC chips and the PC / Mac? driver compatibilities with your chosen recording software application.

I'm certainly interested enough to read up more on this product.

Its been a long wait for 192Khz to trickle down to (affordable) consumer gear.

iMark's picture

Myths

16/44.1 is more than good enough to capture the sound of LPs with their very limited s/nr and dynamic range. There are many sources that will explain this but for some very clever marketing reasons audiophools have started peddling the myth that CD quality isn't good enough. Obviously the record companies have abused the CD format with the loudness wars but there is nothing inherently wrong with the CD recording bit rates. 

When it comes to digitising LPs, using higher bitrates than the CD recording bitrate is simply overkill and a waste of storage space. LPs inherently have compressed sound. Funny thing is that we actually like this sound, even when it's distorted, compressed and 'warm'. I have great sounding recordings of LPs at 16/44.1. 

For master tapes I can see the logic in trying to capture as much from the tape as possible, especially because that tape sound wasn't compressed. 

If you really want to improve the sound of your LPs I suggest getting a better cartridge will give you the biggest improvement.

 

Graham Luke's picture

Right.

Right.

So the sound'll be 'warmer' and more real. Innit?

Al ears's picture

.

The one thing analogue isn't is compressed, sorry.

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