Launched here at the High End 2012 show in Munich is the Micromega MyDAC, a compact digital to analogue converter due on sale in the next couple of months at €299.
Yet despite that price and a very competitive specification, the MyDAC isn't a typical product bought of the shelf or made to order in China: instead, Micromega says proudly that the device is designed and made in France.
The new model will come in black or white, and will offer inputs on optical and electrical digital sockets, plus a USB socket for the connection of a computer. This will give asynchronous operation up to 192kHz/24-bit, and a choice of USB class 1.0 or 2.0 operation.
It will work with any Mac computer with no extra drivers, and a download will be available for Windows computers
Very low jitter USB masterclocks are used, with separate clocks for multiples of 44.1 and 48kHz, each with its own low noise power supply.
Galvanic isolation of the USB input from the rest of the circuitry avoids noise, and a separate audio output stage – but even more striking than the price and the place of manufacture is the design of the power supply.
Rather than going for the near-universal low-voltage input fed from an external plug-top transformer, Micromega has designed the DAC with internal power supplies, with separate provision and regulation for the digital and audio sections.
The power supply is designed to be fast, and with very low noise, and as with the audio signal path, no capacitors are used in the audio power supply path.
Connection to the mains is via a 'figure of eight' socket on the rear of the MyDAC, and the DAC can operate on voltages from 85V to 265V.
The operation of the MyDAC is simple, with a single anodised aluminium rotary switch in the front panel selecting Standby/USB/coaxial/optical, and LEDs beside it to indicate the input in use.
It's planned that this will be the first of a range of similar compact components from Micromega – the My DACs on the Munich stand were functioning units, but also on show were prototypes of a phono amplifier and a headphone amp.