Computer Audio Design launches 1543 MKII DAC

Technologies from the original model have been carried over to the new one, including the resistor-ladder DAC chipsets and removal of the standard digital interpolation filter.

The resistor-ladder chipset is the Philips TDA1543/N2, which now has its 16 devices mounted on a revised four-layer circuit board. CAD says the new layout helps to minimise intrinsic noise and allows the DAC to natively convert 192kHz PCM audio.

CAD has also removed the digital interpolation filter to “protect precious timing resolution”, due to the lack of filter.

The 1543 MKII uses a hyper-minimalist design meaning it has the smallest number of switches and connectors between the mains plug and output sockets. It has a single USB 2.0 input and a pair of RCA phono sockets as an output.

Internal signal wiring has been updated to custom specifications and the casing has the same laser-cut 10mm acrylic construction - available in black as standard.

The power conditioning at the power input has been redesigned too, in an attempt to minimise AC line noise from the DAC.

CAD says the overall effect of the new changes means the 1543 MKII is able to “paint-in black quietness behind the sound”, and that it “preserves and projects the rhythm and drive of dynamic music.”

The CAD 1543 MKII is available now for £7250. Owners of the original 1543 can have their unit upgraded to MKII specifications for £600.

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Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.