Copland 215 DAC and valve headphone amp lands in the UK

The old-school design has bags of appeal, but don't let that traditional exterior fool you: this is a versatile piece of kit, combining a DAC (digital-to-analogue converter), preamp and headphone amp in a single box.

It can be used as a pure DAC in 'direct' mode. The DAC section is based around the 32-bit, eight-channel ESS9018 Sabre32 Reference DAC chip in quad-mono configuration. It can handle PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) data up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 64/128.

The Class A analogue section borrows technology from Copland's CD players, while the valve-based headphone amp section uses a pair of ECC88/6DJ8/6922 valves.

Connectivity is comprehensive, with one coaxial and two optical digital inputs, asynchronous USB and one RCA analogue input.

As for outputs, you get two RCA (fixed gain for pure DAC mode, variable gain for preamp mode) plus a 6.35mm headphone jack.

The Copland DAC 215 is available in the UK now for £1998 with a silver or black fascia.

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.