New from distributor Audiofreaks is the Conrad-Johnson HD3, described as 'a USB High Definition Digital Decoder'. It will sell for £1995 when it arrives in the UK this month, and will only be available directly from the distributor 'in order to keep the retail price down'.
The HD3 works with the audio drivers built into all modern Mac, PC and Linuz computers, and its asynchronous interface is designed to all but eliminate jitter.
The digital to analogue section, which is capable of handling content up to 24-bit/96kHz, uses a high-end delta-sigma DAC from Burr-Brown described by Conrad-Johnson as 'the most musically satisfying 24/96 capable DAC presently available'.
The digital section is powered 'by regenerating power from the USB connection itself, while the analogue portion of the DAC and the analogue audio stage are powered by separate transformers feeding discrete dc voltage regulators, thus isolating the analogue signal from noise imposed on the grounds and power supply legs of the digital circuits.
'The analogue signal is fed to our own audio circuits, executed with highest quality polypropylene capacitors and metal foil and metal film resistors.'
Like all other Conrad-Johnson products, the HD3 is hand-assembled in the company's facility in Fairfax, Virginia.