Some history:

After many doubts and experiments, we decided to present a new DAC model with ES9038Pro chip, based on the extended version of the ATDAC-10SXE.

We tried to unify the 10S nodes as much as possible, and in the new model you see the same xV USB interface, the same indicator, transformer and EMC-filter with surge protector.

For the first time we will also use 10S enclosures (OEM version without enclosure will also be available). In the future, it is planned to develop a new version, which will also be used for the 10S (when AKM builds a new plant, instead of the burned out one).

We started our experiments with ESS Technology products a long time ago, with the 9018 chip, then continued with the ESS 'Evaluation Board 9028. And finally, a test (prototype) board on the 9038Pro was made several years ago. However, we were not satisfied with the sound ...

After the well-known event of October 2020, we decided to continue this project, especially because some new ideas have come to mind since then.

We used our existing breadboard with the 9038Pro to test these ideas, and then the main board was designed.

Why ATDAC-12? We used the index "12" for our unified modular test station. At this station 2xAK4490, AK4495, 2xAK4495, DSD-AFIR DAC, and some others were tested. But then we decided to assign this index to a new model following 10S (index "11" was occupied by a non-public DAC project, and use the number "13", although we are not superstitious, did not dare).



24 bit resolution:


  • 32 bit HyperStream DAC ES9038Pro.

  • 2 channel stereo configuration, which means 4 DAC in parallel at each channel.

  • 1 analogue Aux RCA input 1.

  • 1 UAC2 High Speed USB Input

  • 1 Coaxial SPDIF input.

  • 3 Optical Toslink inputs 2.

  • 1 BlueTooth input 2.

  • 1 pair of the non balanced RCA outputs

  • 1 pair of the balanced XLR outputs 3.

  • ASRC Jitter Cleaner for all SPDIF/Toslink/BT inputs

  • Synchronous ES9038Pro operation with USB input (ASRC is switched OFF)

  • USB Interface is clocked by the DAC master clock, providing jitter free transmission.

  • All inputs are galvanically isolated from their sources:

    • USB Interface have isolation ICs,

    • Coaxial input is transformer coupled,

    • BlueTooth and optical inputs are isolated by their nature.

  • For indication, only static control used (no dynamic scanning, generating noise).

  • Very low power CPU to reduce radiated noise.

  • 7 user selectable Digital Filters

  • 3 user selectable "Sound Color" presets.

  • 3 user selectable output voltage ranges at RCA and XLR outputs.

  • 4 touch sensors for the local control

  • IR Remote control (user adjustable).

  • Service USB input for configuration and firmware update.

  • Dry contact "ON" signal.

1 - Can be used for vynyl pre-amplifier or other analogue source.

2 - BlueTooth and the 3rd optical inputs are with the optional external module.

3 - XLR output is an option.

Technical Details:

  • PCM 44.1-192kHz from the serial inputs.

  • DSD64 in DoP mode from the serial inputs

  • PCM 44.1-384kHz and DSD256 operation from USB.

  • 0.0000x% THD & THD+N

  • 0.0000x% IMD

  • Better then 120dB SND & SINAD

  • No "ESS IMD Hump"

  • RCA output voltage: 2Vrms, 3Vrms, or 5.7Vrms

  • (+8.3/+11.8/+17.5 dBu)

  • XLR output - differential 4.0/6.0/11.4 Vrms (14.3/+17.8/+23.5 dBu) (2xRCA output), symmetrical, zero DC-shift.

  • Aux RCA maximum voltage - 5.8Vrms

  • Aux RCA to Out RCA transfer ratio - 1:1