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A fully digital amplifier is a PWD (pulse width modulation) amplifier with no A/D conversion, no preamp or any analog signal path before the final output stage. It’s like you remove a bunch of parts and just have a single chip to amplify the digital signal directly to speaker level. You can think of it like a huge powerful DAC chip that connects directly to the speakers. - However the term powerDAC is often used for an amplifier that has a DAC chip built in in addition to the amplification stage. That’s not what this is. A fully digital amp has only one stage converting the digital signal to high level speaker level signal.
We like the minimalistic approach and it’s a commonly accepted opinion that parts in the signal path (parts that the audio signal goes through) will affect the sound quality. That’s why people spend hundred of dollars on expensive audiophile capacitors, and that’s why our Sabre DAC with no capacitor on the output sounds so good.
So for a powerful amplifier, what could be better than to remove the need for a DAC and preamp all together!
The sound from the true digital amps is very clear and natural and make the class D amps sound muddy in comparison.
Our new UDP80 amp uses similar technology as our DDX320 amp that’s only sold as DIY (and currently sold out) and the popular UD80 USB amplifier. It has an USB input that accepts all sample rates and files up to 96kHz/24bit and there is now also an optical input that accepts up to 192kHz/24bit. The amp will automatically detect the input source. In fact there is only one control on the amp, the volume control that is of course digital. The amplifier goes to standby when the volume control is set to 0. It will be available in a case as a ready to use product.
More of on the UDP80 coming soon.