SOS: 3 Stand-alone D-A Converters Compared

Apogee Mini-DAC • Benchmark DAC1 • Lavry DA10 Black

If your music relies on soft synths and samples, playback quality is more important to you than your recording chain, so adding a high-quality, stand-alone D-A converter may be the most targeted way to improve your system.

In studios that range from tiny bedroom setups to commercial enterprises, improving the existing audio quality is a popular topic, and there are regular requests on the SOS Forums for advice about buying a high‑quality clock generator to improve the sound quality of existing A‑D and D‑A converters. The aim is to lower the converters' clock jitter level — that is to say, the amount of timing uncertainty in digital audio's low‑to‑high and then high‑to‑low transitions (analogous to 'camera shake')...

...the sound of the Lavry DA10 in Crystal mode proved to be something of a revelation...

...I'd recommend that those for whom audio quality is the most important consideration should audition the Lavry DA10 Black....

...this nevertheless offers the best sound of the bunch, giving you an effortlessly wide and deep soundfield. Having used all three for several weeks, I found that I couldn't personally live without the Lavry DA10... and it went straight on to the credit card!

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