CH Precision C10: the first DA converter in the 10 series

Swiss audio manufacturer CH Precision has launched the C10, the first DA converter in the flagship 10 series. The C10 consists of two cabinets because the power supply is housed in a separate housing. If necessary, a second separate power supply can be added for even stricter separation between the channels.

CH Precision C10

DA converter C10 from CH Precision is a purist device without volume control or analog inputs and is distributed over two cabinets. The large power supply with ultra-low noise is located in a separate cabinet far from the signal circuits. The power supply box contains three transformers and a total smoothing capacity of 1.5 F. That is more smoothing capacity than in most power amplifiers on the market. The mirror topology features four discrete, galvanically isolated power zones, each with its own highly regulated DC supply.

The C10 relies on the proven performance of the PCM 1704 R2R DAC chip, powered by the advanced proprietary DSP-based PEtER oversampling algorithm. The DSP operates at a fixed point of 32 bit, before converting to 24 bit at the output, the native resolution of the PCM 1704. However, in the C10, 16 DACs are grouped in a dual differential, sequential DSQ™ Phase Array topology. In other words, each phase of each channel has four dedicated DAC chips. The incoming digital stream is fed to each chip in turn, so that the first chip receives samples one, five and nine, the second chip receives samples two, six and ten, etc. It is complex, demanding and requires extreme precision of the clock and the driver software, but according to the designers the results are phenomenal. The powerful DAC in the C1.2 already achieves data output speeds of 16x Fs (705.6/768 kHz): in the C10 this increases to 64x Fs (2.8224/3.072MHz)

To achieve the ultra-quiet and interference-free environment necessary to achieve stable operation and maximize the benefits of these extraordinary processing speeds, the manufacturer has had to restructure every aspect of the DA converter’s electrical and physical topology. The C10 power supply provides four independent, highly regulated multiple DC feeds to galvanically isolated circuit blocks in the chassis: the digital processing circuits, the clock, and the left and right DA converters. The audio chassis has a mirrored layout, with the modular input cards placed centrally. The DACs are placed on either side and benefit from symmetrical clock feeds. The low-pass filter, essential to eliminate spurious high-frequency output in any DAC, has been changed from a combination of first- and second-order slopes to a single third-order Sallen-Key Bessel filter, reducing nanosecond propagation error between 20 Hz and 20 kHz . to less than two femtoseconds.

Finally, the analog output stages incorporate the lessons learned in the development of the ultra-quiet P10 and L10, with their uninhibited dynamic response and resolution.

The C10 is natively capable of high-resolution DSD, MQA and PCM, and has configurable inputs. Three output levels are available, namely 1, 2.5 or 5 Volts.  It also includes the improved mechanical grounding system used on the other 10 Series products.  The C10 can be connected to any digital source and any powerful preamplifier.

Is there anything to improve? Yes, because the network card can be replaced. The user can also add a T110 Time Reference master clock, or a second power supply box for even better separation of the power supply to the various sections in the DA converter.

And how much does all this beauty cost?We saw a starting price of 91,000 euros.

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