Natural, sweet, open and organic are not words usually used to describe digital electronics but those were the design goals for the BorderPatrol DAC. Too many digital audio products sound processed, unnatural and un-involving and this is particularly true of many of the new generation of hi-resolution delta-sigma DAC's.
The BorderPatrol DAC uses a R2R DAC chip with no over-sampling and no digital filtering fed from a very sophisticated choke input, tube rectified power supply to produce one of the most natural, 'un-digital' sounds it is possible to hear. Many owners have said this is the first DAC that they can listen to for long periods without irritation or fatigue and that lets them emotionally connect to digital music for the first time. Several vinyl diehards are now happily streaming and playing CD's after previously giving up on digital audio. This relatively low cost DAC is equally at home in affordable audio systems or in esoteric systems such as the BorderPatrol/Volti/Triode wire labs systems costing tens of thousands of dollars that it frequently finds itself in at audio shows.
If you’ll pardon the hyperbole, at $1,850 with all the bells and whistles, this DAC blows the doors off of just about everything else. And no, not just in its weight class. I mean “just about everything else”. Toclearlybetter it, I have to go to extraordinary lengths (and budgets) — and that’s crazy. Scot Hull, Part Time Audiophile
My budget-favorite (~$1,000) is from BorderPatrol, whose “entry-level” DAC certainly doesn’t sound entry-level. It has to be one of the most wild and open-sounding I’ve ever come across— and by “open sounding”, I mean, “makes most other DACs sound broken”. It’s a little breathtaking, really, but never in that fatiguing kind of way. Scot Hull Part Time Audiophile
Available as USB only, SPDIF(COAX or COAXIAL) only or switchable USB + SPDIF(COAXIAL). The USB version of the DAC also features a SPDIF output which enables it to function as a very high quality USB to SPDIF converter.
NOTE: S/PDIF is the abbreviation of SONY/PHILLIPS DIGITAL INTERFACE. It is also known a COAX or COAXIAL. An S/PDIF or COAXIAL digital output is found on all CD transports and almost all CD players. COAXIAL S/PDIF outputs are also found on some music servers and streamers.
asynchronous USB input, SPDIF(COAX) input or switchable USB + SPDIF(COAX).
No over-sampling (NOS), no digital filteringR2R DAC chip with no output buffering.
High quality signal capacitors couple the chip to the output of the DAC.Copper metal chassis.
Plays files up to 24/96kHz via USB or SPDIF(COAX) including TIDAL Master recordings.
Tube/solid state hybrid choke input filter power supply featuring over-sized power transformers, high speed low noise diodes with resistor-capacitor snubbing, a high inductance choke and a EZ80 tube rectifier. The USB/SPDIF and DAC cards each have independent voltage regulation.
The latest SE-i versions use Jupiter Beeswax film and foil output capacitors.
To our knowledge, BorderPatrol is the only company applying tube rectification and choke input filtering to digital circuits.
Dimensions: W x D x H: 9 x 7x 3in (226 x 173 x 78mm) Shipping Weight: 8lb/4kg
USB or SPDIF(COAX) only
USB + SPDIF(COAX) (switchable)
220V-240V versions available. The mains voltage is configured internally and will be factory set for the destination country.
FREE SHIPPING TO MAINLAND USA ADDRESSES
International Buyers (including Canada) please purchase using PayPal below. An additional invoice will be sent to you to cover additional shipping charges which costs $50-95 to most destinations.