Aavik’s ultimate goal in developing their separate DAC models has been to transfer the digital signals into a natural, harmonious, yet dynamic music experience without losing any of the enormous amount of information contained in the digital source. To reach this goal, Aavik’s engineers have been extremely fastidious in selecting the electronic components and have spared no effort to exploit any opportunity for acoustic improvement.
The Aavik DAC section is designed around 5 digital inputs, which all excel in audio performance. The DAC operates without any digital signature. This makes any music sound natural and authentic. The digital circuits boast the best high frequency capacities and great care was devoted to the set-up of the PCB design. By employing time-aligned, ultra-short, 4-layer PCB traces, Aavik aims to preserve the natural and pristine sound quality of the wide and complex range of different signals.
The DAC circuits are also fitted with ultra-low jitter onboard clocks. To minimise timing errors in the digital-to-analogue conversion, all DAC circuits are isolated with 13 onboard, separate, low-noise, high PSRR (power supply rejection ratio) voltage regulators, each feeding only one stage of the signal handling.
The USB input is galvanically isolated to avoid noise pollution from the host. The digital inputs are routed to an Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter, where they are re-sampled and re-clocked to 200 kHz/24 bit Pulse Code Modulation, feeding current output DAC chips. For the current-to-voltage conversion, Aavik uses a differential floating topology with virtual ground. This isolates the signal path from both potential ground noise and signal-induced ground modulation.
To best accommodate individual listening preferences, and fit hand in glove into your existing audio system, Aavik has designed 4 individual settings. Since the selected signal source connected to the input can tinge the actual sound performance, up-sampling can be switched on and off. There is also a choice between a slow (soft high-frequency roll-off) and a fast (steep high-frequency roll-off) filter.
The D-580 is the third model in the Aavik DAC range and is the flagship model designed to deliver ultimate performance. This is not a mass-produced piece of electronics made somewhere in a low cost labour country. This is a bespoke piece of exquisite high end audio equipment, handmade in Denmark by a small team of people who are setting new standards in quality music reproduction. There are technologies used in the S-580 that you will simply never experience elsewhere.
What does ‘ultimate performance’ mean when referring to DACs? Most DACs can produce sound in a way where you can recognise the song or piece of music. However, in a highly resolving system, presenting the music so that all the constituents appear in the correct location in the soundstage, in a way where the music has depth, realism and a natural tonality is more difficult. Ultimate performance in this sense is when the music sounds so natural in its flow, energy and tonality that you simply forget that you are listening to a hifi system and 100% of your mind simply enjoys the immersive experience of the music. There’s simply no hint that there’s a hifi system playing – close your eyes and you’re there completely convinced, absoluteley commited to the moment.
This sensation of musical playback is extremely difficult to achieve and it takes experience, know-how, a careful selection of technologies and an obsessive attention to detail to produce a DAC that can deliver this experience. For those looking for this ‘dissappearing act’ from their equipment so that all that’s left is just the music, the D-580 is your best friend. Stunning.
PREMIUM TECHNOLOGIES FOR UNCONSTRAINED SIGNAL FLOW
Aavik collaborate with their sister company, Ansuz-Acoustics™ and draw on their experience and extensive R&D in the fields of resonance control and noise cancelling technologies. Aavik have fitted all of their streamer models with with Tesla coils, dither circuitry and anti aerial resonance coils. These innovative technologies are geared towards paving the way for an absolutely unconstrained signal flow. Aavik has also prepared the top and bottom surfaces on all the servers to accommodate the Ansuz Darkz™, which represent the most effective way of preventing mechanical vibrations.
RESONANT MODE POWER SUPPLY – QUIET BUT EXTREMELY POWERFUL
The new Aavik series is designed to ensure massive power resources with ultra-low noise. Unlike the square waves used by conventional switch mode power supplies, the new Aavik series boast a resonant mode design which is principally driven by sine waves. When more power is needed, the operating frequency increases, which, in turn, has the advantage that the power density also increases, thus allowing higher peak power when required by the music.
The noise floor in the raw power supply is extremely low but could be even further lowered by the ultra-low noise regulators supplying the different parts of the circuit. The noise of these regulators is measured in a few microvolts respectively nanovolts, which is significantly lower than the noise level of conventional regulators.
SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN AESTHETIC
The Aavik design language is Scandinavian understatement and expresses simplicity and minimalism featuring only a few buttons for logical operation. The multifunctional main knob allows simple navigation and control of the various functions. A distinguishing design feature of the new Aavik series is a huge red display, which makes it easy to read all details of the selected operational settings.
A CABINET WITH EXCELLENT SONIC QUALITIES
Aavik have designed the enclosure to minimise the use of aluminium and its associated mechanical resonance. Over the years, Aavik have been testing various materials and ultimately designed an innovative natural-based composite material, which reduces the mechanical influence, particularly the hysteresis. The sonic result is distinctly audible and reflects a further prominent cornerstone in Aavik’s quest for the ultimate music experience.
A PURE COPPER INNER CHASSIS
The D-580 incorporates a pure copper inner chassis which mitigates the effect of hysteresis. Hysteresis is commonly accepted as a phenomenon that designers have to live with but Aavik decided to tackle it directly, which is difficult and expensive to do. This technology is unique to Aavik and results in ultimate clarity and unrestrained signal flow. Once you’ve heard the difference, your brain acceptes the new possibility and it is difficult to go back to traditional chassis technologies.
The Aavik DAC Range
Aavik have produced 3 levels of performance within the acclaimed D-180, D-280 and D-580. The D-180 represents great value with a high-end performance capability beyond its price level. The D-280 adds significantly more resonance control techologies resulting in an even lower noise floor, resolution and accuracy. The D-580 introduces the unique copper inner chassis, Titanium level resonance control, and the maximum Ansuz Acoustics resonance mitigation technology, taking performance to a statement level.
Ansuz Acoustics, Aavik Acoustics, Company Tour Pt. 2, tour the factory, making the amplifiers
6 Moons, Srajan Ebaen, 2021
In one word, resolution. In two words, higher contrast. In three words, livelier dynamic energies.
Features & Specifications
2 x BNC S/P-DIF (32-192k samples, 24-bit)
2 x TOSLINK optical (32–192k samples, 24-bit)
USB fully isolated, UAC 2, asynchronous
USB: PCM 32 – 192 k-samples, 24-bit, DSD 64 – DSD 128
Distortion: <0,005% (THD at 1kHz at 0dB)
1 pair of RCA outputs
Output: 4.5Vrms at 0dB
Output impedance: 100 ohms
Aavik Noise Reduction
Active Tesla Coils: 108
Active Square Tesla Coils: 248
Dither circuitry: 11
102 x 384 x 400mm