Curcio CD12V

Curcio Audio CD12V DAC Pictures

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My version of Joe Curcio's DAC, built in 2002. This design uses the highly-regarded Philips TDA1541 DAC chip, together with a tubed output stage. For the record, this is a 4x oversampling design with filter, but you can disable both of those by jumpering inputs on the digital receiver. However, I found that I actually preferred the stock design over non-oversampling.

Technically, this is a "kit", as Joe will supply you with bare circuit boards and all the necessary documentation. You buy the components, including enclosure (all available from Mouser and Digi-Key), stuff the boards, and assemble. Quite a challenging project, as the parts density on the PCBs is quite high, requiring some rather close work.

Once I got the unit back from Joe Curcio (it had to be sent back because I somehow had 'fried' the TDA-1541), I was immensely pleased with the sound-- dynamic, detailed, yet warm and easy to listen to. It has given my CD collection a whole new lease on life. If you are fed up with digital, or think that it is a compromise not worthy of consideration by serious audiophiles (i.e., you're an analog die-hard), then you ought to consider this unit!

Interior view--the output tubes are Siemens 12AT7s.

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