The Art of Listening to Music
Audio Exklusiv CD Player and DAC
The P8 was developed to reproduce music as pure and lifelike as possible. Audio Exklusiv are proponents of minimalism. A lot of components / devices will not automatically mean a better sound. For example correction and regulation circuits are only applied if absolutely necessary or if they do not have any negative sound effects. Otherwise we prefer other possibilities; e.g. more extensive and oversized power supplies. More expensive perhaps, but the results show. The use of each component, board and wiring layouts have been determined in listening sessions. The chassis has been optimized mechanically using Audio Exklusiv's own resonance absorbing measures in order to ensure the music signal will be available, without any modifications, at the output. We had the ambition to avoid typical mistakes in its development to create a CD player which would reduce the tonal differences between it and a high-class turntable towards zero. The prototype was first shown in 2011 at High End fairs but we were not fully satisfied. It was still too "digital" and showed too little acoustic, tonal colour and missed musical flow. A further year of development passed. We changed the base for the CD-transport. After many experiments with various types of wood and other materials such as artificial stone showed little success, long listening sessions showed there were still differences from analog reproduction. Finally we found the ultimate base for the drive: acrylic damped on both sides with heavy foils. The bearing/mounting has also been modified with special plastic, bolts and application of brass parts. Re-positioning of some parts added further enhancements (we are talking about half millimeter movement on the board) and a change of two capacitor types from ones that already had a good reputation, finally made it "click" and the P8 showed a real analog feeling which was not due to bent frequency response and/or additional distortions. Defined from the beginning were three separate, large configurated power supplies with R-C-L-filters to give the best possible working conditions. Concerning the converter and up-sampler chips we decided on the flagships from Crystal (CS 4398) and Analog Devices (ADA 1896). The purchase of off the shelf D/A-converter-boards had never been an option for us!
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz (+/-0,5 dB)
S/N ratio (weighted): 97.8 dB
S/B ratio (unweighted): 93.5 dB
THD+N: 0.079 % (CD-PCM)
Output impedance: 780 Ohm
Channel diff: 0.1 dB
Output voltage: 2.2 V
Power consumption: 38 Watt
Dimensions: 480 (W) x 465 (D) x 145 (H) mm
Weight: 17.6 kg
For the output stage we decided on a pure tube solution (with only a little negative feedback) in the form of a direct-coupled anode to cathode circuit using two ECC 802s. Two additional ECC 802s serve as impedance converters. Some tricks in the circuit ensure ideal characteristics of the upsamplers (192 kHz) are met, as well as a highly jitter-free signal. With the help of asynchronous clocking all signals inside the P8 are principally newly clocked.
The DAC is accessible allowing saved files to be played from a computer. Some suppliers here offer 24 Bit/192 kHz. This format via Windows would automatically be limited on 24 Bit/96 kHz. Our USB-Interface however enables – in conjunction with a little software driver – the maximal solution. Using the USB-Interface the data passes through the whole P8 converter and output section allowing new possibilities in sound quality.