Sometimes big things come in small packages, and in the case of the T+A Series 8, these little boxes deliver. At CEDIA 2018, T+A was displaying updates to their Series 8 line, specifically their new MP 8 Multi-Source Player and updated DAC 8 DSD.
The MP 8 Multi-Source Player is positioned as the last source you need, providing a network streamer (wired and wireless Ethernet), Roon, MQA, TIDAL, QOBUZ, Bluetooth, USB Storage, a CD transport (tray is hidden under the display), and for those ham-fans, an old-fashioned FM Tuner. The MP 8 will retail for $4750 USD.
The MP 8 was connected with a single standard Ethernet cable to the DAC 8 DSD that quietly sat below it, ready to pounce. The DAC 8 now supports DSD 512 and will retail for $4450 USD. The T+A rep pointed out that nothing magnetic is used inside the chassis except the power supply to keep the signal as clean as possible. Additionally, the design also focused on ensuring that the unit was thermally stable to ensure peak performance. Like other DACs on display in the Roon Labs booth, the DAC 8 DSD included a headphone amplifier to audition.
Some additional details about the DAC 8 DSD were provided form the T+A site:
The core of the DAC 8 DSD is the converter. As in our high-end players this device also employs the superior quadruple arrangement with eight 32-bit converters from Burr-Brown in a double symmetrical circuit. This circuit provides perfect compensation for non-linearities, and the residual background noise – which is excellent in any case with the 32-bit converters we employ – is reduced by approximately a further 6 dB. The result is a dynamic performance which is hardly capable of improvement, with a perfect “black level”, extreme linearity and freedom from distortion, even in critical passages and the most minute musical details. Oversampling is carried out by a modern 56-bit signal processor, for which T+A has developed algorithms specific to our equipment, offering perfect timing characteristics. They are based on Bezier polynomials: Bezier interpolation and Bezier / IIR combination. A standard FIR filter and a short FIR filter are also provided. These options make it possible to select the optimum sound quality to suit the individual piece of music. The DAC 8 DSD can even invert the absolute phase of the audio signal at the digital level, and thereby correct material recorded with incorrect absolute phase.
All up, a full suite of goods packed into two very small packages. We loved that no additional fancy cables were required outside of the single Ethernet cable that was used to connect the two pieces. Just add power and headphones ….