Just a few months after we reviewed the impressive Ferrum Audio HYPSOS and OOR, this Polish company is set to release their third product–the Ferrum Audio ERCO. Here’s the word from Vana Ltd., who represents Ferrum in the US:
“Ferrum introduces its third head-fi product, a minimalist headphone DAC/amp. ERCO is the latest exemplar of the clean, sophisticated internal and external design language that the brand established with the award-winning HYPSOS hybrid power supply and OOR analogue headphone amp.”
The complete press release on the Ferrum Audio ERCO:
Polish Design Firm Ferrum Introduces ERCO, a Minimalist Headphone Amp/DAC in the style of the OOR
ERCO will receive its American trade debut at CanJam NYC on February 26.
Nesconset, NY — February 23, 2022
Ferrum introduces its third head-fi product, a minimalist headphone DAC/amp. ERCO is the latest exemplar of the clean, sophisticated internal and external design language that the brand established with the award-winning HYPSOS hybrid power supply and OOR analogue headphone amp.
Parent company HEM has decades of experience developing D/A converters for popular brands, and today this expertise is part of the DNA of Ferrum’s engineering talent. Leaning on insights gleaned from previous products developed by HEM, Ferrum developed an in-house D/A topology that is unique to the ERCO.
“Ferrum’s team has deep and intimate experience with digital-analogue conversion,” said Roy Feldstein, managing partner of VANA, the brand’s American distributor. “For ERCO, they rewrote the code for the specialized ARM processor from scratch to optimize all digital ports (USB, coaxial and optical S/PDIF) for audio and make MQA function more efficiently. Ferrum’s long-running relationship with industry leader ESS led them to choose one of their DAC chips for this design.”
You’re Saying It Wrong — ERCO continues the brand’s love of playful product names. Pronounced ERT-so, the name ERCO is taken from the Esperanto word for “ore.” Like Ferrum’s own name, it pays homage to the rich history of iron mining and metallurgic craftsmanship that has been a specialty of the Warsaw area for centuries.
Ferrum echoes this connection in describing ERCO’s ability to retrieve musical intricacies from electrical signals, saying the product was inspired by “a valuable and beautiful mineral laid bare by a craftsman in an ordinary piece of stone, showing the beauty that can come from the ordinary.”
Proprietary, Fully Balanced Amplification — A premium IC power design, built around a quartet of Linear Technology LT1210 current feedback amps, was fine-tuned with discrete elements to mirror the OOR’s performance as closely as possible.
Smart Integration — The new DAC circuitry is married with flagship technologies developed by Ferrum for its siblings HYPSOS and OOR. Like the OOR, ERCO has a truly balanced topology that incorporates the critical technologies from OOR’s headphone amplifier and power section designs.
Suited for High-End Personal Audio — The ERCO’s promise is the same as Ferrum’s other designs: No coloration, low distortion, high dynamics, no fatigue — a transparent sound signature set against a background of absolute silence.
Ins & Outs — ERCO features one analogue input (RCA) and three digital inputs (optical, coaxial or USB-C). Connect your favorite headphones to the balanced 4.4mm or unbalanced 6.35mm headphone jack outputs. Alternatively, use ERCO to connect to powered loudspeakers via the XLR or RCA outputs.
Optimized Digital Inputs — Specially programmed USB, coaxial and optical S/PDIF ports, optimized for audio.
Truly Balanced — Like the OOR, ERCO’s signal path is balanced all the way through from the early D/A stage (and becomes truly balanced using the RCA inputs).
Ease of Use & Elegant Looks — Only three knobs control all settings. The chassis features Ferrum’s characteristic use of corten steel and black anodized aluminum for a stunningly minimalist aesthetic.
Optimized MQA — ARM-optimized MQA decoder and renderer.
Made for HYPSOS — Though ERCO offers excellent out-of-the-box performance, it is made to excel above and beyond when used together with HYPSOS.
ERCO will be available in the US beginning March 2022. MSRP: $2,395.