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Vol. 11, No. 1 Spring/Summer, 2008


Wavelength Audio

Wavelength Audio Crimson USB DAC

With more and more people storing their music libraries on computers, the burning question becomes how to retrieve that music with high end fidelity. You can't do it through the computer's built-in sound card because the vast majority of those cheap devices have nowhere near the fidelity required to do a decent job. For the same reason, those $25 or $50 USB plug-in gadgets you can find on the Internet are equally unacceptable. Enter Wavelength Audio and their series of high-end, audiophile USB DACs.

A "DAC" or "D/A converter" is short for digital-to-analog converter and is the device which converts digital audio data on a CD or computer hard drive back into analog that we can listen to. It consists of the semiconductor chips and analog preamplifier stage that do the conversion and amplification required by the rest of the audio system. It's well known that the quality of the DAC has a profound effect on the quality of the music you ultimately hear. So, a USB DAC is simply a DAC which connects to your computer with a USB cable. Because the older coaxial or optical SPDIF connections often used as digital outputs are uni-directional and carry both signal and clocking information on the same line, high levels of sound-destroying jitter result when the clocks in the computer and DAC get out of sync and when the DAC tries to separate the music from the clock signal. Because a USB connection is bi-directional, it has no need for clocks and, essentially, syncs itself. Whatever jitter is left in this signal is further reduced by revolutionary controller software developed by Wavelength Audio. The result of all this is very low jitter, no clocking errors, and, therefore, better sound.

Wavelength Audio has four different USB DAC models: the Proton at $900, the Brick at $1750, the Cosecant at $3500, and the Crimson at $7500. The Proton is a solid-state, portable, battery-powered device with a headphone output and software volume control that appears on your desktop. You can use it while traveling or as part of a home audio system. The other three models all have tube outputs and represent progressively-increasing levels of sound quality as you go up the line. The tube models all have optional volume controls that let you run them directly into a power amp, should you wish, and they also have an optional, silver wire upgrade. Setup is quick and simple, with instructions available on the Wavelength Audio website. Every unit is built by hand to give you the best possible sound available from your computerized music collection.

Audio Nexus, LLC
33 Union Place
Summit, NJ 07901

   (908) 277-0333

Store Hours Mon-Sat 10:30 AM to 6 PM, Thursday til 9PM

We are authorized dealers for
Arcam * Audeze * Audience AV * Audio Physic * Audio Research * Audioquest * Balanced Audio Technology * Benz-Micro * Bluesound * Chang Lightspeed * Clearaudio * Creek Audio * Epos Acoustics * Gallo Acoustics * Gingko Audio * Goldring * Grado * Kimber Kable * Lehmann Audio * Lyra * Magnum Dynalab * Music Hall * NAD * Niles Audio * Nitty Gritty * PrimaLuna * Pro-Ject * PS Audio * PSB * Quad * Revel * Richard Gray's Power Company * Rogue Audio * Rotel * Salamander Designs * Simaudio/MOON * Sonus faber * Stewart Screens * Sumiko * Totem Acoustic * Vandersteen * VPI * Wharfedale

Our products include
Audio-Video Furniture, Cables, CD Players, Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs) iPod Docks, DVD and Blu-ray Players, Headphones and Headphone Amplifiers, Integrated Amplifiers, Loudspeakers, Phono Cartridges, Power Amplifiers, Power Line Conditioners, Preamplifiers and Processors, Receivers, Tuners, Turntables, Tonearms, and Record Cleaning Machines, Video Displays and Screens, and more.

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