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Audiolab M-DAC Plus Multi-Purpose Audio DAC


recommendedThe new Audiolab M-DAC Plus is a high-performance, multi-purpose audio DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) for home use, designed to sit on a desk or table, or integrate into a hi-fi system.

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The new Audiolab M-DAC Plus is a high-performance, multi-purpose audio DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) for home use, designed to sit on a desk or table, or integrate into a hi-fi system. It incorporates a highly specified, audiophile-quality digital preamplifier and Class A output stage for connection to a power amp and speakers (the output can be fixed for those who wish to use an existing preamp or integrated amp), in addition to a high-quality output for headphone use.

Redefining a Classic
The new M-DAC Plus is based firmly on the classic M-DAC, with carefully targeted improvements in key areas – a logical move, given the original model’s sustained popularity over the last four years. The M-DAC built a peerless reputation with press and public alike since its launch in the autumn of 2011, scooping multiple Product of the Year Awards from the likes of What Hi-Fi?, Hi-Fi Choice and EISA to make it arguably the most critically acclaimed DAC component ever made.

The Finest DAC Circuitry
Like the M-DAC, the M-DAC Plus incorporates the ES9018 Sabre Reference 32-bit DAC chipset, still widely regarded as the finest available. This is surrounded by exceptionally well-specified circuitry that puts other similarly priced DACs to shame, including a proprietary, discrete master clock to minimise jitter, coupled with extensive time domain isolation. A JFET Class A output stage ensures that the audio signal, following conversion from the digital domain to analogue, is of the highest quality.

High Performance with DSD
Under the hood lie a number of performance-related enhancements. The M-DAC Plus now processes audio data up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB; this is a far higher specification than that required by current hi-res music formats, ensuring this new, premium-quality addition to the M-DAC family is fully equipped for future advances in ultra-high-definition digital sound.

The USB input now also accepts DSD files (the digital audio system originally developed for Super Audio CD), offering compatibility with DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256. This is a significant addition, as DSD has an important role to play in the developing high-resolution digital download scene.

Ajustable sound for all sources and tastes
As digital audio technology has progressed, the importance of the characteristics of reconstruction digital filters has become more appreciated. Like the classic M-DAC, the M-DACPlus features user-selectable filters for optimal listening and measurement modes, in addition to more conventional types for easy comparison. These filter settings allow the user to tune performance to suit his or her preference, depending on system configuration, digital file quality and musical taste. The M-DAC+ inherits seven filter settings from the M-DAC for PCM files and adds four more for DSD playback, allowing the user to optimise the noise floor to suit the performance of the source file and the bandwidth of associated equipment such as amps and speakers.

Enhanced Sonic Performance
Another important change relates to the power supply, which has been upgraded and is now incorporated within the M-DAC Plus’s chassis (hence its slightly taller and deeper case compared to the classic M-DAC). A precision-wound toroidal transformer uses multiple windings to feed separate analogue and digital rectification stages. From there, multiple power supply sections feed the necessary voltages to each area of the DAC, keeping any crossover interference to a minimum. The result is the highest performance power supply Audiolab engineers have yet specified for a DAC, and its contribution to the M-DAC Plus’s enhanced sonic performance is significant.

We Say

A fantastic sounding DAC for the price, the Audiolab M-DAC+ also includes some very nice features.

Clear and detailed but solid sounding is the best way we can describe this DACs sound resulting in a very pleasing and musical presentation while maintaining excellent levels of clarity and separation.

The built in headphone stage matches well with low-mid impedance headphones, but does not match quite as well with low efficiency / high impedance models.

Please note! Due to the size of this item, we can only send via road freight and not in overnight satchel.

Package Contents

  • Package includes
  • Remote control handset
  • Batteries includes
  • User manual


  • DAC: ESS Sabre32 9018 chip
  • 32 bit resolution
  • Max sample frequency: 84.672MHz
  • Digital inputs: 2 x coaxial, 2 x Toslink optical, 1 x USB
  • Digital output: 1 x coaxial, 1x Toslink optical
  • Output voltage: RCA: 2.25V RMS,XLR: 4.5V RMS
  • THD: RCA: <0.002%; XLR: <0.0008%
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Dynamic range: RCA: >115dB;XLR: >122dB
  • Crosstalk: RCA: <-120dB; XLR: <-130dB
  • Dimensions: 114 x 247 x 292mm