With the goal of creating a very special DAC in mind the designers of Metrum Acoustics have developed a new DAC.
It was an unprecedented challenge, which was eventually solved by introducing an entirely new chip, which has been exclusively developed by Metrum Acoustics.
Behind the luxurious front more than new chips are concealed:
The parallel driven R2R ladder networks as used in the eight DAC modules performs , especially when combined with our FPGA-driven “forward correction module”, on a higher level. This module splits up the audio samples for each channel into new separate data streams. Each dac cluster processes a portion of the data in the most linear region of the dac chips. The result of this process is an extremely high linearity, right down to -140 dB, which gives the Pavane a realistic 24 bit dynamic range. Due to the dual mono design over the entire frequency range an extremely high channel separation of 120 dB is realized. This contributes to the flawless positioning of instruments.
In short, the Pavane is a DAC that has taken all the lessons and experiences that her designer has learned over the years, and combined them in an ambitious DAC that can fit in every system. It is musical, honors the Non-oversampling principle while simultaneously incorporating the technological progress that has been made over the years.
The Pavane by Metrum Acoustics Pavane is the company’s flagship DAC.
The Forward correction module is splitting the 24 bit format into two new 12 bit streams. So you have a 12 bit stream which is the LSB (least significant bits) and the 12 bit DAC (most significant bits). The problem with 24 bits R2R ladder DAC is linearity and switching noise of the ladder network in the lower ranges. Therefore the LSB part will be pushed to the upper part of the ladder by the forward correction module. In other words, the LSB will be processed as MSB data. The advantage is that it will be processed in the area having the lowest noise, the best linearity and the lowest distortion.
The result however is that on the analog side of these two clusters the volume of the LSB is equal to the MSB part which is wrong, of course. Therefore we have to attenuate the LSB part with 67 dB (equal to 12 bits) to let it match with the MSB part. The result of this attenuation is that switching noise is also attenuated for 67dB and that distortion and linearity in this range is the same as in the MSB part.
All incoming data is passed through this “forward correction module” and the answer to “What’s it correcting?” is essentially low level linearity and noise.
The USB receiver comes courtesy of M2TECH’s hiFaceTWO that supports up to 384kHz over I²S, which is fed directly to the FPGA. The Toslink input maxes out at 96kHz, while the Coax and AES inputs can handle up to 192kHz PCM data. Finishing off the back panel are the power switch and the IEC inlet for the included power cord. Up front resides the units On/Standby button and a series of buttons with associated blue LEDs for input selection.
A DAC On Sound Steroids
The Pavane gives you more weight, body, tonal richness, and a more natural sense of the space of the recording. Or to put it more plainly, it fleshes out your music more!
Think clarity. The Pavane does a wonderful job of presenting even the most complex music in a natural and inviting manner with every last ounce of nuance in tact. There’s no artificial sounding edge, no sense of a flat cutout image, basically none of digital’s nastier stuff. In some cases this can also come with a somewhat dark and muddy sound but that is absolutely not the case with the Pavane; think clarity.
The Pavane allows you to hear into the recording and the recording’s quality. This is somewhat of a good news/bad news proposition in that you’ll really hear what’s there.
Pure & Simple
According to reviewers the Pavane by Metrum Acoustics is clearly onto something with the new DACs and that something, according to many ears, is musical enjoyment. Pure and simple.
The Pavane is available in black or silver. The used top panel is a sandwich of steel and 4 millimeters of tempered black coated glass and gives the Pavane very distinctive looks.
The Pavane is build up with a double well damped frame and will avoid vibrations due to the use of bituminous material. Around this strong body beautiful shaped aluminum panels are used to make it even stronger. The chosen approach masks the use of screws from most important directions. As standard a remote will be delivered to control the available digital inputs.