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Essence has announced the arrival of world’s first DAC under $700 that includes an HDMI input for the uncompressed native LPCM 24/96K stereo soundtracks, bit-for-bit identical to the original master recording, on Blu-ray.
The target market is audiophiles with high end 2 channel analog preamps who have or want to add Blu-ray HD Audio as a source without using video, no display is required. The owners of AVR’s or PrePro’s built before 2008 lack the right version of HDMI to enable playback of the uncompressed soundtracks as well.The HDACC is the upgrade to the digital world for all those analog systems still in use around the world.
The HDACC outputs analog stereo on balanced XLRs or RCA stereo jacks and also features additional digital inputs for Asynchronous USB 2, Optical, and Coaxial digital plus 2 analog inputs with A to D conversion for older content on vinyl or tape .The Hi Def Audio Control Center (HDACC) sells for $699 MSRP and includes remote control switching and volume control, two products in one; it can be used as a versatile digital preamp or as just a DAC.
The crisp OLED display is easy to read from a distance, the native resolution of the source and its output after conversion. A separate headphone amp with selectable impedance is another unique HDACC feature.
Many audiophiles who have upgraded to Blu-ray cant hear the native, uncompressed LPCM 24/96K content because their current stereo system lacks HDMI inputs. All 2 channel Preamps and Preamp/Processors built before 2008 are unable to connect by HDMI v1.3, the minimum necessary version of HDMI with HDCP compliance required for playback of the highest resolution uncompressed HD audio content.
The HDACC is a digital hub controller to accommodate the growing list of digital sources in addition to Blu-ray; SACD, CD, PC’s, iPods, Tablets, Servers, Networks, Smartphones, Satellite radios, and more.
Reached at his office in St. Petersburg, FL, AV industry veteran and Essence™ CEO Bob Rapoport, the leading advocate for the adoption of Blu-ray audio for several years said “I believe music is the essence of life. Blu-ray audio puts us closer to the music than any previous format; it’s the perfect add-on for audiophiles with analog 2 channel systems because it includes the protected HDMI input/output as well as inputs for all the other digital sources”.
“For the first time, the full frequency bandwidth and dynamic range, bit for bit identical to the original master recording, is available for playback on home systems that only support analog stereo, the end of a long journey in search of the holy grail of high fidelity for many audiophiles”.
Concerts by the world’s leading artists on Blu-ray are stunning, combining uncompressed audio with uncompressed 1080p video to produce a sensory experience that has never been possible at home. New Pure Audio Blu-ray audio only releases by Universal Music classics by Marvin Gaye, Supertramp, Velvet Underground,Bob Marley, Nirvana, and many more are now shipping.
The HDACC is an audio only device that can pass the native 1080p HD video through to an HDTV from its HDMI output, fully HDCP compliant. The HDACC supports HDMI v1.3 on pass through, only extracting the LPCM 24/96K stereo soundtrack for conversion. Video is not required to hear the audio so no display is required.
Source: Press Release