Audio Research DAC9 Tube DAC





The DAC9 tube digital-to-analog converter decodes most current formats with state-of-the-art vacuum tube technology. Five digital connections - USB, RCA, BNC, AES/EBU, and Toslink - provide connectivity to all of your digital sources. Quad DAC architecture provides a balanced digital signal, wide dynamic range, and decoding resolutions from red book CD up to 384 kHz and native DSD sampling rates. A pair of 6H30 vacuum tubes are the heart of the analog circuit. Both balanced and single-ended connectors are provided for output connectivity. Native-rate upsampling and selectable digital filters allow customization of the digital signal.

Audio Research DAC9 Tube DAC

Audio Research is pleased to introduce the Foundation Series. From the same engineering and design team responsible for the award-winning Reference Series, the Foundation family of vacuum tube components has been created to provide incredible musical experiences. Spatial definition, dynamics and detail abound while providing the most natural musical experience.


Audio Research DAC9 Tube DAC

The first three components include the LS28 line stage preamplifier, the PH9 phono stage, and the DAC9 digital-to-analog converter. A new amplifier will follow, with other products to complete the series. All models will be available in both black and natural anodized aluminum finishes. Each unit comes with its own custom metal remote control.

  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: +/-0.15dB 20Hz – 20kHz; +/-3.0dB 6Hz – 192kHz.
  • THD+NOISE: Less than .002% at 2V RMS 1kHz Balanced output.
  • SIGNAL TO NOISE: >114dB.
  • IMD + NOISE: .001% (SMPTE ratio)
  • DAC RESOLUTION: 24 bits.
  • PUSH BUTTONS: Power, Menu, Option, Enter, Input, Mute.
  • OUTPUT IMPEDANCE: 500 Ohms balanced, 250 Ohms SE.
  • DIGITAL FILTER: Selectable Fast or Slow algorithms.
  • UPSAMPLING: All Inputs upsample to 384kHz.
  • INPUTS: USB2.0HS 44.1 to 384kHz, DSD, 2xDSD; RCA, BNC, XLR 44.1 to 192kHz; TOS 44.1 to 96kHz.
  • RATED OUTPUTS: 3.8V RMS Max Balanced; 1.9V max SE (@ 0dB input).
  • POWER SUPPLIES: Electronically-regulated low and high voltage supplies. Line regulation better than .01%.
  • NOISE: -103dB
  • TUBE COMPLEMENT: (2) 6H30 dual triodes.
  • POWER REQUIREMENTS: 200 - 250VAC 50/60Hz 60 watts maximum. 
  • STAND BY: Less than 2 watt.
Audio Research DAC9 Tube DAC

Here’s the bottom line, and I’m giving the punch line away early in the review. After living with the Foundation series for a few months now, they all deliver top of class performance, and each offers exceptional value, judged alone. more...

Audio Research DAC9 tube DAC review

This is the best Audio Research digital product that the company has ever made. The combination of a detailed, dynamic, articulate, and accurate musical reproduction coupled with the sense of timbral, tonal, and temporal balance of the product itself makes it a firm Foundation for your music. Highly recommended! more...

Due to the bespoke nature of our high-end music systems this product is not available to be purchased online. Please contact us for personalized service from one of our team of experts.