Unique Topology

This product is discontinued. This is an archived page.

Every wire distorts a signal to some extent. Every meter is made up of 100 centimeters. Every centimeter is made up of 10 millimeters. Every millimeter distorts to some extent.

The LessLoss DAC 2004 is designed to minimise every loss possible. The grounding and wiring technique used is much, much more than meets the eye.

Extremely Compact Design

Today's mass-produced electronic parts such as resistors, inductors, and microchips are smaller than ever. Their small size allows for more compact designs. When constructing a piece of electronic equipment, usually a robot is used. In order to be able to build the equipment, the robot requires certain conditions in the design. Among these is the need for a flat surface area with plenty of room for manipulation. The movements of the robot are standardized.

Robots Are Fast But Humans are Smarter

Because the goal of the LessLoss DAC 2004 is to aim for perfection in Digital to Analogue conversion, every effort is made to shorten the lengths of all crucial signal paths. Because there are so many crucial signal paths, the design is incredibly compact. The unit is assembled entirely by hand. We solder directly onto the legs of the integrated circuits. In some cases, we actually stack the components directly on to one another. In this way, we really do achieve the shortest possible signal lengths, which no robotic process can possibly achieve.

Another perfection we offer over mass-produced gear is the fact that we do not use a mask on the circuitboard. The mask is a sheet of chemical material added to the top of a circuit board which is usually either green or red. Audiophiles tend to agree that the red composition results in a somewhat better sound than the green type. The reason the mask is brought onto the circuit board is that, when a robot is soldering, the speed and accuracy of this process both have mutual trade-offs and this can result in solder being squirted over areas which might make undesired contact (a short circuit, for example). To avoid this, the mask is used to keep all cases of such occurrences from resulting in production faults.

We go all the way to the extreme and do not use the mask altogether. In doing so, when we solder by hand, we control the entire process and make sure that no unintentional shorting occurs. In this way, we avoid the undesireably dielectric effects of the mask altogether.

What going to the extreme means

Several of the microchips used in the LessLoss DAC 2004 MkII have legs which are only 1.4 mm apart. We hand-solder these microchips in a very special way, placing parts directly onto them at the most crucial signal paths. This is extremely difficult to carry out successfully and Vil is the only person engaged in this delicate process. Much of the work done on the DAC 2004 MkII is a completely forgotten art these days. The beautiful sound of the DAC 2004 reflects this during every minute of play.

The intricate work put into the hand made DAC 2004 is appreciated by all who listen. When we say shortest possible paths for all crucial signals, we really mean it, as this has a direct effect on the limit of quality attainable.

Good Topology Is More Than Short Signal Paths

Because everything affects at least something else in audio equipment design, short signal paths are only half of the story. For the very top possible quality, some components must be elevated to avoid dielectric effects, and others must be hyper-shielded. All of these details together make very audible differences and it is the combination of all of this plus our extensive critical testing with both audio material and test signals which results in what was we consider the present state-of-the-art.