KORG's Versatile DS-DAC-10R Does Too Much To Cover in a Headline

KORG's new DS-DAC-10R seen at C.E.S. 2017 in the AXXIS Audio room where one usually finds expensive products, is a $595 full-featured, compact analog/DSD digital product.

The DS-DAC-10R includes a moving coil phono preamplifier, a DSD ADC (analog to digital converter), and aheadphone amplifier, all for $595. It appears to be well-made. How does it perform? We will soon find out! I forgot to ask if the volume control works on the line output or just with the headphone jack. If the former, it can be used as a preamplifier too. Even though there's only a single line input, it can be configured for either phono or line level use.

Garven's picture

Are you sure about the MC pre-amp? The Korg website says it's MM and if people need to use the unit with MC, they need a head amp.

Ktracho's picture

There are a couple other phono preamps with similar functionality, such as Music Hall's PA 2.2 and ADL GT40a or something like that. The former has an extra line in but only does PCM, while the latter has a DAC. Several other devices have a headphone amp, such as MoFi's upcoming phono preamp. I would love to know if any of these have sound quality anywhere near iFi's phono preamp, or if you're better off buying separate devices - phono preamp, step up transformer, ADC, DAC, headphone amp, line preamp, etc., which would threaten to quickly turn my desktop into a snake pit.

madiplay's picture

Korg launched this ADC on October 23, 2015 (at least here in the EU) It has a phono preamp for MM cartridges, not MC. You can performe RIAA conversion also in the digital domain. It is cheap, compared for instance to Tascam DA-3000, because it isn´t a standalone unit (has to be powered by the USB port and connected to PC/laptop to work)

Garven's picture

An even cheaper approach if one already has an ADC with an input sensitive enough for MM-level voltage would be to digitize the signal directly then use the freeware program called Equalize by mathematician Brian Davies (creator of the excellent program Clickrepair). It features a number of functions to apply various record EQ curves, etc. I'm not saying the quality would be the same as the Korg, but it might be interesting nonetheless.