Absolute DAC ε

The new Ideon Audio Absolute DAC ε: the best sounding DAC today.

hi-fi+ Award

COST NO OBJECT DAC OF THE YEAR

An Absolute revelation: bringing Music to life

  • With its future-proof modular construction, built to the highest standards, the Ideon Audio Absolute DAC encapsulates what is the state of the art in digital conversion, re-clocking, signal regeneration, internal and noise elimination, linear & non-linear distortion elimination, modular board isolation, and extreme components quality not often available elsewhere.
  • The heart of digital playback, transports you to the musical event itself.

HyperStream, 8-channels architecture

  • The highest performing DAC to date, sets a new benchmark for audio excellence with the industry’s highest dynamic range (DNR), up to 140dB, in a 32-bit, 8-channel DAC.
  • Unique 15ohm output impedance at -140dB SNR or 1W
  • Discreet power through 16 separate power regulators in the circuit. Direct coupled output with no capacitors in the output stage.
  • The finest details contained in the recording, come to the surface in a phase-correct manner, allowing the musical event to emerge complete.
  • The sonic result is no longer a lossy simulation requiring brainpower to cover for what is not there: you “are there”.

Proprietary Triple Distillation USB input: Noise Elimination

Conceived and designed in-house, the Ideon Audio Triple Distillation USB input comprises a proprietary three-stage noise eradication circuit that eliminates digital noise from the input signal.

Figuratively speaking, we have declared war on linear & non-linear distortion and noise!

Clock Oscillators: Getting the Music in Phase

The Absolute uses three top-of-the-line femto ultra-low jitter and ultra-low phase noise clocks in a no-compromise architecture; precision and resulting phase fidelity of the signal is ensured.

Each clock has its own dedicated power line.

The Quad Analog Output Principle

The in-house deigned, Absolute DAC’s balanced output has four analogue output channels, no capacitors in the signal path and dedicated power supplies.

The output energy and strength can virtually drive any load!

Absolute choice, sounds at least 10 years into the future

The Absolute’s control board is fully isolated from anything else operating in the device. It has its own power supply line and discrete circuit.

Please note the transformer used to power the Absolute’s microcontroller & display: what we use for this light task, it is found used as the main power transformer in many well-known ultra-high grade devices!

What makes the Absolute your DAC of final choice well into future, is the absolute quality of sound whichever the format you are listening to.

It is supremely revelatory, intense, and relaxing; it excites, enthuses, and comforts, all in one: in the words of one reviewer, the Absolute “plays gorgeous music”.

You are consistently transported you to the encoded musical event!

Single-block, massive aluminium chassis

The 26kg (~58lb) CNC milled chassis takes 17 hours to complete. The result is a solid mechanical base housing the most intricate and expensive electronics available at this time. Various finishes are available to order.

Future proof – modular construction

Today, the Absolute DAC is state of the art in terms of design, construction and sonic performance.

Of course, if or when a new technology becomes available or a new format takes over, the Absolute’s modular construction ensures that it will be updated without fail.

Ideon’s Massive 17-Stage ultra-low noise power reservoir

Ideon’s massive multistage power reservoir comprises of 17 ultra-low noise power supply units and individual regulation stages.

The importance of stable, abundant, and clean power is touted all over audio circles, but at Ideon Audio, we take things to another level: we use six separate stages in order to achieve unparalleled clarity and linearity.

We choose top-level componentry: 17 state-of-the-art regulators with extreme low-tolerance rating, and over 80 audio-grade capacitors (ELNA Silmic II) with silk-fibre plate separators specifically designed for audio applications.

These components display higher propagation speed and low esr * resulting in smoother sound without loss of detail.

The sonic result is unparalleled restitution in clarity, midrange richness, musical energy, and dynamics. The music flows…

KEY FEATURES
  • New, in-house developed dedicated software for the ES9038PRO DAC chip
  • Balanced operation, balanced and single ended outputs
  • Ideon Audio’s Proprietary triple distillation USB input and S/PDIF input
  • Three new zero-noise, proprietary active bridges – an ultra high-end design that takes to zero the noise from rectification. A unique Absolute ε technology
  • Next generation analog stage, with symmetrical, ultra-low-noise power supplies. Another unique Absolute ε technology
  • Extreme Ideon Audio linear power supply configuration with many different local power supplies and dual, exceptionally large main power supplies.
  • Selected audiophile components throughout
  • Two main bespoke transformers with extreme cores, running, running at more than 3 times the necessary current. Custom hand-made for audio applications
  • ESS ES9038PRO 32-bit 8 channel, Hyperstream Dac
  • Industry’s highest dynamic range (DNR), up to 140dB
  • Three of the most exotic, ultra-low jitter clocks
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
SUPPORTED FORMATS (INPUT DEPENDENT) 44.1kHz to 384kHz PCM up to 32 bits , Native DSD (up to 8X DSD)
DIGITAL INPUTS 3x Advanced isolated input module slots (USB, XLR, RCA)
XLR BALANCED OUTPUTS 9Vrms at 0dB
RCA OUTPUTS RCA OUTPUTS 4.5Vrms at 0dB
THD (A WEIGHTED 20HZ-20KHZ) < – 120dB on all outputs
CHANNEL SEPARATION >130dB on all outputs
SNR (A WEIGHTED 20HZ-20KHZ) >130dB on all outputs
DYNAMIC RANGE 20HZ TO 20KHZ 147 dB (FS) . 145 dB (AFS)
DISPLAY Custom discrete LED audio clock synchronous display
DIMENSIONS (W X H X D) 490 x 350 x 110 mm (19.2 x 13.7 x 4.3 in).
WEIGHT 28kg (~65 lbs)​
REVIEWS & RATINGS

Absolute Epsilon DAC, Absolute Stream, and Absolute Time – The Absolute Sound

“…The Absolute Epsilon DAC, Absolute Stream music server, and Absolute Time master clock are in the upper echelon of today’s best digital playback. The trio has some remarkable musical attributes, including stunningly lifelike reproduction of music’s dynamics. The sense of immediacy and presence—the impression of nothing between you and the music—was equally impressive.”

 

Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound, June 2022

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Absolute DAC – Hifi & Musik (in English)

” …Absolute Ɛ reminded of a large, 2-track master tape recorder with 76 centimeters per second speed… Like so often in these stratospheric price ranges, a warning must be issued: listening to the Absolute Ɛ is very much at your own risk! “

TOPKLASS”  Hifi & Musik , May 2022

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Absolute DAC – Hifi & Musik (in Swedish)

“…We could write a lot more about this strong and majestic DAC and how is sounds more organic and skin-close and analog fluid than any other DAC we’ve heard. Where other well-made analog-sounding DAC’s reminds makes you think of soft slightly rounded vinyl, the Absolute Epsilon is more similar to a big Reel-to-Reel tape machine playing at 76 cm per second.

TOPKLASS”  Hifi & Musik , May 2022

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Absolute DAC ε – HiFi+

“…In short, the Absolute ε sets a new standard for reference DAC’s for me as the very best in almost every performance aspect…”  “…for someone seeking the musical whole will struggle to fi nd anything that comes remotely close to the Ideon Absolute ε…”

“…in the listening it was clear this was a world-class device capable of doing what so many high-end DACs claim to do, but often fail to achieve in reality; make music sound like music. Real living, breathing musicians playing in your living room. …This really is one of the best DACs in the world right now.”

Alan Sircom, HiFi+ 

HiFi+, November 2021

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