Director Mk2 in lite-Magazin

lite-Magazine is an online magazine about lifestyle and technology. Editor Volker Frech extensively tested our DA Converter and Preamplifier SPL Director Mk2 and is impressed:

“There are products that provide a feeling of high quality and exceptionality as soon as you unpack them. The SPL Director Mk2 is such a component: With its characteristic look and unusual geometry, it pleasantly stands out from the usual consumer hi-fi standard. In addition, the excellent manufacturing quality is immediately noticeable.”

In practice:

“The Director Mk2 leaves a first good impression directly after switching it on: we hear the full clicking of relays. This is a reassuring sign that the signal paths are mechanically separated or connected perfectly and clean. We also hear this pleasant sound when we switch back and forth between the analog inputs.”

“The music sounds absolutely transparent and clean.”

“This audible physicality is achieved by the Director Mk2’s outstanding resolution and excellent dynamic range.”

“It simply sounds natural and effortless, free of any limitations or compression effects. This dynamic range is outstanding.”

“All this results in a harmonious, transparent totality. The staggering has a beautiful depth and width.”

New DAC:

“This is where SPL proves its decades of know-how in analog and digital technology. Instead of standard circuitry, the self-developed Voltair technology is used.The analog audio signal supplied by the DAC always requires filtering through a low pass filter to remove unavoidable audio artifacts caused by the conversion. The operational amplifiers used in the filtering process were developed by SPL itself. They operate with an operating voltage four times higher than usual. This eliminates the limitations otherwise caused by the low supply voltage. The operational amplifiers thus have more dynamic range reserves. This brings three advantages: The risk of distortion is drastically reduced, the dynamic range is dramatically increased and the signal-to-noise ratio, i.e. the distance between the signal level and the noise level caused by each audio circuit, is significantly increased. This self-developed filter module is called ‘DLP120’ by the Niederkrüchten-based manufacturer. The 120 refers to the +/- 60 Volt operating voltage with which the operational amplifiers are supplied, and DLP stands for ‘Dual Low Pass’: depending on whether the analog signal was once encoded as a PCM or DSD signal, it passes through different filters.”

Conclusion:

“The SPL Director Mk2 in its dual function as DAC and preamplifier is an excellent director in the sound chain and proves to be a high-end conductor for the HiRes orchestra. With six analog line inputs and four different digital interfaces, it leaves almost no connection wish unfulfilled. Thanks to its converter, the heart of which is one of the world’s best DAC chips, it masters HiRes up to the outstanding qualities of PCM 768 kilohertz/32 bit and DSD256. In terms of sound, this converter – like the preamplifier section – benefits from Voltair technology, which promises a plus in resolution, dynamics and low noise. The Director Mk2 fulfils this promise with flying colours: the reproduction shines with excellent clarity and transparency, with the greatest precision and effortlessness.”

You can find the complete review (in German) online at lite-Magazin.