On the online platform hifitest you can find a review about our DA Converter and Preamplifier SPL Director Mk2. You can read the complete review (in German) online at hifitest – here we present some highlights (in English) of the test.
“Let’s start with the analog section. Like almost all of the ‘big’ devices, the Director Mk2 is equipped with the special VOLTAiR technology that has been incorporated from studio technology into many of the devices in the Pro-Fi line. These are SPL’s proprietary operational amplifiers that operate at +/- 60 volts instead of the industry standard operating voltage of +/- 15 volts, for a total of 120 volts. This increases the dynamic range of the circuit from 124.2 dB to 141.4 dB, noise drops from – 106 dB to -114.2 dB, and dynamic headroom increases from 21.5 dB to 33.2 dB. Ultimately, this means that the VOLTAiR technology helps the device achieve more reserves in all of the aforementioned disciplines.”
“Digitally, it features an USB, an AES, a TOSLINK, and a coaxial S/PDIF input in the form of an RCA jack. Digital/analog conversion is performed by an AKM AK4490 Velvet Sound DAC chip. This allows the Director Mk2 to handle PCM data up to 768kHz/32-bit and DSD up to DSD 256.”
“If you add up all digital and analog inputs including the tape loop of the Director Mk2, you get a total of eleven inputs!”
“SPL has managed to arrange the operation very clearly despite the impressive features. A rotary switch is used to select the input, next to it there is a large volume control and a toggle switch for the tape loop. Another switch allows you to toggle the sensitivity of the two stylish UV meters. I extremely like the analog pointer instruments. Especially because they contrast nicely with the dot matrix display, which is also a bit retro and displays the input or, in the case of digital sources, the sampling frequency.”
“There are hifi enthusiasts who think that studio equipment generally sounds so neutral that the music ultimately comes across as too sober and is no fun. I believe that even studio professionals want to have fun at work. And the SPL Director Mk2 manages in a rather unique way to combine extremely clean and precise reproduction with an involving, exciting musical experience. How they manage to do that at SPL is hard for me to explain. The fact is that you can listen deep into the recording at any time and focus on every detail sonically. Exactly as you would expect from studio equipment. Tonal neutrality, timing, resolution, dynamics and other hifi aspects are guaranteed at the highest level. Everything is right on point. It’s also a fact that when listening to music through the Director Mk2, it’s hard to resist tapping your foot or otherwise unconsciously reacting to the music. How the developers at SPL manage to do that probably remains the secret of true sound pros.”
“The SPL Director MK2 is an awesome DAC/preamp that uniquely combines studio genes with audiophile sonic enjoyment. Soundwise it is beyond any doubt, technically matured and the design is classy.”