At SoundStage!Ultra, you’ll find a review about our Preamplifier-DAC SPL Director Mk2. We won’t give away too much information yet, as you are about to read this but just as a quick teaser: after testing the device, the Director Mk2 was awarded with the SoundStage!ULTRA Reviewers’ Choice Award!
You can read the complete review online at SoundStage!Ultra or a summary here on our blog.
“The Director Mk2’s faceplate, available in silver, black, or red, is clearly labeled in contrasting text in a color dependent on the finish. The large, heavily weighted, motorized volume knob that turns the Alps RK27 Big Blue analog potentiometer behind it has a silky-smooth action, and a tiny red LED to indicate where on the ‘clock’ the volume is set.”
“Digital inputs are displayed for about two seconds by input name (USB, AES, Coax, Optic, Remote), after which the first letter of that name appears along with the incoming signal’s sample rate: e.g., U384 for USB 384kHz, or O192 for optical 192kHz. When a DSD signal is detected, the screen displays ‘DSD’ plus its multiplier: DSD1 for 64x, DSD2 for 128x, or DSD4 for 256x.”
“In my many years of reviewing audio equipment, I’ve never seen such a small yet intriguing-looking preamplifier-DAC.”
“Directly in front of the transformer are ten 1000µF EPCOS capacitors for filtering the DC voltage for what may be the most unique feature under the Director Mk2’s hood: SPL’s proprietary VOLTAiR technology. In a nutshell, line-level audio components with linear power supplies use transformers to step down the wall voltage; rectify, filter, and regulate the voltage, typically to +/-15V DC; and finally, feed the cleaned power to the other components (op-amps, etc.).”
“SPL designed their proprietary Supra op-amp to maintain the ±60V. SPL claims that this approach provides more headroom and dramatically improves dynamic range while producing significantly lower levels of noise and distortion.”
“The quality of sound offered by the Director Mk2 was damn impressive for a preamp that also includes an excellent DAC.”
“It sounded neutral, clean, focused, and transparent.”
“As I listened, I was so impressed by the clarity of images, depth of field, and ease with which the Director Mk2 communicated music that I had to stop and reconfirm its price.”
“Impressed with the SPL’s performance as an analog preamplifier, I was now eager to assess its D/A section.”
“The sound of the Director Mk2 when fed a digital music signal was, in a word, unveiled: highly dynamic, transparent, vivid, and powerful.”
“Well built and meticulously designed, with straightforward source selection and volume control, and able to learn command codes from the remote controls you already own, it’s an ergonomic dream. And in terms of sound quality, I found nothing to complain about and much to praise. The Director Mk2 was vanishingly quiet, dynamic, neutral, and exceedingly communicative of the music, particularly in the lower frequencies.”
“SPL’s Director Mk2 is, in a word, spectacular. If you’re in the market for a preamp-DAC, I highly recommend that you audition it – you might find just what you’re looking for.”