You may think that Sonnet Digital Audio is a new name in the world of the true Hi-Fidelity and the digital technology, but it is only partially so. For sure, Sonnet it is a new brand, but it includes all the previously built-up know-how in Metrum Acoustics, with the most recent technological/product optimizations developed since mid-2018, when Cees Ruijtemberg left Metrum Acoustics to start Sonnet Digital Audio.
Who is Cees Ruijtemberg (Ed.)
Cees Ruijtenberg is the Dutch digital genius. After founded and developed Metrum Acoustics and after having produced some of the best DAC available today at extremely competitive prices, gifted with the most complete, balanced and deeply natural sound, today Cees presents with the top DAC Sonnet Morpheus the design of a further refined Metrum Pavane Level 3. You can hear the difference.
And not only: other device is being designed and built, and within the others, today available, the exceptional "Hermes" digital streamer.
The "unparalleled" Sonnet Morpheus proposal
- Pure non-oversampling technology but without the adoption of old generation digital chips, for an open, clear, "right" sound.
- DAC circuit using 'R2R ladder' employing the new vertical mounting SDA-2 modules, containing ultra-precision laser etched components, temperature stabilized, for the real High definition sound.
- "FPGA" correction modules technology. The 'module' splits the audio samples for each channel into new separate data streams. Each dac cluster processes a portion of the data in the area of the chip where its at its most linear, for a super-fine resolution.
- The result is extremely linear down to -140dB. A realistic dynamic range of 24 bits. Ultra-high channel separation of 120 dB, for a perfect instruments positioning on stage.
- Exclusive Level / Volume control, integrated and perfectly transparent for the user and for the downstream device. NOT a common resistance volume attenuator, and not even an integrated gain stage ( with all the problems they brings to the signal integrity): the control directly operates the output voltage of the DAC circuit with the result that it's possible to drive a preamplifier/integrated amplifier or, straight, a final power amplifier.
- Missing of the output stage, because the output downstream of the analogical filter directly drives any input stage without the need of a buffering/preamplification, harmful for signal linearity/integrity.
- Extremely small power consumption of only 8W, that it's not only good for the electricity bill; it greatly lowers noises and interferences on board, explaining so the incredible perceived increase of resolution, if only on the 16 bits CD files.
- Can you find any of these unique technologies in your "reference" DAC? They were implemented into this absolutely "brilliant" DAC with the sole objective of handling the same problems of DAC circuits, to bettering the sonic result so to present your music in the most correct, natural and, consequently, emotionally intense! Without "Special Effects", without "colouring"!
Pure & Simple Digital to Analog conversion with Volume control
What more can you do after launching one of the best DACs available today? The idea of having a decent volume control to prevent a analog Pre-Amplifier could improve performance dramatically. However, we also know that the way of introducing such device in the signal chain can also have a negative effect. Experiments were made and as result the best sound was coming directly from our new fully balanced dac modules. Especially in case of R2R ladder DACs it is quite easy to change the output voltage of the DAC by changing its reference voltage . The SDA-2, a new generation DAC module was designed to get the best regulation possible. The result of this process is an extremely high linearity, right down to -140 dB, which gives our products a realistic 24 bit dynamic range. It is musical, honors the Non-oversampling principle and simultaneously incorporating the technological progress that has been made over the years.
Digital to Analog Conversion with lossless volume control
The Sonnet range will gives you more weight, body, tonal richness, and a more natural sense of the space of the recording. Or to put it more plainly, it fleshes out your music more! This new range does a wonderful job of presenting even the most complex music in a natural and inviting manner with every last ounce of nuance in tact. There’s no artificial sounding edge, no sense of a flat cutout image, basically none of digital’s nastier stuff. In some cases this can also come with a somewhat dark and muddy sound but that is absolutely not the case with the new Sonnet range.It allows you to hear deep into the recording and the recording’s quality. This is somewhat of a good news/bad news proposition in that you’ll really hear what’s there.
Balanced Non oversampling DAC
Two SDA-2 dac modules per channel in differential mode
Power supply 15VA 110/115V AC 220/230V AC 60/50Hz. Power required max 8 Watts
Input 1x optical, 1x coaxial and 1x AES/EBU and USB
Output 1x stereo pair single ended 2 Volts RMS
Output 1x stereo pair XLR balanced 4 Volts RMS
Frequency Response 44.1 kHz sampling 1Hz – 20 khz -2.5 dB
Frequency Response 192 kHz sampling 1Hz – 65 kHz – 3dB and 384kHz (USB)
Distortion 0.004% THD
Channel separation 120dB
Noise Floor -155 dB related to 2 Volt RMS
Output impedance RCA 100 Ohm, XLR 100 Ohm
Sampling rate Optical 44.1 – 96 kHz
Sampling rate Coax and AES/EBU: 44.1 -192 kHz
Sampling rate USB 44.1 – 384kHz
Aluminum six button remote control included.
MQA module (standard not included)
I2S Module can be installed instead of the USB module (please contact us)
free of charge.
For MQA or I2S more information can be found here
Dimensions 290 x 250 x 60 mm
Finish: Black or Silver ( on order)
I2S Optional module
The I2S module can be installed instead of the USB module. A new technology is used to make the I2S data format more reliable. Actually this format was made for internal use and not able to drive long data lines. Sonnet is using a kind of data transport based on the typical impedance of a standard UTP cable. By using this technology it is important that both transmitter and receiver is made for this quite heavy load of 100 Ohms. As a result lengts of 30 meters between source and receiver can be used without loss and jitter.
The I2S module is dedicated for Sonnet products like for instance our upcoming Hermes. However in some cases by removing four jumpers on top of the module it will act as a high impedance receiver and therefore more flexible to match with other products. Still Sonnet Digital Audio cannot guarantee the correct behaviour in conjunction with other systems. If you have any doubts about the correct match with our products don't hesitate to contact us.
Like the standard USB option our dacs can be ordered including the I2S module .
MQA Optional module
The MQA module is available as an option and will be recognized as soon the module is installed in its socket. The module includes MQA technology, which enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. ‘MQA’ or ‘MQA Studio’ indicates that the product is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. ‘MQA Studio’ indicates it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.
Visit mqa.co.uk for more information. MQA and the Sound Wave Device are registered trade marks of MQA Limited.© 2016
Background information on non-oversampling conversion
- Non-oversampling Digital filter-less DAC Concept by Ryohei Kusunoki
- Manifacturing and testing the mini dac