Merason Frèrot DAC
After the MERSON DAC-1 made a splash in the audiophile world, the Swiss manufacturer Dafraud is now introducing a little brother to the DAC-1. The Frérot, aptly named “little brother”, builds on the great DAC-1 in terms of sound and technology. The designers said their goal was to create a very analog sounding DAC at a very reasonable price. With the Frérot they managed to achieve this goal.
Peering inside the Frerot, it becomes obvious that Merason pays a lot of attention in managing the digital signal. The electrically incoming digital signals are all initially galvanically isolated. With the isolation of the coaxial input via transformer and with the capacitive isolation of the USB input. The signals are then converted to I²S format using an AK4118 chip and sent to the 1794A DAC. Post DAC conversion of current to voltage is handled with discrete components and a Class A buffer. Voltage regulation is handled via proprietary circuitry.
The Merason Frerot is a small DAC in size and price, while when it comes to sound performance, it is a giant capable of withstanding comparisons with converters in a very different price range.
The sound of the Frerot gives a great sensation of fluidity and musicality, while listening you can enjoy a healthy analogue warmth. All this is combined with excellent definition and transparency, with an ability to extract information from the signal capable of rediscovering your favorite music.
A sound rich in details, harmonics and great airiness, and an ability to reproduce a spectacular sound scene, present and vivid, three-dimensional and profound, at the same time concrete and material, with good recordings you can feel the sensation of the physical presence of the instruments and of voices in the listening environment.
The entire frequency spectrum enjoys these characteristics, clean and airy defined highs, natural and expressive mids (the voices are wonderful), full and deep bass, rich in harmonics, always very well controlled and articulated.
The dynamic management is very noteworthy, it allows you to go from small low-level signals to powerful sound explosions always with great naturalness and gradualness while respecting and maintaining the original variations of the musical program.
NOTE: an optional high-quality power supply capable of further improving the performance of the Frérot is available HERE.
Input signal processing: The frerot has one USB, two RCA and two Toslink inputs. The USB input is based on Amanero technology and ensures a low-jitter music signal thanks to two precise oscillators, which is additionally galvanically isolated by capacitive isolator components. The signals arriving at the other inputs are also galvanically isolated and de-jittered by means of transformers. This guarantees that no external interference can affect the sensitive signal.
Digital-to-analog conversion: The task of digital-to-analog conversion is performed by a 1794A converter module from Burr Brown. The analog current signal is elaborately converted into a voltage signal in a discrete setup, which is buffered in Class A technology and routed to the output. The frerot is fully balanced, i. e. a total of four independent channels are implemented from the two converter modules to the output.
Power supply: As with the DAC1, each functional unit has its own power supply, and there are ten in total. Unlike the DAC1, all four output channels are supplied by one supply, which is generated by a switching voltage regulator.
Structure: Meticulous attention has been paid to the layout and component selection to ensure that both ensure good sound, which has been verified in many sessions and confirmed by many listeners.
Made in Switzerland: as with the DAC1, all critical work is done exclusively in Switzerland.
Output: max. 4 V RMS (balanced), max. 2 V RMS (unbalanced)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz bis 20 kHz +/- 0.2 dB
THD+N: < 0.006 %
SNR: > 120 dB
DAC: BurrBrown 1794A, discrete I/V stage
Power Supply: 9V DC, 12 W via enclosed external power supply unit. Enclosed external power supply unit 100V to 240V AC / 50 to 60 Hz, 40W.
44.1 kHz@16 bit, 44.1 kHz@24 bit
48 kHz@16 bit, 48 kHz@24 bit
88.2 kHz@24 bit
96 kHz@24 bit
176.4 kHz@24 bit
192 kHz@24 bit
Width: 22.5 cm, 8.86 In
Height: 5 cm, 1.97 In
Depth: 18 cm, 7.1 In
Weight: 995 g, 2.2 lbs (DAC), 200 g, 0.44 lbs (power supply)