Alpha Design Labs has something of a reputation for producing ‘Swiss army knife’ components capable of performing multiple tasks (see the GT40a in the February issue’s Group Test), and it looks like its latest release – the Stratos – is set to continue this trend. Compact in design it boasts a USB DAC with A/D convertor, a preamp, MM/MC phono stage and headphone amp.
Built, says ADL, with the audiophile in mind, the Stratos supports PCM up to 32/384 and DSD to 11.2MHz. The unit’s A/D convertor enables conversion of analogue sources into high-resolution 24/192 digital files over a choice of USB, optical and coaxial digital outputs and, in the case of vinyl recording, it includes the requisite input with simple switching between moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) or line input.
An electronic volume control allows the Stratos to be used as a multi-functional digital and analogue preamplifier that can be connected directly to a power amplifier or active speakers. Three two-channel headphone amps, including two powering the XLR (4-pin) balanced output, and a third – the 6.35mm stereo phono jack output – claim to drive headphones ranging from 12 to 600ohm at >120dB dynamic range.
The Stratos also features a dual power supply system. A 5V USB bus powers the input circuit, while an external 15V adaptor powers all other circuits. you can find out more by clicking here.
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