Canor Precision Tube DAC 2.10 USB DAC w/Tube Output A Family Affair

It would surely have been far simpler for Canor to 'lift' the digital heart from its CD 2.10 player [HFN Apr '21] into this partnering Precision Tube DAC 2.10 but, for reasons that are familiar to us all these days, it was encouraged to transition from its SRC43921/AK4490EQ upsampler/DAC solution to one based on tried-and-tested ESS silicon. So, while the Precision Tube DAC 2.10 still employs Canor's familiar 6922 triode tube-based analogue output stage and XMOS USB input, the digital 'filling' is now a combination of ESS's ES9311 regulator, three separate crystal clocks and a pair of surface-mount ES9038Q2M DACs. Now if this latter section sounds familiar, and the production engineering of its digital PCB looks familiar, then there's good reason because Canor is also a longstanding sub-contractor for what is arguably the world's leading hi-fi brand – Pro-Ject.

Audio Tuning Vertriebs GmbH, the parent of Pro-Ject Audio Systems, also owns the Musical Fidelity brand and it's one of this company's recent products, the EISA Award-winning M6x DAC [HFN Jul '22], that shares a very similar DAC/clock PCB layout. The cooperation between the two brands makes great sense, and aside from the benefits brought by economy of scale, the two companies remain linked by geography and personnel – one of Pro-Ject's key electronics designers having been on the board at Canor. The high-tech production facilities at Canor's Slovakian plant are perfectly placed for Pro-Ject's higher-end electronics separates, leaving the fullest capacity of Pro-Ject's own SEV Litovel factory devoted to building its seemingly inexhaustible range of turntables.

But you don't need Hi-Fi News' technical expertise to imagine some sharing of genetics between the M6x and Precision Tube DAC 2.10, as both products share a very specific set of user-selectable digital filters. Seven of these are baked into the ESS9038 DAC – five with 'fast' (sharp) roll-off characteristics and two with 'slow' (gentler) treble roll-offs – but these are joined here by a custom 8th 'oversample bypass' mode that invokes a unique, low-overhead minimum phase filter. PM

Canor, spol. s r.o.
Supplied by: Signature Audio Systems, UK
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