"It Made Lovely Music"
As the great jazz composer Sun Ra says, "Space is the place," and audio enthusiasts all over the globe know that to be true. Most of us live in tight quarters and there's little room for large, energy-inefficient components. Plus a growing number are using their computers to store and play music. But audiophiles and music lovers still want what they want, better sound and more convenience.
That's why Furutech introduced the well-reviewed GT40 USB DAC/Analog Recorder last year. The GT40 was the stripped-down sports racer of the group and the Esprit is a faster, more luxurious GT model. It's a compact DAC/Preamplifier that can also record and playback from hard disk in both analog and with the Esprit, digital. It even offers a toggle switch to choose recording attenuation levels of 0dB, 6 dB, or 12dB.
"The price is very reasonable, considering the feature set," notes Currawong in his Head-fi.org review. "If you want a small, neat and very functional unit with a good headphone amp to integrate into a computer/music system, this is worth considering."
"It made lovely music on both the analog and digital side of the ledger," reports David W. Robinson in his PositiveFeedback.com review for September-October 2012.
Built-in High Performance Wolfson DAC
The Esprit is designed around a high-performance 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC. ADC duties are covered by the Cirrus Logic CS5361 24-bit/192kHz converter with multi-bit architecture at 114dB dynamic range. It also features optical, coaxial, USB and a pair of line-level inputs for whatever home entertainment devices you're using.
The Esprit also carries both analog and optical outputs and works handily as a preamplifier. The optical output is for USB sources only. The S/PDIF signal output will support digital surround multi-channel formats such as AC3/DTS Decoder. Completely control an analog, digital or computer-based system with superior sound while recording vinyl or any other analog or digital source to hard disk. Esprit supports asynchronous mode USB and ASIO, USB 2.0 Full Speed and USB Audio Class 1.0. It supports 32, 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz sampling rates. An I²S bus separates clock and data signals for very low jitter connections. No drivers are necessary with Mac computers and a single standard driver is supplied for Windows.
Exceptional Headphone Amplifier
The Esprit isn't 'just' a high functioning DAC and preamp. It is also an exceptional headphone amplifier. The TI TPA6120A2 chipset drives 16 to 600 ohm headphones with aplomb at >120dB dynamic range. Esprit uses the highest quality parts throughout its construction, like ELNA ROB or ELNA RFS-grade capacitors and a JRC NJM5532 low-noise dual operational amplifier. It boasts a quality aluminum chassis and beautifully-machined and operating volume control, too.
The sound is vivid, captivating, palpable and unheard of in this price category. The ADL Esprit brings Furutech's signature smooth, detailed clarity to high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz files and it helps make 16-bit/44.1kHz files sound better and more satisfying.
"The price is very reasonable, considering the feature set… If you want a small, neat and very functional unit with a good headphone amp to integrate into a computer/music system, this is worth considering."
- Currawong, Head-fi.org
"My time with the Esprit was well spent. I enjoy the quality of the sound and the craftsmanship of the design while it was here. It made lovely music on both the analog and digital side of the ledger."
- David W. Robinson, PositiveFeedback.com, September-October 2012