With innovation comes performance at improved economies of scale. Introducing the Waversa compact DAC3. Inside the same chassis familiar to the WCore 2.0 and Wrouter exists a digital audio converter that outperforms its big brother in both presentations and clarity at a fraction of the price.
Generally, upsampling uses an FIR filter (Finite Impulse Response, fixed-form impulse response filter). Interpolation (interpolation) is performed during the upsampling process to correct the sound quality. FIR Interpolation is a mathematical calculation that estimates and fills between digital points.
In the case of the Saber ES90x8 series, such FIR filters are basically built-in, and DAC manufacturers can easily perform upsampling. However, in the case of incorrectly made upsampling, the sound becomes thinner, and it is often proved that listening with the upsampling function turned off sounds better.
WaversaSystems uses a proprietary WAP instead of the basic FIR filter included in the DA chip. WAP is designed with a multi-stage structure including a number of proprietary FIR filters and IIR filters (Infinite Impulse Response Filter) and performs high-resolution upsampling. This high-resolution upsampled signal is processed through thousands of iterative calculations using state-of-the-art source estimation algorithms to reduce digital errors and create a waveform that is as identical as possible to the original analog signal. This is the role of WAP.
WAP (Waversa Audio Processor)
- Hardware method with very low jitter rate and accurate timing
- Proprietary solution from digital input to processor
- Dual WAP captures all signals on the optimized route
- Centralized clock management in the signal path
- Technology to minimize Quantization Error
- Processes huge information up to 32Bit 1.5MHz
- Highest level signal restoration algorithm by applying medical technology
Very few DAC manufacturers have developed their own digital processors because the development of digital processors requires significant understanding and knowledge of digital signal systems and is difficult to develop alone, and most DAC manufacturers use DSPs built into the DAC chip or use off-the-shelf modules. However, some high-end DAC manufacturers, such as CHORD, DCS, and MSB, design digital processors independently with sound quality as the top priority.
The software processing method has elements that cause errors because the processing is sequential and complicated. On the other hand, in the hardware processing method, since signal processing is performed once at the same time, there is no room for jitter, and the timing of the audio signal is exactly the same.
WDAC3C also has a digital processor chip designed by WaversaSystems, designed inhouse.
WaversaSystems digital processors are processed in hardware, not software-based digital processing, so they are processed simultaneously in a simple, optimized path resulting in fewer errors, and the timing of the audio signal is handled more accurately.
Modular design vs. proprietary signal path system:
Most DAC manufacturers produce modularized DAC components individually arranged and combined allowing for ease of development and production with easy with off-the-shelf chips. As a result, only a few DAC manufacturers have their own signal systems, and DACs of those brands are priced at more than $ 10,000. WDAC3C is a signal path system specification originally developed by WaversaSystems. All signal processing has been optimized, including a proprietary USB input circuit, network renderer, digital processor and DAC, and is controlled and operated precisely by a clock system unified by a digital processor (WAP). This method has a lower error probability, higher stability, and ideal digital signal processing than the method of circuit design with commercially available modules.
Dual WAP captures all signals In order to dramatically increase processing speed and efficiently manage signal processing. The first WAP (P1) processes all input signals, and the second WAP (P2) receives signals processed by P1 on I2S and decodes signals with clocks according to sampling rates. In this way, by assigning a unique role to each digital processor, signal interference is minimized, more sophisticated clock management is performed, and sound quality benefits from accurate signals that do not compromise digital signal integrity. The heart of WAP lies in signal restoration. 32Bit 1.5 MHz, processing huge information
The WDAC3C does not use the FIR built into the general ES9038, but uses multiple stages of FIR with proprietary logic to perform high-resolution upsampling. Instead, the heart of the technology is included in WAP, and the newly developed WAP has greatly increased the amount of data that can be processed. This new WAP has succeeded its predecessor (24Bit / 368kHz) with 32Bit 1.5MHz data processing. In comparison,16Bit, 65,532 digital signal processes are performed, and in 32Bit, there are 4 billion digital signal processes, and the sophistication of signal processing is dramatically increased. This has made it possible to generate digital signals that are closer to analog, and the subsequent digital restoration technology has become more accurate.
To put it simply, the improved internal processing speed of 32Bit 1.5MHz is similar to upgrading from DVD quality to 4K quality. This dramatically increases the detail and dynamic range that can be expressed.
WAP sounds more natural as you step up WAP's signal restoration algorithm technology increases in sophistication as the numerical value of the calculation accuracy increases. This is managed by WAP Level. WDAC1 has one stage of WAP, WDAC2 has three stages, WDAC3 has five stages, and WDAC3C has nine stages. This WAP is a computation that is processed at the digital stage and can be upgraded by connecting devices.
WCORE and WRouter are WAP level 3, yet when connected to WDAC3C with WAP level 9, a synergistic effect results and the WAP level is measured at 15. The higher the WAP level, the more sophisticated the processing per unit time, and the better the sound image and detail. And the tone of the instruments is also flexible, natural and easy to hear.
In designing and developing a DAC, there are several components that affect sound quality.
Several factors, such as the design of the input / output lines, the design of the internal algorithm of the digital processing chip, and the performance of the DA chip, the design of the power supply unit and the design of the analog output unit are directly related to the completeness of the DAC.
ES9038PRO is a flagship model consisting of 8 channels that features 32-bit processing and ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream DAC technology. The HyperStream architecture has excellent sound quality and very low intermodulation distortion characteristics and has superior audio characteristics compared to general competitors using the delta-sigma architecture.
Digital processing of WDAC3C
The performance of the DAC chip is also very important for the DAC, but it is not the only one. If DA chip performance is important, all DACs with the same DA chip should sound the same. The choice of a DAC chip is important, but the consequences will depend entirely on how the DAC chip is used. The WDAC3C uses only the most basic functions by bypassing the ES9038PRO and achieves excellent sound quality through original and unique designs for both the input and output sections. Two of them are WAP and WMLET.
WDAC3C has introduced two unique technologies from WaversaSystems to make optimal use of the ES9038PRO with a 32-bit 8-channel DAC.
One is WAP, a source estimation algorithm that operates at 32Bit 1.5MHz. The other is the range separation technology (WMLET).
Range Separation Technology (WMLET).
Channel separation technology for sound range and (WMLET – Waversa Multi-Layer Energy Transfer)
Rather than using the commercially available ES9038PRO chip as it is, WDAC3C has an algorithm that passes the circuits of the input stage and the oversampling filter stage and instead uses the WAP chip to process each process individually.
It is then passed on to the ES9038PRO by another key technology, the range channel separation technology (WMLET). Range channel separation technology (WMLET-Waversa Multi-Layer Energy Transfer)
As the name implies, the band is divided into high, mid-high, mid-low, and low bands at the digital stage for each of the left and right channels, and passed through eight channels of ES9038Pro for processing. In conventional signal processing, the energy is concentrated in the middle band due to the characteristics of the analog element. Instead of 8 channels, only the left and right channels will be processed together, and more energy will be concentrated in the mid-band. To prevent this, WDAC3C distributes the energy evenly for each band and improves the sound quality. The advantage of separating the channels for each range using WMLET is that the WDAC3C has an ingenious technology that regulates energy in four channels per frequency band, thus improving distortion caused by energy bias and reviving subtle musical elements, a band balance that cannot be felt with conventional DACs has been realized. This approach to digital processing is unique only to Waversa products.
- The energy concentrated in the mid band is evenly distributed, and the band balance is excellent.
- The resolution increases with each band, taking advantage of the nuances of band separation and natural music.
- Implementation of a wider music signal dynamic range and broadband frequency reproduction.
- Natural balance of the sound can be maintained, and the originality of the tone is maintained.
WAP / X (Waversa Audio Processor Extension)that reproduces the sound of vacuum tubes
The characteristics of a vacuum tube amplifier that has been deeply loved for its warm tone are reproduced using digital technology. These overtone characteristics of WAP / X were developed focusing on the 1940's WE300B.
The technology adds a sense of overtones in WAP / X and WAP, realizing the sound of a transparent and warm vacuum tube, digitally reproduced technology designed to be upgradeable in future firmware updates.
Main features of WDAC3C
Equipped with dual 32Bit 1.5MHz WAP chip of next-generation design
High-end DA chip adopted: ESS Saber 9038 Pro
External clock input terminal
Battery power input terminal
Full balance circuit
Analog output with discrete structure
Uses WNDR protocol with the best sound quality
Proprietary network renderer board for streaming (DLNA, Airplay, ROON Ready, WNDR)
Monocoque cutting chassis
Floating circuit board design for vibration suppression
Digital and analog stages are separate dual transformer power supply design
32Bit Dual WAP (Waversa Audio Processor)
WaversaSystems proprietary audio signal processor, WAP processed in 32 bits (conventional 24 bit)
Upscaling of 65,532 (16Bit) digital signals to 4 billion (32Bit) digital signals
A new dimension of natural sound quality woven by ultra-high precision sound particles
Highest quality DAC chip adopted
ESS9038 Pro D / A converter adopted
Fourteen internal channels of the DA converter are separated (high, middle / high, middle / low, low) to achieve dynamic range and excellent bandwidth.
Sound quality that overcomes the limitations of digital:
Natural texture, harmonics, nuance and richness of music, smooth sound quality, enough for analog (LP) enthusiasts, while maintaining digital quality clarity.
Full balance circuit and expandability
True full-balanced analog circuits not found in the same price range
Connectable external clock and battery power supply (WaversaSystems dedicated clock and battery power supply will be developed)
Roon Ready: Supports ROON RAAT and WNDR protocols
Rich interface: Ethereum, USB, Coaxial, AES / EBU. Balanced (XLR), Single-ended (RCA)
Isolated designed board:
The mainboard, renderer board, and display board are individually configured and have a structure that does not affect each other and maximizes the characteristics of each component.
Partition wall design to prevent contamination:
A compact design with effective shielding allowing individual components to function without interference, and has almost no vibration coefficient.
Design of dual transformer and stable power supply:
The high quality dual toroidal transformers offering current reserves required for circuit accuracy and stably. The dual transformer is designed to supply the digital section and the analog section separately, preventing the power supply from being mixed by the processing signal, and achieving ultra-low noise and sound quality improvement.
The layout part of the two power transformers is machined by a CNC machine so that the periphery of the transformer can be made into a housing structure so that the radiation noise and EMI noise generated by the transformer do not affect the periphery, and the transformer vibration is fundamentally eliminated!
Mainboard with floating circuit structure:
Vibration and noise must be well-blocked for better sound quality. Designing a floating circuit board structure is a way to minimize the effects of vibration. Floating circuit boards have a structure where the board is literally fixed at the top, not the bottom, and is designed to be as insensitive to vibration as possible.
The chassis of the top plate on which the board is mounted has a tube-cut monocoque structure, and the main board of this machine is directly connected to the housing without any additional support parts. In this way, it plays the role of a highly durable support base and the role of suppressing vibration.
This is a possible result because the body is directly excavated in cylindrical cutting, which can reduce the resonance frequency of the mainboard and other components connected to the housing, and consequently the decisive increase in sound quality.
These designs are used only by a few high-end manufacturers because of the exponential increase in manufacturing costs.