Amplification and High Resolution Audio specialist Questyle Audio announced the CMA600i DAC-headphone amplifier, the newest addition to their premium audio systems at the CanJam SoCal 2016 event in Costa Mesa, California. The CMA600i is a more affordable version of their CMA800i, the integrated all-in-one DAC and Current Mode headphone amplifier and pre-amp, which inherited the patented current mode topology of the original Questyle CMA800 amplifier.
After many long hours of debugging, the CMA800, the world’s first Current Mode headphone amplifier, was born in 2007. CMA is short for Current Mode Amplification, whose THD+N is 0.0004%, and whose TIMD is so ultra low that it can hardly be tested. The CMA800 was the first Current Mode amplifier to be mass produced with excellent and stable performance and propelled Jason Wang’s company - Questyle Audio - all over the world.
The new Questyle Audio 600i DAC-headphone amplifier combo, is also a perfect complement to the company’s QP1R HRA portable music server / digital audio player, as well as their new 7.1 channel 5GHz Wireless Amplifier system, also demoed at CanJam 2016. Questyle unveiled the new CMA600i in partnership with Westone and Enigma Acoustics while the Questyle wireless system was driving the amazing ENIGMAcoustics M1 Mythology Hybrid electrostatic speaker system.
“Following the enthusiastic embrace of high resolution music and high-end headphones, consumers have flocked to Questyle Audio’s high-end components” says Bruce Ball, Vice President of Questyle North America. “The company’s new 600i integrated DAC/Amp combo creates excellent value by providing a high-end combo solution at a more modest price point. Meanwhile, Questyle is hard at work fine-tuning every aspect of our desktop system to create the new Gold Reference Edition for the audiophile who simply wants the best performance possible,” added Ball.
The Questyle Audio CMA600i Integrated Desktop DAC with Headphone Amplifier leverages Questyle’s patented Current Mode headphone amplification technology and uses a USB port that adopts a unique 3X Clock structure. This ensures a proper sync with the premium AK4490 32-bit DAC chipset from AKM. The chipset includes a newly developed switch capacitor filter “OSR Doubler” that greatly reduces sound degradation from noise shaping, achieving a flat noise floor up to 200kHz. The AK4490 chip obtains first class sound performance by also reducing jitter and pre-ringing to undetectable levels. The CMA600i also features a 4-pin balanced XLR stereo headphone output, accommodating balanced headphones with a single integrated DAC/headphone amp. The CMA600i is also equipped with XLR and RCA pre-amplifier outputs that support 24bit/192KHz transmission to a separate power amplifier, such as the new R200i wireless / wired amplifiers that accommodate balanced connection, and allows the CMA600i to act as a separate, premium DAC/Preamp. The CMA600i is available in Space Gray now for $1,299.
Reference Edition series
At CanJam 2016, Questyle Audio also introduced the Reference Edition series of their desktop systems - first shown at CES 2016. Characterized by their premium gold-colored appearance, the new versions of the CAS192D DAC, CMA800P headphone preamplifier and CMA800R headphone amplifier use Rogers ceramic printed circuit boards and hand-picked system components to improve sonic performance.
The CMA800P Preamp features Current Mode pre-amplification with switchable high and low internal gain, XLR and RCA input and outputs and hand-picked and matched components for an ultra low THD+N of 0.00022%. The Roger ceramic PCB provides extremely low permittivity and dielectric loss. Its dielectric constant is stable in a wide frequency range to 10GHz and ensures ultra-low signal loss. The standard version CMA800P is available now for $2,499.99 in Silver while the Reference Edition is $3,499.99 in Gold.
The CMA800R Headphone Amplifier further redefines the state of the art by being the first headphone amplifier to support a Dual Mono Full Balanced configuration. While in full mono balanced mode, distortion levels drop to less than 0.00026%, making the CMA800R a force to be reckoned with in terms of design and performance. The CMA800R includes balanced XLR and RCA inputs/outputs and a wide, 650kHz bandwidth, ensuring the full signal will pass through with 114dB S/N ratio. The standard version of the CMA800R is available in Silver for $1,999.99, with the Reference Edition in Gold going for $2,999.99.
Complementing the Questyle Audio CMA800R and CMA800P is the Questyle Audio Reference Edition CAS192D Digital-to-Analog Converter in Gold finish. The Questyle Audio CAS192D is an upgrade from Questyle's previous flagship model, the added "D" stands for “True DSD” since it processes DSD files in their native bit-stream format without conversion to PCM or breaking up the bit-stream into 16bit packets and compressing it into 24bit PCM packets (DoP). In PCM mode, the Questyle Audio CAS192D still provides five switchable digital filters, in which the IIR (MP) filter eliminates Pre-Ring from pulse waves. The Upsampling button is switchable between ON and OFF, allowing convenient sound performance comparisons. The CAS192D D/A Converter offers Coaxial, optical and USB input support up to 192kHz/24-bit, a IIR (MP) Digital Filter, Wolfson’s flagship WM8741 Chipset, and XLR and RCA analog outputs. The standard version of the CAS192D is available now for $1,999.00 in silver and the Reference Edition is $2,999.99 in Gold.
Questyle’s new R200i 5GHz Wireless 200W Mono Block wireless audio amplifier sends audio signals in the 5.2GHz/5.8GHz frequency, avoiding the busy Wi-Fi 2.4GHz frequency range and achieving the most stable transmission. The R200i amplifier is a 200W Mono block that integrates a wireless receiver, DAC and ICEpower amplifier. Two R200i amplifiers can share a T2 transmitter and with its 20A current output capacity, the unit can easily drive high-end power-consuming speaker systems. The R200i also features 8 sensitivity control channels to separate each channel’s sensitivity, can support 12V triggers and comes equipped with an analog RCA output that makes it easy to drive an active speaker or subwoofer. In Direct Mode, the R200i can support an XLR analog input thus allowing it to work as a conventional “wired” balanced amplifier. It is planned to be available this summer in Space Gray and Gold. price TBD.