Sutherland’s New $1,600 Preamp For Your Downloaded Music 
Home Theater News Preamplifier News
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Friday, 19 October 2001

Sutherland Engineering, long known for their dedicated ultra high performance audio equipment, has designed a unique component for those who are looking to get the most out of their downloaded music collection. While most MP3 solutions are storage based, the new $1,600 Sutherland 12dAX12 is actually a tube preamp and DAC.

Head designer, Ron Sutherland muses "What is the sound quality potential of computer stored music? Not very good in most cases. Because of the limitations with internal sound cards, even the possibility of high-quality sound from the computer has not really been taken seriously to date. What computers do well, is process and manipulated numbers. But, inside, they are the noisiest and most contaminated environments imaginable. About the worst place to be putting audio amplifier circuitry. Even a well designed internal sound card has very low performance potential. On top of that, they are designed for a low price point thus there is basically no budget for audio quality parts."

The 12dAX7 explores the possibility of good sound from the computer. The music is sent to the 12dAX7 in digital form via the USB. There is no analog audio circuitry in the computer. All audio is derived within the 12dAX7 using a specialized Digital to Analog converter. The analog signal then goes to a vacuum tube high end preamplifier.

Everything about the 12dAX7 is derived from the high end audio experience. With it, you can enjoy the world of digital music with the intimate warmth of vacuum tubes. Just add a power amplifier and speakers that best meet the needs of your desktop environment.

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