Bel Canto Black EX

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EX Integrated Technology

Our new AMiP (Asynchronous Multi-Input Processor) Platform manages all the inputs of the Black EX Integrated amplifier. It is a powerful custom asynchronous core with 6 processor units that consist of: 2-32 bit XMOS general purpose processors, 2-32 bit ARM processors units as well as 2-dedicated audio processors. These together handle the ethernet interface that works with Roon Ready and DLNA servers, USB-A host streaming input, a USB2-24/384 input, legacy digital SPDIF/AES/TOS inputs and analog line level and phono inputs. The AMiP platform handles DSD and MQA processes and our custom Time Optimized Filter with integer up-sampling. There is a high-performance MM/MC programmable phono stage and 2-line level inputs that feed a high dynamic range 24/192 ADC into the processor core. Dual free running Ultra-Low Phase Noise Master Clocks direct all the digital processing and strip any incoming jitter from external digital input streams. There is a 32-bit ARM core processor that handles the user interface and coordination of the AMiP Platform. The AMiP platform feeds our HDR-II DAC core running on a dedicated power supply through a custom digital interface. This is where volume control is performed using 32-bit math, the HDR-II core achieves 126dB of dynamic range, higher than any analog volume control could achieve for completely transparent volume control function. The HDR-II also has an asynchronous interface with a free running Ultra-Low Phase Noise Master Clock positioned adjacent to the Digital to Analog Converters. It includes a 64-bit dedicated audio Digital Signal Processor to provide completely transparent Bass Management, sophisticated Tilt and Bass EQ functions and allows us to fine tune things like the RIAA response in the phono section. There is a secondary DAC (112dB dynamic range) that drives the line output and provides headphone and subwoofer output capability with bass management features. 

Bel Canto’s High Dynamic Resolution-II (HDR-II) core is a highly refined Digital to Analog Core rendering high levels of definition and musicality. It is the culmination of more than 20 years of audio DAC design evolution. With the HDR-II Core we have improved the dynamic range, analog output stage design and digital filters while reducing spurious signal generation and jitter related errors. Our new HDR-II Core has demonstrated that we can increase the resolution of musical detail, and improve listenability and perceived quality of the recorded music. This is in contrast where ‘transparent’ and ‘revealing’ often means ‘bright’. The HDR-II Core presents the original music with high levels of clarity and emotion. Our HDR-II Core starts with a deliberate and careful choice of DAC technology. This choice defines the ultimate achievable performance and is defined by several key specifications. Our research has directed us to the best DAC technology, confirmed through extensive testing and listening. Bel Canto chooses the most refined CMOS digital to analog processor to provide superior dynamic range through extremely low noise, distortion and jitter sensitivity. The analog output section takes best advantage of the underlying CMOS technology to achieve the highest levels of analog purity and uncompromised performance. This Advanced Segment Technology DAC combines both multi-bit and multi-bit delta-sigma technology to deliver superb performance with a dynamic range of 132dB and transparent linear-phase digital filters. The CMOS analog conversion operates in a Constant Voltage, Class A Differential Current mode for minimal distortion and best analog performance. Through detailed FFT analysis we characterize DAC performance over the complete dynamic range, ensuring that the DAC analog outputs behave in a true analog fashion. As with the best analog circuitry our DAC technology exhibits diminishing levels of distortion and spurious signals at lower output levels where most of the audio signals live. Our HDR-II Core analog behavior is contrasted in the following figures with an increasingly popular DAC technology that looks good on paper but does not deliver true analog purity over the audio dynamic range.

Black EX – Integrated
Black EX – DAC/Preamp
Black EX – Amplifier