Sony UDA-1 DAC Amplifier

Look who is back. With a fresh range of committed separates geared toward bringing hires to the audiophile masses, it definitely means business. Given that Sony is the firm that co-created the first Red Book standard of CD and set the 'S' in S/PDIF, it is safe to presume that its new products will likely be according to a heritage of digital sound development.

This new range can also be streamlined, using a smattering of carefully contemplated splits disperse across different merchandise groups. There are the high end TA-A1ES integrated amp and HAP-Z1ES media player that is, each costing GBP2,000 each. While at the cheaper end of the marketplace sit a few of Kern & Astell matching hires the UDA-1 as well as Walkmans you see before you.

The UDA-1 is a versatile small unit which is basically a miniature incorporated with the onboard DAC. It sports a wide selection of digital input signals, including S/PDIF and USB, shared over optical and coaxial input signals. Add to this a line level output signal and there is a great-worth starter merchandise as funds permit, you could develop a method about.

As you'd expect in the Japanese firm which helped give us SACD's hires DSD protocol, the UDA-1 welcomes the most.

At 4kg brick is felt by it sturdy. As well as the manner its 3mm- brushed alloy front fascia folds into its top panel appears sleek. The few controls adorning its front-panel are extremely well ended at any given cost for hifi kit, and hark back to the glory days of Japanese stereo. Okay, the side-cheeks are plastic, unless you are up close, but you can not tell. Either way, you will need good eyesight to find out what sampling rate ball park as the typography of the leading panel is extremely rather modest, you are in.

The Sony comes designed by having an internal fan, which exhausts through its back panel maybe to help in keeping its measurements streamlined, instead of flanks of passive heat sinks. Easing some aftermarket sorbothane feet places pay for this, as does transferring it to a committed ledge within my solid oak hifi stand.

Set Up is plain straightforward. Once hooked up to my notebook via USB, I am prompted to install the applications, which takes several seconds of Sony. Hitting play in iTunes tells me as the music starts to stream through my speakers, I am connected. There is no drawn-out or difficulty guide of boring setup settings to haul yourself through and up and running, the credit card sized remote control is delight to make use of.

Sound quality

The UDA-1 is a consistent and clean performer, that sits back and lets without imparting an excessive amount of a unique character, your loudspeakers do the speaking. Hooked up to my notebook and feeding a set of Q Acoustics 2020i bookshelf speakers it seems right at home and seems. So when it is added on by an unobtrusive background does a dandy job of turning a pc right into a credible hifi source.

Not that its nose turns up at the varieties of lossy formats it'll most probably be called into duty to serve for many a listener. This filter is a good tool by making it seem less empty or opaque for enhancing MP3 kind audio.

The affect of the DSEE can also be especially noticeable through the headphone jack using the Rutledge record. It helps to smooth edges that are sibilant and does shove instruments deeper while the sense of naturalism of the music does not raise. In this regard, the affect of the DSEE is similar to changing to your more dynamic and open-backed set of headphones.

The soundstage looks a little deeper than it's broad, with a more panoramic scale being achieved by the frequencies that are larger than the notes of the group. While the UDA-1 ensures the time of the track is nailed by Callier's rhythm section, percussion and bass guitar remain nicely inside the boundaries of the speaker plane.

The performance is graceful throughout the frequency band, helping to make it an easy listen although its audio is relatively included. Time is spot on, as well as the UDA1 lets the progressive tempo of the track become addictive that is alluringly. Bass sounds astonishingly weighty given the small 23W of the amp, although this track also reveals minor clouding in the reduced frequencies.

Using its lineouts feeding my Musical Fidelity M6 pre/power amps and Audiovector floorstanders, the mettle of the Sony is put to the test. You will notice I am using its line outs to drive my M6 preamp as an alternative to linking it straight to the M6 power amp, because, regardless of the volume knob governing its loudspeaker and headphone outputs, its line level output signal is fixed and, consequently, unaffected by the UDA-1's volume control. So do not be misled into attempting to use it as a preamp to right drive power amp that is different, unless you get bangs from loudspeakers that are bursting.

While I can plainly hear the contribution of the MF amps in relation to the Sony's inbuilt amp can gather, as they drive my speakers with greater power, the caliber of its own hires DAC glows through.

Knopfler's brooding vocals on Redbud Tree convincingly that is sound compact, using a dollop of Dylanesque nasal nature. Equally engaging is the sound of the lead guitar, which includes only the best number of echo that is continual as it falls back to the soundstage, emphasising the merits of hires records done correctly.


As an opening to the sphere of hires replay, the UDA-1 is an excellent worth incorporated starter bundle, with a DAC section that is not green for feeding a system that is grander. Sound wise it is not a performer that is particularly fearless and while some may crave more delight, it gives a fatigue- listen for long term enjoyment.

Sony UDA-1 DAC Amplifier photo