introducing LEVEL 6 DAC - the Fikus DAC

 
 

it is my personal pleasure to present this DAC as a ready product. The level 6 is a special level - a product reserved to MUSIC LOVERS. It is not for anxious audiophiles who listen to one song on hi rez format all the time.

Level 6 is the no compromise, ultimate attempt on the state of art in music making. It is not about convenience, not about features and not about specs. It is only about the music.

My strategic decision is to optimize everything to such degree that no options will be available at all. It is - as it is - like it or not.


It is not simply “better” than Lev.5 - it is a Level 5 in one box, without options and optimized to the max. Having said that - it sounds better to me.



Lukasz Fikus, owner and chief designer


Some information

It comes as RCA output only - because most music lovers use Single Ended Triode amps anyway.  so NO BALANCED OPTION.

It is a one box DAC with the PSU built-in.

PSU is a tube job, fully dual mono.

It has no volume control, even as a paid option.

It may have an USB input,  as a paid option (it CAN also be configured as “USB only” and then it will not have SPDIF RCA). USB cost 300 Euro extra.

Only Jensen Copper PIO caps at the output (and another pair on PCB signal path)

Only two digital inputs - RCA coax S/PDIF digital input (no Toslink even as paid option) and one XLR AES/EBU switchable by a toggle at the back.

It accepts all speeds from 44 to 192 kHz and all bit lengths from 16 to 24

The DAC chip is R2R type multibit (not delta-sigma).

DAC output is CURRENT (no internal opamps).

Tube analog output stage is single ended triode (tube made 60 years ago !)

Tube stage is supplied by dual mono, giant 5c3S tube rectified power supply (one can experiment with rolling different rectifiers like 5R4, 5c4, GZ34 , 5Y3, etc.)

All wiring, even power section, is made point to point with pure solid silver in cotton or in Teflon or similar.

Digital signal input wiring is made with solid core silver in teflon and in silver shielding

RCA sockets are machined from solid copper plated by silver.

AC input socket is Swiss Shurter.

AES EBU socket is Neutrik original silver plated female  XLR.

Chassis is INOX stainless steel 2 mm thick.

Output tubes are the best ever Soviet Metal Base 6H8C from 1950’s . (compatible with 6SN7GT)

Digital PCB is floated by soft spring suspension or rubber washers.

Transformers are 2 times oversized versus Level 4 or 5 and 10 times oversized versus the demand.

The high voltage capacitors to the anode supply and also in tube rectifier section are foil type MKP - not electrolytic.

All chokes are 30 H, made from super expensive, ultra thin steel, annealed, temperature treated, and vacuum potted with resin (Ogonowski).

Digital PCB gets supplies from a dedicated, custom made quadruple secondaries transformer - separate for digital supplies and analog supplies, separate for positive and negative voltage.

Tubes are exposed on top of the DAC chassis.

All small signal from chip to tubes come via paper in oil caps.

Extended 5 years warranty (excl. tubes)



The sonic experience is “designed” to be a “Nirvana state of bliss” with real human voices projected just in front of the listener, the musical instrument threads scattered around in a  3-D space fashion, natural timbres and colors of music preserved as much as possible, natural airy soundstage with master tape hiss, scary realistic sound “events” happening all the time, details presented in an un-fatiguing manner but with 100 % accuracy. The most important is also disappearing act of speakers and also disappearing act of ALL SYSTEM - leaving us with nothing but music in the room. Generally speaking - the experience should be: “what we always wanted from our system - music and nothing else”.



Availability and price: the DAC is not available from stock, it is custom build to an order and waiting time is 4 weeks. (includes one week, 24 hr burn in test).

Price 4950 Euro (plus VAT in European Union)

115 V AC mains is available.

 

My favorite “fikus DAC”

Hand made, custom order, high end equipment with vacuum tubes.