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T+A HA 200 - DSD1024 DAC / Headphone Amp


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Here is some information on the new T+A HA 200  DAC / Headphone Amp combo:

 

https://www.ta-hifi.de/en/headphones/headphone-amplifier/

 

Key features;

  • PCM up to 768/32 with selectable upsampling algorithms including time-domain optimized "Bezier" upsampling
  • additional: 2 selectable NOS (non oversampling) DAC functions : NOS DAC with analog filtering and "pure" NOS DAC with wide analog bandwidth - the latter intended for high sample rate PCM (fs >= 96kHz) 
  • True 1-Bit DSD DAC up to DSD1024
  • native DSD up to DSD1024 from Windows and Linux sources
  • UAC2 and UAC3 compliant "Thesycon" USB receiver
  • separate signal paths for PCM and DSD
  • galvanic isolation between digital & analog circuits
  • Jitter elimination with femto precision re-clocking
  • pure class-A headphone amp with 100 Watt power supply - up to 700mA (RMS) in class A mode
  • relay Volume control with Vishay high precision resistors and hermetically sealed bi-stable gold contact relays (no steadily flowing relay currents)
  • switchable cross-feed

 

T+A developer

(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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2 minutes ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

Is there an "XLR out" version of this available for non-HP users in the near future?  Needless to say they'll be a queue awaiting such a device if so.  

 

Beautiful chassis design, by the way!

 

This device is a dedicated headphone amp - so sorry, no pre-amp output on this device.

T+A developer

(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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1 hour ago, m.i.c.k.e.y said:

Yeah a bummer. No analog out.

 

Well, in fact the three headphone outputs are all analog...😉

 

But don't get it wrong: This device is not intended to be a standard DAC with standard line or pre-amp outputs.

It was designed as a no-compromise Headphone DAC - purely and solely with the aim to get the best out of the very best headphones.

 

Who is looking for a DAC with XLR/RCA outputs to drive amplifiers/pre-amps will be better off with a DAC8DSD which has many of the features in common with the HA 200 but intended to drive amplifiers.

T+A developer

(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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Does it have network streaming and connectivity (ethernet input)? I would really hope, though looking at the front panel, I am afraid it doesn't. 

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10 hours ago, Urs said:

Does it have network streaming and connectivity (ethernet input)? I would really hope, though looking at the front panel, I am afraid it doesn't. 

 

Well, network streaming is not built in - but we have a USB power output jack delivering 5A/1A continous, 2A peak which could be used for a tiny ethernet to USB bridge or NAA.

 

T+A developer

(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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3 hours ago, m.i.c.k.e.y said:

With a preamp out  at least (Instead analog ins) or better yet w/ a network streamer, it would be outstanding AIO.

 

 

 

It is possible to use the XLR out on the front panel as a pre-out.

It is a very high quality analog out with 8 Ohms output resistance only - perfect for driving long cables to active speakers.

 

T+A developer

(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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21 hours ago, OE333 said:

Who is looking for a DAC with XLR/RCA outputs to drive amplifiers/pre-amps will be better off with a DAC8DSD which has many of the features in common with the HA 200 but intended to drive amplifiers.

 

Other than supporting higher DSD/PCM rates, and NOS filter for PCM side, how does this differ to the DAC8DSD? 

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What is the MSRP in USD?

 

answering my own question...$8900.


No outputs to integrate into a stereo system at this price or the ability to use the DAC on a separate headphone amplifier (if you’re dropping 9k on this, I’d assume you’d have another headphone amp for other “flavors”...like tube), BUT they allow you to have an HDMI ARC option??
 

And not network connected?

 

At this price and heinous (for the price) connectivity options, I can’t see this selling many.

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In the detailed blurb they mention a 'high resolution Thesycon chip' for USB. Since Thesycon is a software house and doesn't make or design chips, my interest was piqued enough to uncover this : https://www.thesycon.de/eng/u-hear.shtml. Its using a 400MHz STM Cortex M7 uC.

 

What's interesting to me is a general trend towards using more generic microcontrollers (Schiit is using a PIC32) for USB interfaces rather than XMOS chips.

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9 hours ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

 

Other than supporting higher DSD/PCM rates, and NOS filter for PCM side, how does this differ to the DAC8DSD? 

 

They must have a very strange understanding of what 'NOS' means. Usually it means 'no oversampling' but as they're using S-D chips for the DACs, this just is not possible. S-D DAC chips rely on noise-shaping and noise-shaping needs oversampling otherwise there's no place to shape the noise to.

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4 hours ago, opus101 said:

 

They must have a very strange understanding of what 'NOS' means. Usually it means 'no oversampling' but as they're using S-D chips for the DACs, this just is not possible. S-D DAC chips rely on noise-shaping and noise-shaping needs oversampling otherwise there's no place to shape the noise to.

 

A few off the shelf ICs do have a NOS mode, when they're accepting a high enough input sampling rate.

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I guess that 'NOS' mode just means they bypass the first stage filter, just like here. Oftentimes oversampling from higher rates is done by zeroth order hold and sample repetition, rather than FIR filtering. 

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7 hours ago, opus101 said:

I guess that 'NOS' mode just means they bypass the first stage filter

 

In 'NOS' PCM mode digital input data is directly fed to the converter stages of the DACs.

External oversampling (in the DSP in front of the DAC chips) and internal oversampling filters in the DACs are bypassed.

In this way it is possible to directly feed the DACs with externally oversampled signals at 768 kSps and use an external oversampling of choice.

 

 

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(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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14 hours ago, rhmmmm said:

 BUT they allow you to have an HDMI ARC option??

 

 

HDMI is mainly intended as an option to connect DVD-A and SACD capable BluRay players.

 

HDMI-ARC is just an additional feature of the HDMI receiver at no extra cost - so why not make it available ?

 

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(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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Just to say it again: this device is NOT intended to serve as a universal DAC. It was not designed to be combined with Amps or active speakers.

 

It is a DAC + Headphone Amp with the sole aim to drive headphones - and to do this without compromise at the highest possible quality level.

 

Someone looking for a standard DAC with standard line outputs should better look for something different. For someone looking for a high quality Headphone Amp with a superb DAC section might find that this device is exactly what he needs....

 

If the majority of forum members feels that the HA 200 does not fit into the DAC section of this forum we should perhaps ask to move this thread to the headphone section....

 

 

 

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(*) My postings represent my private and personal opinion and hopefully are helpful to the members of this forum

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On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2020 at 9:32 AM, OE333 said:

 

It is possible to use the XLR out on the front panel as a pre-out.

It is a very high quality analog out with 8 Ohms output resistance only - perfect for driving long cables to active speakers.

 

With that LXR output in mind, I think it could be a great alternative to-let's say-a Chord product.  Since Chord does whatever it can to make DSD into PCM, I could see myself owning my Hugo2, and purchasing this DSD-friendlier T+A  over the DAVE.  I'm headphone focused, with no prospects of a hi-end speaker system.  I'd certainly like to audition one.  Any Canadian dealers or support?

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11 hours ago, OE333 said:

 

In 'NOS' PCM mode digital input data is directly fed to the converter stages of the DACs.

External oversampling (in the DSP in front of the DAC chips) and internal oversampling filters in the DACs are bypassed.

In this way it is possible to directly feed the DACs with externally oversampled signals at 768 kSps and use an external oversampling of choice.

 

 

 

Thanks, that was my understanding too. 'NOS' mode still relies on oversampling within the DAC chips themselves in order to run their S-D modulators.

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11 hours ago, OE333 said:

Just to say it again: this device is NOT intended to serve as a universal DAC. It was not designed to be combined with Amps or active speakers.

 

It is a DAC + Headphone Amp with the sole aim to drive headphones - and to do this without compromise at the highest possible quality level.

 

Someone looking for a standard DAC with standard line outputs should better look for something different. For someone looking for a high quality Headphone Amp with a superb DAC section might find that this device is exactly what he needs....

 

If the majority of forum members feels that the HA 200 does not fit into the DAC section of this forum we should perhaps ask to move this thread to the headphone section....

 

 

 


I understand your point but my point is that this is price competitive with other products which offer significantly more perceived value. My comments are meant as feedback directly to you, the manufacturer. 
 

I have Utopias, so I fit squarely in your target market. However, at this price point and for possibly other would-be purchasers like myself who are going to drop $8,900 on a something for my headphones, I would MUCH rather have the headphone amp section of your unit for half or less of the asking price. This is because digital technology changes so quickly that the digital section of this unit will be very soon surpassed or obsolete, rendering it a poor value long term. OR, I would spend a little more and get a Chord DAVE which CAN double as a DAC for my normal HiFi speaker based system (and actually you can find a DAVE for the same price or less new or used if you negotiate) OR since the target buyer likely has some cash to play with if they’re spending $8,900 on this unit, my choice would actually be to spring for the dCS Bartok with headphone amp, which again, if you negotiate with a dealer or look slightly used when they pop up, can be had for marginally more than this unit...again, no problem for someone already spending $8,900. dCS is updatable and a more mature higher end digital company (again, my perception as a target buyer for this and likely others’, as well). The dCS unit also is a Roon endpoint.
 

I appreciate T+A for interacting with the community on forums such as this, however in doing so, you should be open to feedback and perspectives. Hopefully this will shape future T+A offerings.

 

I highly suggest you separate the headphone amp and sell it as a separate unit or revise this unit in V2 to incorporate Ethernet Roon endpoint functionality and analog outputs to be used in a full system.  

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  • 5 months later...

Someone on HeadFi mentioned that the XLR headphone out can be used as a preamp out and it was also in the brochure from T+A: https://www.ta-hifi.de/wp-content/uploads/HA_200_8_Seiter_GB.pdf

 

So I went on and called T+A. They said it can be used as a pre-amp from the front XLR output without any issues, and they also provide the 4-pin XLR to 2x 3-pin cable, if asked for. I also asked why they don't mention it in the manual and maybe they should add it, as it is one of the main points that turns off people from buying it, and he said that they prefer to classify it as a HP DAC / amp only.

 
As I understand this has nearly the same digital part as the DAC8DSD, right? Same DAC and everything?
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3 hours ago, DarginMahkum said:

So I went on and called T+A. They said it can be used as a pre-amp from the front XLR output without any issues, and they also provide the 4-pin XLR to 2x 3-pin cable, if asked for.

Hurrah!  I was going to solder something together to do the same, although the dealer I've called hasn't sent me a demo unit after 2 months.  The other dealer I asked to do a preamp test didnt get back to me either.  Fine, they dont want my money 🤣

 

3 hours ago, DarginMahkum said:
As I understand this has nearly the same digital part as the DAC8DSD, right? Same DAC and everything?

 

It looks more derived from the SDV 3100 series (from the PCB perspective) than the DAC8DSD.  Have a look for yourself.

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52 minutes ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

Hurrah!  I was going to solder something together to do the same, although the dealer I've called hasn't sent me a demo unit after 2 months.  The other dealer I asked to do a preamp test didnt get back to me either.  Fine, they dont want my money 🤣

 

 

It looks more derived from the SDV 3100 series (from the PCB perspective) than the DAC8DSD.  Have a look for yourself.


Of course, we didn't talk about the part, when you ask for the cable, if the dealer asks for money from you. :D


SDV3100, I didn't know that one. Is it the same PCM1795 DAC?

 

And at last I found a detailed review of HA200 alone, without the HP, but in Korean. Here is the Google translated English version.

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl&sl=ko&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.naver.com%2Fluric%2F222036325514

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5 minutes ago, DarginMahkum said:

SDV3100, I didn't know that one. Is it the same PCM1795 DAC?

 

Derived from - similar topology though seems changes have been made to filtering (e.g. NOS filtering for PCM HQPlayer support).  I use DSD side primarily as do many.

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