Merging+ NADAC (Stereo)

Network Attached Digital to Analogue Converter (stereo).

The 8 channels of the ESS Sabre ES9008S Reference D/A converter are merged into 2 for improved linearity, greater dynamic range and a lower noise floor.

In the stereo version of the MERGING+NADAC, the 8 channels of the ESS Sabre ES9008S Reference D/A converter are merged into 2 for improved linearity, greater dynamic range and a lower noise floor.

Features

Analog Outputs

  • 2 Balanced on 3-pin male XLR
  • 2 Unbalanced RCA Phono connectors
  • Separate headphone sockets with 1/4″ jack and mini-jack ( when connected to a network, the headphones and main outputs may be driven by different source if required)

Digital Inputs

  • Ethernet (RAVENNA/AES67) on RJ45 connector. Accepts 44.1kHz – 384kHz PCM, DXD, DSD 64, DSD128, DSD256
  • Connects from the computer using standard ASIO on Windows and CoreAudio on Mac
  • Allows cable runs up to 100m on a single Cat5e or Cat6 cable, with possible repeaters, hubs or switches
  • Asynchronous communication. The Merging NADAC controls the rate at which the digital audio data is sent to the DAC, not the computer or the player
  • Ultra-precise communication clocking driven by the DAC…. Precision Time Protocol is at the heart of RAVENNA, ensuring a clock resolution of one nanosecond
  • AES/EBU on 3-pin female XLR connector (44.1kHz – 192kHz PCM)
  • SPDIF Optical on Toslink connector (44.1kHz – 96kHz PCM)
  • SPDIF Coaxial on RCA Phono (44.1kHz – 96kHz PCM)

Additional Inputs

  • Word Clock Input. BNC connector
  • DC Power Supply Input

Front Panel Controls

  • Volume adjustment using the front panel rotary control
  • Main output and the headphone output levels may be independently adjusted
  • Two headphone sockets for connecting any headphones without adapters
  • Headphones can listen to any available inputs, or external network sources

Intuitive Menus

  • Simple and ergonomic menu selected by the front panel rotary control
  • Easy source selection between the digital inputs and the computer sources available on the network
  • Intuitive menu hierarchy
  • Multilanguage user interface

Universal remote control

Web based remote control of menu functions and volume. Any web enabled smartphone, tablet or computer can control the listening level and the source selection of any Merging NADAC on the network. This allows you to remotely control any Merging NADAC in any zones in your building with a unique remote control: your phone or tablet.

Outputs

Balanced Analog Output
  • Connector: gold-plated male XLR
  • Impedance: 40 Ohms
  • Max output level: 18 dBu (6.1 Vrms)
  • Dynamic range: 130 dB(A)
  • THD+N @1kHz: -113 dB (0.00022 %)
Unbalanced Analog Output
  • Connector: gold-plated RCA jacks
  • Impedance: 20 Ohms
  • Max output level: 8.8 dBu (2.1 Vrms)
  • Dynamic range: TBD
  • THD+N @1kHz: TBD
Headphone
  • Connector: 3.5mm jack + 6mm jack
  • Impedance: 40 Ohms
  • Max output level: 20.8 dBu (8.5 Vrms)
  • Dynamic range: TBD
  • THD+N @1kHz: TBD

Inputs

AES input
  • Connector: gold-plated female XLR
  • Input impedance: 110 Ohms
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz – 192 kHz
S/PDIF optical input
  • Connector: Toslink
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz – 96 kHz
S/PDIF coaxial input
  • Connector: gold-plated RCA jack
  • Input impedance: 75 Ohms
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz – 96 kHz
Network input
  • Connector: Neutrik EtherCon RJ45
  • Bitrate: 1 Gb/s (Gigabit Ethernet only)
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz – 384 kHz, DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256
WordClock input
  • Connector: BNC
  • Input impedance: 75 Ohms
  • Termination: 75 Ohms, software selectable
  • Sample rate: 44.1 kHz – 192 kHz

Misc

  • Enclosure material: Premium machined and anodized aluminium
  • Dimension: 435 W x 435 D x 95 H mm
  • Weight: 11 kg
  • AC voltage: 100V-240V/47-63Hz (IEC socket)
  • DC voltage: 10V-14V (Hirose HR10A-7R-4S)
  • Power consumption: < 30W
  • Front panel display: OLED, 160×128 pixels, 16 bit colors

Downloads and Drivers

NADAC Guides

System Requirements

Certified MAC Operating Systems (OS) – The Core Audio driver is qualified under Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 and above, and Yosemite 10.10.2 and above.

Installation Procedure

    1. Download the NADAC RAVENNA Core Audio Installer for MacOS here
    2. Open the Merging NADAC RAVENNA Core Audio Installer .dmg file.NADAC Installer Mac
    3. Click on Continue to proceed with the installation.NADAC Installer Mac Step 3
    4. Follow the installer instructions. You will be prompted to enter the Administrator password
    5. When the install is complete it will display Successful. Click Close to exit.
    6. Restart the MAC after the driver installation is completed.
    7. Access the System Preferences by clicking on the Apple icon on the top left corner, and in Other open the NADAC icon.NADAC Mac System Preferences Pane
    8. Configure the NADAC RAVENNA CoreAudio Settings:NADAC Mac Core settings
      NADAC Mac Core Settings
      Interface: lists all available network ports. Select the network port on which the NADAC is connected to

      • Gray: no interface or interface not properly configured
      • Green: interface at 1Gb
      • Yellow: interface at 100Mb

      Zones: Four Zones are available (depending of your NADAC version)

      • Stereo: Delivers a Stereo Stream output
      • Stereo + Headphones: Delivers two different Stereo Stream output
      • 8 Channels: Delivers an 8 channels Stream output
      • 8 Channels + Headphones: Delivers an 8 channels Stream output and Stereo Stream output

      Status

      Sample Rate: Shows the current Driver Sampling Rate

      Driver:

      • Red: no NADAC available on the network (verify your Ethernet port connection)
      • Green: Running properly

      PTP: The Precision Time Protocol (PTP2 or IEEE 1588-2008) is at the heart of the RAVENNA protocol, ensuring an ultimate clock precision of one nanosecond.

      • Green: PTP locked
      • Yellow: PTP locking
      • Red blinking: PTP unlocked
    9. Select the NADAC RAVENNA CoreAudio driver within the Media Player application you will use. You may refer to our specific applications guides.
    10. Once your Driver is configured and the NADAC CoreAudio driver is running, go to the NADAC OLED display.NADAC Main
    11. Long Push the NADAC Rotary button
    12. Select Sources Menu NADAC Sources
    13. Select the Source : your computer name should be displayed, select it.NADAC Source Menu - select Source
    14. The Source will then be selected and you should be able to monitor your source/player. NADAC Source Menu - Source selected

     

    Note: If the source is written in Red this would indicate that the Source is not valid.
    Please verify your connections and configuraton in such cases, and refer to the Troubleshooting section.

    Note: when you’re disconnecting your NADAC from your Apple computer, the audio output is sometimes not returning automatically to Internal Speakers. Some players may then not work because no audio output is available.(ex: video on demand).

System Requirements

Certified Windows Operating Systems (OS) – The ASIO Driver has been tested and qualified on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Professional 64 bit

RAVENNA requires that the NADAC is connected to a Gigabit Ethernet port

Note: The ASIO driver is NOT supported under XP or Vista or any 32bit OS version.

  • The NADAC RAVENNA ASIO driver supports up to 8fs (384 kHz, DXD or DSD64, DSD128 & DSD256)
  • NADAC will follow the Sampling rate changes provided by the ASIO host.
  • The ASIO Driver is not multi-client. I.e. it cannot be used with multiple applications at the same time. Only one application at a time can use the ASIO Driver on the same system.
  • A separate sound card for other Windows applications is recommended

Installation Procedure

  1. Download the NADAC RAVENNA ASIO driver Installer for Windows here
  2. Launch the Merging NADAC RAVENNA ASIO driver Installer file. The installer may warn of pending requirements (Bonjour & Microsoft Redistributable C++) Accept and proceed with these installations.
  3. When installation is complete accept the software license agreement.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. When the PC has rebooted open the NADAC RAVENNA ASIO Panel.
    Windows Start Menu – All Programs > Merging Technologies > Merging Ravenna ASIO Driver > NADAC PanelNADAC ASIO PANEL
  6. Configure Merging RAVENNA ASIO Settings:NADAC ASIO PANEL settings
    NADAC RAVENNA ASIO Settings
    Ethernet adapter: lists all available network ports. Select the network port on which the NADAC is connected to
    Zones: Four Zones are available (depending of your NADAC version)

    • Stereo: Delivers a Stereo Stream output
    • Stereo + Headphones: Delivers two different Stereo Stream output
    • 8 Channels: Delivers an 8 channels Stream output
    • 8 Channels + Headphones: Delivers an 8 channels Stream output and Stereo Stream output

    Status

    Sample Rate: Shows the current Driver Sampling Rate

    State: Shows the connected ASIO Host or warn user if no ASIO Host is connected

  7. Select the NADAC RAVENNA ASIO driver within the Media Player application you will use. You may refer to our specific applications guides.
  8. Once your Driver is configured and the NADAC ASIO driver is running, go to the NADAC OLED display.NADAC Main
  9. Long Push the NADAC Rotary button
  10. Select Sources Menu NADAC Sources
  11. Select the Source : your computer name should be displayed, select it.NADAC Source Menu - select Source
  12. The Source will then be selected and you should be able to monitor your source/player. NADAC Source Menu - Source selected

Note: If the source is written in Red this would indicate that the Source is not valid.
Please verify your connections and configuraton in such cases, and refer to the Troubleshooting section

Note: when you’re disconnecting your NADAC from your Apple computer, the audio output is sometimes not returning automatically to Internal Speakers. Some players may then not work because no audio output is available.(ex: video on demand).

You may connect external audio devices to NADAC. When an external source is selected, NADAC automatically adapts its sampling rate to the incoming signal.

Note: NADAC can handle 1 sampling rate at a time, you cannot set the Main output and the Headphone output to 2 different sampling rates.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Connect your external device to NADAC AES, Optical or Coaxial connector
  2. Start the external device
  3. Long press the NADAC rotary button to access the menu
  4. Select Sources and short press the NADAC rotary button
  5. Select the Main source and short press the NADAC rotary button
  6. Select the required external input; AES, Optical or Coaxial and short press the NADAC rotary button

NADAC will now switch its sampling rate to the incoming signal if required.

As with any other network device, you can integrate NADAC in an existing network.

If your computer is connected to a wired local area network it is recommended for optimum transfer quality to isolate the traffic between the computer and NADAC from the rest of the local area network traffic.

Scenario 1 : your computer has 1 Ethernet port
Scenario 2 : your computer has 2 Ethernet ports

Scenario 1 : your computer has 1 Ethernet port

If your computer has 1 Ethernet port, and you want to have both NADAC and your home network connected, you will need to insert an additional Network switch between your computer & NADAC, and your home network router.

The additional network switch speed must be Gigabit (1000Base-T)

NADAC 1 Ethernet port integration

Many home routers still use 10/100 Mbps network connection, which is usually sufficient for standard internet connections.

But RAVENNA Network requires 1 Gb network, to guarantee full quality and reliability of the audio streams.

Using an additional network switch ensures there will be no bandwidth bottleneck.

  1. Connect the additional switch to your Home router.
  2. Connect your computer to the additional switch and start it. You should now have access to your home network, assuming the IP addresses are set automatically through your Home router DHCP (default configuration for network devices)
  3. Connect NADAC to the additional switch and start it
  4. When NADAC has finished booting, go in the NADAC CoreAudio (MacOS) or ASIO panel (Windows) to confirm your configuration

Scenario 2 : your computer has 2 Ethernet ports

If your computer has 2 Ethernet ports, you can easily have NADAC and your home network connected at the same time.

NADAC integration 2 Ethernet ports

The separate Ethernet port speed for NADAC must be 1 Gb!

  1. Connect your home router to your computer’s first ethernet port
  2. Connect NADAC on your computer’s secondary ethernet port
  3. Start your computer and make sure the secondary ethernet port is set to obtain an IP address automatically
  4. Start NADAC
  5. When NADAC has finished booting, go in the NADAC CoreAudio (MacOS) or ASIO panel (Windows) to confirm your configuration

Prerequisite

The NADAC CoreAudio driver is installed and configured.
Audirvana + is installed. Download here.

Step-by-step Guide

  1. Start Audirvana Plus
  2. After first start this panel appears:
    AUDIRVANA Install Panel

    You have to select the audio interface : MERGING+NADAC

  3. It starts:
  4. Audirvana Starts

  5. Choose the iTunes Mode integrated for PCM playback
  6. iTunes Mode Integrated in Audirvana

  7. Open the Set-up menu:
  8. Audirvana Set-up Menu

  9. Configure the Volume set up to DAC only:
  10. Audirvana volume preference

  11. Configure the Audio Preferences:
  12. AUDIRVANA Preferences

Playing DSD Files

  1. To play DSD files, you have to deactivate ‘iTunes Mode integrated’, as iTunes does not support DSD files (4). Go in the preferences – iTunes :
  2. Audirvana iTunes Preferences

  3. Play DSD files directly in Audirvana player:
  4. DSD PLAYING DIRECTLY IN AUDIRVANA

  5. Upsampling preference example:
  6. Audirvana Up-sampling choices

  7. File playing and upsampled:
  8. Audirvana Up-sample playing

Note: DSD through DOP on Apple computers is limited to DSD128, NADAC is DSD256 capable.

Prerequisite

The Merging+NADAC CoreAudio driver is installed and configured.
Roon media player + is installed. Download Roon media player here.

Step-by-step Guide

  1. Start ROON player
    Roon on MacOS
    Start ROON player
  2. Click in the top left corner Menu and select Roon/ preferences menu.
    Roon MacOS preferences
    Click in the top left corner Menu and select ROON / preferences menu.
  3. Go to the Audio Menu, then select MERGING+NADAC (Core Audio Driver).
    ROON MacOS settings
    Go to the Audio Menu, then select MERGING+NADAC (Core Audio Driver).
    Note: You can also access to the menu by ‘Manage Audio Device’.
  4. Enable and set up the Audio output for the MERGING+NADAC:
    Enable MERGING+NADAC in ROON
    Enable and set up the Audio output for the MERGING+NADAC
  5. Set-up:
    ROON output settings MacOS
    Note: Use exclusive mode is not advised, except if you want to play DSD*, because if you want to play sound, radio on MERGING+NADAC with others applications you could not because Roon will take full control.

    Resync Delay is the time the hardware will have to change its sample frequency to match Roon’s one before music could be heard. 100ms should be enough, if not try upper values.

    Disable is for disable MERGING+NADAC output.

  6. Audio Zone: NADAC:
    zones
Note: Roon is limited to DSD128 (MERGING+NADAC can play DSD256).

Frequently Asked Questions

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Hi-Fi+ Logo“The honesty of the Merging device simply makes it seem like it is playing music totally unconstrained by the electronics.”

“The NADAC was doing something that I don’t hear very often, which was sound organic…I won’t soon forget what Merging Technologies has achieved with their NADAC, which was allowing me to enjoy the music and hear past the digital approximation that most non-analog rigs present to my ears.”

Hi-Fi+ Logo“Merging’s approach may seem unorthodox at first, but no one can argue with the sonic results. Based on [an]…extremely compelling listen, I was struck by the NADAC’s extraordinarily vibrant, lucid, transparent, and highly three-dimensional presentation.”

Positive Feedback Online logo“I have known and love other first-rank DSD DACs, at several different price ranges, but the NADAC is superlative in so many ways that it’s hard to see another product at the current time that isn’t racing to catch up.”

“Merging has brought the larger world of professional audio gear into our world of consumer high-end listening rooms, with all the benefits thereof.”

“What else can I say here? It’s stellar.”

PFO Brutus Award 2015 for MERGING+NADAC
PFO Brutus Award 2015 for MERGING+NADAC

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