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Gustard announces the new A-18 DAC.

Gustard announces the new A-18 DAC.

It was not long ago that Japanese DAC chip manufacturer AKM revealed their highest performing AK4499 chip superseded the previous AK4497. It didn‘t take long for Audio manufacturers to immediately implement this new chip in their state of the art DACs.

Gustard went all out with their A-22 using not one but two AK4499 chips. While Topping released 2 D90 DACS, One regular edition, another featuring MQA format support; At the same time, it didn‘t take long for SMSL to respond by launching its flagship M400 DAC.

Today Gustard is expanding its lineup with the announcement of it‘s latest new A-18 DAC. Designed to complement the Gustard DAC line up, this A-18 aims to deliver the same excellent performance while at the same time coming it at a lower price.

Meet the Gustard A-18

There’s no mistaking the fact that the A-18 shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, the A-22. The new A-18 DAC is a native fully balanced DAC that features the latest AK4499 chip—utilizing Gustard‘s mature discrete IV conversion circuit technology.

The digital integrated circuit itself is entirely digital; relying on Gustard‘s custom Altera MAX II CPLD programmable logic chip with built-in clock management, 2nd PLL digital shaping, DOP demodulation, PCM/DSD depop switch, and other exclusive technologies.

The builtin digital audio USB board has the latest XMOS USB audio controller XU208, supporting up to PCM768 DSD512 and using 2 ACCUSILICON femtosecond crystal oscillators (AS318-B) to guarantee the best clock accuracy.

The inner builtin linear power supply supplies both the digital and analog circuits.

The power supply uses a customized audio grade toroidal transformer developed by Gustard, having dual-voltage capability with no need for voltage conversion. It accepts international voltage AC100V-240V (requires manual adjustment). 

When it comes to connectivity, the A-18 features all types of digital input.
USB, coaxial, AES, IIS, as well as modern wireless Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
As for line outputs, the back of the A-18 includes one single-ended RCA and one balanced XLR output.
The new A-18 also includes a wireless remote control.
In comparison with other flagship DACs, the A-18 appears to be the most affordable AK4499 implementation we have seen to date.

Price and Availability

The Gustard A-18 is available for pre-order, available in black and silver color options with estimated shipping time by early-mid June. To find out more in-depth information about the new Gustard A-18 DAC, click here.

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Max Milano - February 17, 2021

Will the Gustard A-18 be on sale again soon or it will be replaced by the x16?

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