Lab 12 DAC 1 Reference


“NOS, tubes and VU meters – what’s not to love”

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The Lab 12 DAC1 Reference is a particularly good non-oversampling DAC in our opinion.

With the ever-expanding market of digital audio, both files and online streaming services, more and more people are discovering the world of digital audio.

Furthermore, in the past few years many of the most demanding music lovers and audiophiles have discovered the unique sound of non-oversampling DACs to make the most of their digital audio sources.

The biggest challenge for any DAC is the sound and not the ‘numbers’. Digital by default sounds very different when compared to analogue and the designers at Lab12 have spent countless hours striving for the perfect voicing that resembles the very best qualities of analogue.

In this latest version the DAC1 Reference, which is based on the same core and philosophy as the successful and multi- awarded Lab12 DAC1 Special Edition, they have pushed the limits even more in all stages, such as power supply stages, digital inputs crucial paths and receivers, jitter reduction etc, in order to reach the closest approach to the original analog sound.

The DAC1 Reference uses eight multi-bit Philips DAC chips in a complex parallel configuration directly after an efficient layout digital receiver stage, allied with two dual triodes tubes in output stage.

Each and every part has been selected for its sonic value that brings identifiable and coherent benefits to the final sound you will hear. The result is one of a kind emotional and transparent sonic performance.

As all Lab12 products, DAC1 Reference also comes with two colour choices of glass blasting anodising finish.


  • Input Sampling Rate up to 24bit/192 kHz
  • Non Oversampling mode
  • 8x Multibit Philips DACs network
  • 2x Dual Triodes tubes I/V analog output stage
  • 6 Separate Regulated Power Supplies
  • Analog retro Nissei VU meters
  • 6mm Aluminium face panel
  • Five Years Guarantee


  • Power: 210 – 240VAC 50Hz
  • Power consumption: 70 VA max
  • Inputs: 2x SPDIF (Coaxial RCA), 1x USB2, 1x spdif (Optical Toslink)
  • Outputs: 2x RCA, 2x XLR unbalanced (balanced version available)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20 KHz + 0dB/-1dB
  • THD: lower than 0.15%
  • Rated output level: 2.5V rms
  • Tube complement: 2x 6922 dual triode
  • Available Colours: Matt Black, Frozen Silver
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 43 x 11 x 29 cm
  • Weight: 7.5 Kg


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