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Furutech/ADL’s award-winning GT40 ‘DAC with a difference’ receives an upgrade

The award-winning GT40 was hailed as a jack-of-all-trades and a master of several. Could the new enhanced GT40α (alpha) be an even more impressive little box of tricks?

As more and more music lovers incorporate computers into their various listening systems, demand grows for greater system flexibility and improved digital sound quality. Tokyo-based Furutech’s Alpha design Labs (ADL) responded to that need with the release of the GT40, an impressively affordable high-performance piece of kit.

Combining USB DAC with A/D converter, MC and MM phonostage and headphone amp, this extraordinarily handy little gadget was hailed as the audiophile’s Swiss army knife and earned a range of awards including Product of the Year in both Tone Audio (2010) and What Hi-Fi? (2011) magazines.

Now comes its successor, the GT40α (alpha), which can record and play back at a bit depth/sampling frequency of 24 bit / 192 kHz – a doubling of the original GT40’s 96 kHz rate.

The outer desig also been subtly tweaked, including the addition of a new discrete red ‘clipping’ light which warns of digital recording overload – a source of unpleasant distortion. Used in combination with the new three-position recording attenuation switch, success in making high definition digital recordings becomes a breeze.

ADL GT40α features at a glance

 High resolution 24-bit / 192 kHz USB DAC.

 High performance 24-bit / 192 kHz A/D converter for recordings via analogue inputs, enabling conversion of vinyl records, cassettes and reel tapes into high resolution digital audio files.

 In the case of vinyl recording, no need to worry about a phonostage: the GT40α includes the requisite input, with simple switching between moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) or line input.

 High performance headphone amplifier with ample drive for good headphones and its own volume control.

 High quality volume control allows use as a multi-functional digital and analogue preamplifier which can be connected direct to a power amp or active speakers.

 Convenient gain switch for recording attenuation: Adjust the recording attenuation to avoid overload distortion during recording: 0 dB, 6 dB, or 12 dB (RecAtt/db signal light comes on when input level exceeds circuit gain).

 High-end audio grade connections: gold-plated Teflon-insulated RCA jacks with an extremely high quality aluminum chassis and machined volume control dial.

 External power supply; while a USB-powered device might be convenient, it won’t develop the power required for high resolution playback, so the GT40α features an external power supply to solve the problem.

Technical specifications

Connectivity USB 2.0 B , RCA analogue input / output

USB playback resolution 24-bit / 192 kHz (max)

USB recording resolution 24-bit / 192 kHz (max) supports 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz

Line output level 5 Vrms

Maximum analogue input level MC 0.4 mV / MM 4.0 mV / Line 2 Vrms

Phono input loading MC 100 Ω / MM 47 kΩ

Headphone output level 1% THD @ 1 kHz (max): 94 mW (16 Ω), 110 mW (32 Ω), 98.6 mW (56 Ω), 23 mW (300 Ω)

Recommended headphone impedance 16 Ω to 300 Ω

Frequency response 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz (+/-0.5 dB)

Signal to noise ratio >90 dB (A-weighted) / line output

Power supply (AC adapter) DC 15 V, 0.8 A, 12 W

Dimensions 150 (W) x 111 (D) x 57 (H) mm

Weight Approx. 650 g

Pricing & availability

The ADL GT40α is available now priced at £395 (including VAT).

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