EC Designs PowerDAC-BX

EC Designs PowerDAC-BX

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The PowerDAC-BX is intended for driving amplifiers and headphones.

  • Custom DAPI receiver offers high source immunity
  • Toslink input
  • Connect to (pre)amplifiers using RCA
  • Connect to headphones using 3.5mm HP cable and attenuator
  • Firmware upgradable
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EC Designs PowerDAC-BX

Vendor: EC Designs

EC Designs PowerDAC-BX


Vendor: EC Designs

EC Designs PowerDAC-BX


Basic DAC with discrete multibit fractal-7 matrix DA converter mainly intended for driving (pre) amps.

This device comes with a built-in power supply that works with both 115V and 230V. It uses a 2-pole Euro 8 power connection. It features a 192/24 Toslink DAPI receiver with a low-jitter master clock, power LED, and locked indicator.

The RCA outputs maintain a fixed 1.7V rms output voltage, and there are no lossy analog circuits or components in the signal path. The device is compatible with headphones of 32 Ohms and above, and you can connect them using a suitable external attenuator. The housing is durable and anodized.

“New” digital audio interface

This new digital audio interface is backward compatible with the Toslink interface and S/PDIF protocol. It effectively eliminates unwanted jitter in the digital audio source, interlink, and all DAC circuits, even in the presence of significant crosstalk.

The interface ensures low noise and low jitter, improving the sound quality of existing Toslink DACs. The transmitter side (digital audio source) connects to a coaxial cable through an RCA connector. At the cable's end, there's an optical connector compatible with the Toslink input on the DAC. This setup combines an electrical interface (low jitter) and an optical interface (low noise, eliminates ground loops).


The DAPI controller has 4 S/PDIF inputs, but using all of them introduces unwanted noise. The PowerDAC aims for minimal noise and distortion without amplifiers in the signal path. Originally, we wanted to use all inputs, but this would allow up to 4 S/PDIF sources simultaneously, causing noise. To resolve this, we suggest an external switch with 4 S/PDIF inputs and remote control for active input selection.

When using the PowerDAC i.c.w. an external (pre)amplifier performance is degraded as any active device in the audio path will degrade performance !

piCore Player

For a straightforward music player with PowerDAC-BX, try piCorePlayer. Run it on an RPI4, connect music via USB or NAS. Use JustBoom Digi HAT or HifiBerry Digi(+) HAT with a Toslink cable for PowerDAC-BX. It supports various sample rates.

Ensure Audio Volume Control is fixed at 100%, Audio Crossfade is No, and Volume gain is None. Install "Material Skin" in LMS for a user-friendly interface accessible from any PC in your network through a browser.

Enjoy Deezer and Tidal, and use plugins for Spotify and Qobuz.

technical specifications
DAC type
4 x 20 bit Fractal-7 matrix, discrete, switch & resistor-based multi-bit power converters
Digital input
1 x Toslink 16/24 bit: 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz / 88.2 kHz / 96 kHz / 176.4 kHz / 192 kHz
Power Supply
Internal fixed linear power supply. Standard 230V (option: 115V)
Power Consumption
Approx. 2 Watts
Output impedance
50 Ohms
Output voltage
1.77 V rms
2 x RCA output, headphones can be connected through RCA to jack converter cable. RCA35 and a suitable attenuator
LED indicator
Dim = power on, bright = locked
Theoretically 100 MHz (based on switching speed)
< 0.001% (0dB)
1.77 V ms
DAPI firmware update
The DAPI firmware can be updated using the USB socket and jumper setting positions for firmware update.
Width: 23cm, Height: 5cm, depth: 23cm
1.5 kg

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