Sony DAS-R1a

October   1 9 8 9 october 1989
1 9 9 5 1995

Sales-wise not as successful as the original R1 combo but a fairly different d/a system

Center are the two 50MHz CXD2552Q PULSE d/a ICs and the rest is all-Sony as well : CXD2900 receiver and CXD1244 digital filter.
The 2552Q is directly connected to the clocking and therefore to the CDP-R1a for bi-directional sync with the Twin Link cable and through the Direct Digital Sync circuit (twin low-noise, high-purity PLL loops built in one IC).

The audio board was naturally entirely redone and allowed more dynamic and cleaner output on its s-e and transformer-balanced outputs (A-67J, 150 Ohm > 600 Ohm). 70µ tracks, copper bus bars, proper heatsinking etc... all that is in a DAS-R1 but even better.

As for the CDP-R1a (and CDP-R1, CDP-X707ES, CDP-X777ES etc), the four feet are made of a heavy ceramic compound, the two transformers are resin-cast and the chassis weighs... 17kg.

As for all of Sony's top units, the fit, finish, work on colors and textures is unbelievable and puts all other brands right next to the DIY amateurs - but you got to see and use them to fully grasp that element.

Perhaps the near-identical looks were a mistake (market-wise) but this still is an excellent combo which was kept available along with the 1992/93 CDP-R10 and DAS-R10 for those who couldn't shed 2,000,000¥ for the latter. Although... at 700,000¥, the R1a combo wasn't exactly cheap either.

Very successful however it was among japanese audio reviewers : two thirds of them had one as "reference" until the early days of SACD (and beyond).

Unlike the CDP-R3 player, the R1a combo was vaguely exported outside Japan, much after its homeland launch.
The exact production run should be around half of the original CDP-R1 and DAS-R1 : 650 combos made, tops.

Sony DAS-R1a, image 1 Sony DAS-R1a, image 2 Sony DAS-R1a, image 3
Sony DAS-R1a specifications
Title Value
Sampling frequencies : 32Khz
44.1Khz
48Khz
Digital inputs : 1x Twin Link optical (800nm)
2x coaxial (0,5V p-p / 75 Ohm)
2x TOS optical (-18dBm / 660nm)
Analogue outputs : 2,5V / 10kOhm (RCA unbalanced)
2,5V / 600 Ohm (XLR balanced)
Frequency response : 2Hz...20Khz (± 0,5dB)
THD : < 0,002% (EIAJ)
S/N ratio : > 117dB (EIAJ)
Dynamic range : > 100dB (EIAJ)
Channel separation : > 110dB (EIAJ)
PC : 19W
Dimensions : 47 x 12,5 x 41cm
Weight : 17kg.
List price : 400,000¥
Sony DAS-R1a : 2 topics
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • SONY CDP-R1a & DAS-R1a                             (15)last updated by mpd - 16/07/2011, 17H50
  • Sony CDP-X779/707ES & other models using the same transport                             (2)last updated by jshowalter - 26/06/2011, 20H22
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