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 Metrum Acoustics Onyx DAC 


With the goal of creating a very affordable, yet superior DAC in mind the designers of Metrum Acoustics have developed a new DAC, the ONYX By Metrum Acoustics.


It was an unprecedented challenge, which was eventually solved by using an entirely new chip, which has been exclusively developed by Metrum Acoustics and was first used in the PAVANE.


The parallel driven R2R ladder networks as used in the four DAC modules performs , especially when combined with our FPGA-driven “forward correction module”, on a higher level. This module splits up the audio samples for each channel into new separate data streams. Each dac cluster processes a portion of the data in the most linear region of the dac chips. The result of this process is an extremely high linearity, right down to -140 dB, which gives the ONYX a realistic 24 bit dynamic range. Due to the dual mono design over the entire frequency range an extremely high channel separation of 120 dB is realized. This contributes to the flawless positioning of instruments.

Metrum Acoustics Onyx

  • Working principle

    balanced Digital to Analog Converter


    24 bits non oversampling


    Forward correcting technology


    2x DAC TWO modules per channel


    15 VA toroidal transformers

    Mains voltage

    110/115V AC 220/230V AC 60/50Hz


    1x optical, 1x AES/EBU 1x coaxial and USB


    RCA : 1x stereo pair single ended


    1x stereo pair XLR balanced

    Frequency response

    1Hz – 20 khz -1dB. 44.1 kHz sampling


    1Hz – 65 kHz -1dB .192 kHz


    0.006 % THD

    Noise floor

    -145 dB related to 2 Volt RMS

    Output impedance

    RCA 100 Ohm


    XLR 100 Ohm

    Sampling rate

    Optical 44.1 – 96 kHz


    Coax and AES/EBU 44.1 -192 kHz


    USB 44.1 -384 kHz

    Output Voltage

    RCA Max. 2 Volts RMS


    XLR Max 4 Volts RMS


    290 x 250 x 60 mm


    3.1 kg

    In short, the ONYX is a DAC that has taken all the lessons and experiences that her designer has learned over the years, and combined them in an ambitious DAC that can fit in every system. It is musical, honors the Non-oversampling principle while simultaneously incorporating the technological progress that has been made over the years.

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