Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 3

  • Sale
  • Regular price $25,000.00 USD

Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 3

Ultra low phase noise clocking with MQA, HDCD decoding, multiple filter options, and a volume control

The Series 3 extends the Alpha DAC Reference’s status as the ne plus ultra in digital decoding, and will remain at the front end of my reference system....The Series 3’s deeper bass, wider dynamic expression, superior bottom-end articulation and textural resolution, and enhanced top-end openness are clearly major advances....With less accomplished DACs, it sounds as if a whole layer of very low-level information has gone missing.


The best DAC I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. It’s a profoundly transparent window into the music. It provides cognitive insights into the musicians’ intent in ways that no other DAC has communicated to this level. It’s tonally exceptionally accurate and it is balanced in terms of not emphasising any area of the bandwidth – it’s never harsh nor shouty, not soft nor bass-bloated. And man, that resolution...

The Alpha DAC Reference achieves a very high level of realism by focussing on mitigating time-domain errors. The Series 3 takes this immediacy and palpability to a whole new level. Berkeley DACs use a commercial delta-sigma convertor, but turn off all filtering and DSP functions except for the central conversion circuit. All digital filtration and process is done using custom code and components, carefully created for the best possible sound.

If you have a streamer with a USB output, use the USB out of the streamer into a Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB Interface and the AES/EBU output into the DAC for the highest sound quality. 


  • Unequaled MQA rendering to 384kHz and above
  • Ultra-low phase noise conversion clocking
  • Ultra-low distortion variable output attenuator
  • Outputs can connect directly to power amplifiers
  • HDCD decoding detects 16-bit flag at 44.1kHz or 24-bit flag at all sampling rates
  • Multiple digital filter options
  • Firmware is upgradeable through signal inputs 


Sampling rate: 32 kHz to 192 kHz, 24 bit

Inputs: 1 x AES/EBU XLR,  2 x BNC S/PDIF, 1 x TOSLINK 

Outputs: 1 x stereo pair XLR balanced, 1 x stereo pair RCA unbalanced

Digital volume (60 dB range): 0.1 dB/step

Balance control (60 dB range):  0.05 dB/step 

Dimensions (WHD): 17.5" x 3.5” x 12.5”

Weight: 30 lb