Computer Audio Design 1543 MKII DAC

  • Probably the most natural and "analogue" sounding DAC we have heard
  • Single input (USB B) for computer or media server
  • Uses multiple Philips resistor ladder chips
  • High spec power supply and conditioning reduces mains borne noise
  • Top quality components throughout


              The CAD 1543 MKII DAC is optimized to work with a computer or audio server. There is one USB input and there is one set of unbalanced RCA outputs.

Along with working with our own CAD Audio Transport (CAT) the 1543 MKII DAC is “Plug & Play” and will work with almost any audio server on the market, including:  Innuos, Auralic, Melco, Aurender and Fidata.

The CAD 1543 MKII DAC has used as few components as possible in the signal path. For that reason we do not offer additional inputs or outputs. The digital signals travel less than 1 cm from the USB board to the DAC chips. Due to there being only one input the digital signals do not pass through any switches. Digital signals run at extremely high frequency (MHz) and sound quality can be significantly reduced when switches are used in the digital domain.

DAC chips are isolated from the USB input

Computers do not have very good power supplies for audio equipment. But many DACs on the market make use of this power to drive the DAC. The 1543 MKII DAC has proprietary galvanic isolation from the connected computer. Galvanic Isolation means that no current from the computer flows into the DAC chips.

Asynchronous USB input

With a normal USB (either synchronous or adaptive) input the data is sent by the computer using the computer’s clock. The DAC must extract the data when the computer sends it. A serious issue with this process relates to a type of digital distortion called jitter. Computers have high amounts of jitter and we believe jitter is a major cause of poor sound quality.

With Asynchronous USB input the DAC receives the data from the computer and then using its own clocks the data is sent on to the next stage in the DAC .

We use custom fixed frequency oscillators in our DAC. We supply these oscillators with power supplies that we have developed to achieve the best sound quality possible.

Power Supplies

One of the first questions we usually get about our DAC is “what chip do you use?” We agree that the DAC chip is very important, but most people do not realise is that the power supplies are at least as important! We have spent a huge part of our research on developing the power supplies for the 1534 MKII DAC. Our power supplies are our own design and unlike anything else on the market.

Non Over Sampling DAC

We are trying to reproduce a more natural “analog” sound that is typical of well-designed turntables. We are convinced that Non-Over-Sampling DACs achieve a more realistic natural musical experience.

R-2R resistor ladder DAC chip technology

CAD believes that sigma delta technology used in current DAC chips does not sound as natural as resistor ladder technology. The CAD 1543 MKII DAC is so-called because it uses sixteen vintage Philips TDA1543 chips, which undoubtedly contribute to its signature sound quality.


We use only the highest quality parts available

Our parts come from the finest manufacturers in the world. We work closely with small manufacturers in the UK, USA, Australia and Europe and have sourced the highest quality components available.

Acrylic Case

The 1543 MKII DAC case is made from laser cut 10mm thick acrylic. CAD does not use acrylic just to be different, it is actually vastly more complex and expensive to manufacture than aluminium or other metals. However acrylic has mechanical and electrical advantages that work extremely well with our design

Computer Audio Design 1543 MKII DAC key features:

  • Five independent transformers feeding five fully discrete linear voltage regulators for the cleanest power to each modular section of the unit.
  • Custom 10 mm acrylic case selected for superior acoustic properties.
  • NEW: additional internal EMI/RFI materials to lower electromagnetic interference noise floor.
  • NEW: redesigned mains power conditioning to reduce ingress and egress of mains-borne noise.
  • Sixteen Philips TDA1543/N2 resistor-ladder chips.
  • Filterless NOS design for unparalleled time-domain replay accuracy.
  • NEW: custom four-layer PCB to support DAC chips.
  • Passive output stage with Duelund Coherent Audio capacitors and selected US-made audio resistors all made to CAD specifications.
  • NEW: internal signal wiring upgraded to custom UP-OCC copper.
  • The 1543 MKII DAC is made in a modular fashion to make future upgrades possible ensuring your investment will last a lifetime.

We are in the process of updating our Doug Brady Hi Fi website, which now provides you with automatic real-time stock updates. .

When viewing a product listing page, click on the option/colour of the product you require then you'll see one of the following stock indicators.

Stock Information : We have (this number of your chosen variant) in stock. 

In Stock - Order Now - Delivered free to you on [delivery-date] 

This item is brand new and guaranteed in stock from our shop stock.
Our shop stock will be dispatched on the date displayed on the product page, delivery will be booked for the delivery date displayed. We will send you a DPD tracking number where you will be given a 1 hour time slot on the day of delivery. 


In Stock - 2-3 day Dispatch - Delivered to you FREE by  [delivery-date] 

This item is brand new and in stock at our off site warehouse.
Stock being dispatched from our off site warehouse may take a day or two longer for you to receive. We may also dispatched directly from the manufacturer or distributor. This is often the case for particularly large or heavy items where specialized service is required. For anything which can take time to get to you, we'll contact you quickly.

Available to Order - ☎ - 01925 828009

Availably to order. Occasionally, due to stock demand, we can sell out. We either have this on order with stock due in or we do not usually have back up stock of this item in store. When you make a purchase, we will inform you quickly when the item is due in from the manufacturer and deliver as soon as it arrives with us. Usually this is only a short wait of 3 - 5 days, we will contact you with a estimated delivery time.

Sold Out

This item is currently sold out with the supplier or manufacturer please call us so we can give you an estimated time. 01925 828009 


Some manufacturers request we do not sell Items online so these items are only available to collect from our store.

In Stock - Free Next Day Delivery*

Free next working day delivery when you spend over £75. We will send you a tracking number where DPD will give a one hour delivery window. Services available Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) to most mainland UK addresses for in stock items ordered before our cut-off time at 3:30pm. Terms apply.

Free Saturday delivery when you spend over £375. We will send you a tracking number where DPD will give a one hour delivery window. Services available to most mainland UK addresses for in stock items ordered before our cut-off time on Friday 3pm. Terms apply.

* Excludes CLICK & COLLECT items  Some of our manufactures request for there items not to be sold on line for these items our delivery service may not be available in curtain locations so please call to order 01925 828009

Delivery Costs

Standard next day delivery is free for all orders to most UK mainland addresses. All other delivery prices are determined by the destination, the service chosen and the value and weight of your order. Addresses in the Scottish Highlands, offshore, Northern Ireland & Ireland may incur additional delivery costs, depending on the items ordered.

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