Portable audio experts ADL (Alpha Design Labs, sister brand of Japanese Furutech) previously created a small revolution with the GT40, an extraordinarily handy little gadget that quickly became known as ‘the Swiss Army knife of audio components’ and picked up a raft of awards. Now, the new ADL Stratos is set to raise the bar even higher with more features and further enhanced performance.
The Stratos combines USB DAC with A/D converter, preamplifier, MC/MM phonostage and headphone amp in one surprisingly small, portable box. Built with the audiophile in mind, it supports PCM playback up to an impressive 32bit / 384kHz and DSD up to 11.2M.
If you’re looking to convert your vinyl or other analogue sources to digital, or to record web-streamed audio, the Stratos offers a range of options to help you obtain the best sonic results.
At the same time, if it’s a powerful headphone amplifier you’re after - one that can drive any pair of headphones on the market, again the Stratos delivers. Whether you use the latest generation of earbuds or the most dynamic audiophile headphones available, the Stratos will reveal the true character of your music.
The Stratos may be small, but it contains an amazing amount of technology…
ADL Stratos key features at a glance
XMOS high speed USB 2.0 input. Audiophile-grade DAC which supports PCM playback up to 32bit / 384kHz and DSD up to 4x (11.2M).
High performance A/D converter for recordings via analogue inputs, enabling conversion of analogue sources into high resolution 24bit / 192kHz digital audio files over a choice of USB, optical and coaxial digital outputs.
In the case of vinyl recording, no need to worry about a phonostage: the Stratos includes the requisite input, with simple switching between moving magnet (MM) and moving coil (MC) or line input.
High quality electronic volume control allows use as a multi-functional digital and analogue preamplifier that can be connected direct to a power amp or active speakers. Volume control has a memory function, so volume can be set at different levels for each input (phono, line, USB).
High performance headphone amplifier with ample drive for good headphones and its own volume control.
Convenient gain switch for recording attenuation: Adjust the recording attenuation to avoid overload distortion during recording: -6dB, 0dB or +6dB (Rec/db signal light comes on when input level exceeds circuit gain).
External power supply; while a USB-powered device might be convenient, it won’t develop the power required for high resolution playback, so the Stratos features a dual power supply system: the 5V USB bus powers the input circuit only, while all other circuits are powered by an external 15V power adaptor.