The Vanguard Universal DAC is the first standalone DAC from Krell in over 20 years—reigniting the Krell digital legacy, incorporating the latest in digital connectivity and technology. Enabling the Preamp option from the menu will add full volume control capability and it becomes the first digital only preamplifier from Krell coupled with classic Krell analog circuitry. The Vanguard Universal DAC is a perfect centerpiece for an all digital two channel system.
The digital input suite includes USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs, 2 HDMI inputs and output, Ethernet music streaming controlled through dedicated iOS and Android apps; and aptX Bluetooth wireless for convenient streaming from phones, tablets and computers.
An ESS Sabre DAC feeds a classic Krell balanced, fully discrete Class A circuit which is also used in the Krell Illusion II Preamplifier. Krell Current Mode technology is employed to assure unequaled signal bandwidth, enough to easily handle the latest high-resolution PCM and DSD audio sources.
Coaxial and HDMI inputs support PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz. Optical input supports up to 24-bit/96kHz.
HDMI 2.0 inputs support DSD and 4K video content. HDMI output includes Audio Return Channel for use with smart TV streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu, and Pandora. USB and Network streaming support MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV(PCM), FLAC, ALAC up to 24-bit/192kHz.
Bluetooth streaming features aptX® technology. A Bluetooth connection is a data pipeline between devices. Because the pipeline has a maximum width, it is difficult to flow large audio files through it. aptX solves the problem of sending audio wirelessly over Bluetooth by reducing the size of the audio files so they can be squeezed through the wireless pipeline without affecting sound quality. Formats supported are A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP.
The Vanguard Universal DAC is Roon Ready* and Spotify Connect* compatible. Additionally, with the mconnect Control app (available in iOS and Android versions) the Vanguard Universal DAC supports Tidal* and Deezer* music services and Internet radio. The app also provides playlist creation and extensive search features for music stored in the cloud, on the local network, or on a USB flash memory stick.
The Vanguard Universal DAC includes MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology. MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. Visit mqa.co.uk for more information.
Also included are features that make it perfect for custom installation, such as 3.5mm jacks for IR input and 12-volt trigger input and output, as well as optional rack-mount ears. Additionally, the unit can be controlled with home automation systems or the Krell web server through its Ethernet connection.
*A subscription is required for these services. Updating the digital module software may also be necessary depending on the vintage of the unit (see the download area at the bottom of the page).
**Krell highly recommends that users of the mconnect Control app update to the latest version of the app (v2.4.1 or higher for Apple devices and v2.3.7 or higher for Android devices). This fixes a potential issue where getting a phone call while using the phone to play music to the Digital Vanguard or Vanguard DAC could result in a large increase in volume level. Keeping the mconnect Control app up-to-date also ensures access to any new features and performance improvements.
Qualcom aptX is a product of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.
Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries, used with permission. aptX is a trademark of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries, used with permission.
MQA and the SoundWave Device are registered trademarks of MQA Limited. © 2016
Download the “Krell Vanguard Series Owner’s Reference”
Download the “Krell Vanguard DAC Product Sheet“
Download the “Krell Vanguard Digital Module Update“
Features & Specifications
(1) EIAJ optical via TosLink connector
(1) Coaxial via RCA connector
(1) USB-A(Front Panel)
(1) RJ45 Network Port
(2) Balanced via XLR Connectors R, L
(2) Single-ended via RCA Connectors R, L
(1) HDMI with ARC
(1) IR Receiver for Remote Control
(1) RC-5 via 1/8″ stereo “trs” Receptacle
(1) Ethernet via RJ-45 Connector
(1) 12vdc Remote Trigger Input via 1/8″ Mono Receptacle
(1) 12vdc Remote Trigger Output via 1/8″ Mono Receptacle
Audio Output Impedance
Balanced: 150 Ω
Single-ended: 150 Ω
RC-5 pin out
Tip = RC-5 data, Ring = +5 V, Sleeve = GND
XLR Pin Out Pin 1 (ground) Pin 2 (non-inverting “Hot”) Pin 3 (Inverting)
DAC only mode:
Balanced 4 Vrms
Single Ended 2 Vrms
Balanced 11.6 Vrms
Single Ended 5.8 Vrms
Standby: 6 W
Operation: 26 W
427.6L x 33.3W x 88.1H
Unit only: 8.16 kg
As shipped: 10.89 kg