DiDiT 212 DAC Signature Edition II


Digital sources

Does the world need another DAC? And, more specifically, does the world need another DAC built around ESS Sabre chips and delta-sigma architecture? After auditioning the improved version of the Dutch turn on D/A converters, my answer is an unambiguous yes!

Function and form

Ease of use

DiDiT stands for Different in Design/Different in Technology. From outside their DAC212SEII is not that different, and conjures up images of Mytek, Rockna, and other sleek DACs with architectural design.

The DAC212SEII’s square case is milled from a solid block of aluminum, and its front panel is perforated in its middle section, so that a rather large LED-dot display could shine red through the openings. Personally, I am happy for the red colour that I prefer over omnipresent eye-burning blue, and it looks cool on top. Under the display there is a stand-by button with a red outline, on the right there is a duo of headphone 6.3mm jack outputs. The additional headphone connector is provided so that balanced headphones can be used. I am not entirely sure about the effectiveness of such a solution as balanced headphones usually employ XLR connectors and thus an adaptor will be necessary. Who likes to use adaptors in high-end community, however? The DAC212SEII sits on three stainless steel feet (that are said to be ‘tuned’) with sorbothane pads.

Looking from the back the DAC features all the necessary digital inputs: 1x AES/EBU (PCM 24/192), 1 x S/PDIF coaxial (PCM 24/192), 1x Toslink/optical, 1x HDMI for I2S (this can be used for digital transports), 1x RJ45 network connection (Roon, DLNA and UPnP), and 1x USB (PCM 24/384, DSD DSD512). If need be, the signal can be send to the DAC via Bluetooth aptX HD link.

There is also 1 pair of analogue outputs on balanced XLR connectors (single-ended RCA variant is also available from DiDiT); it is recommended to use the DAC212SEII driving power amplifier(s) directly, that is without an analogue preamplifier in the signal path. Although it may not be a universal advice, surely it holds true for the DiDiT’s own Hyper-AMP power amplifier. The preamp section provides gain settings +0db/+6dB, and the attenuation is purely digital.

I like the rather Spartan look of the DAC212SEII with one exception: if the company wants to address the audiophile community it should provide the option to use other high-end aftermarket power cords than the generic one that is supplied with the device. To keep the DAC’s design clean the upper part (the ‘lid’) is protruding over the IEC socket and prohibits connecting any standard-size high-end IEC plugs. I find this a terrible omission.

Bass management


In the DAC212SEII’s core there are two engines: a Raspberry Pi CM3 module, and a 32-bit ESS ES9038 Pro Sabre DAC chipset. DiDiT uses four DAC chips per channel. Clocking is handled by Crystek Femto oscillator. Parameters of the digital filtering (including Quantizer bit-size and dither, which is quite unusual) can be set in the device’s menu.

The DAC212SEII is fully balanced, with two analogue Class A stages for gain and buffer. DiDiT’s designers argue that the Class A stages add more body to the sound, although they also acknowledge that heat is the price paid for it. For the aluminum case of the DAC is quite slim, the DAC was unusually warm after couple of hours of listening.

Other than those analogue stages the DAC212SEII is a fully digital device, including the powers supplies. It employs not less than 12 regulated switch mode power supplies supported by small capacitors. This decision was a deliberate choice of the design team – they claim that that way the DAC ‘reacts faster when a lot of power is demanded’.

The DiDiT DAC212SEII is supplied in a wonderful looking cork case as well as with a magic wand – the bar-like remote is a combination of aluminum and soft polymers, and it is fun to use.

Clarity & delicacy


With DiDiT, you get plenty of detail that is wonderfully integrated into music. This is important for nobody wants to listen for details rather than for the music art that is encoded in files and on discs. Well, at least this is my preference. So, I was positively surprised by the amount of insight that the DAC212SEII could provide without distracting me from the pleasure that the music offered. High hat cymbals were quite impressive, and they had the delicate balance of both shimmer and harmonic brilliance. Attacks were fast and not blurred nor softened, yet they were not hard on ears. Neither the DAC212SEII made the music smooth and colored (like previous generations of Lumin D/A conversion). The sound was taut and rhythmic, and on the neutral side of spectrum.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

Imaging as well as soundstage width and depth are excellent. By ‘excellent’ I also mean that, for instance, the DAC212SEII was able to keep left- and right-hand piano lines distinct in a closely recorded jazz piece, as well as it could resolve the violin movements behind a microphone.  In my view the DiDiT lacks the ultimate sense of recreating thereness, a bit more tangibility of imagers would help, but this is a minor quibble considering what its asking price is. The DAC212SEII more than makes up for that with the sonic beauty and musical liquidity that is remarkable at the price.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

Addendum by MJ: As a pre-amplifier the DiDiT is also very capable. My Audiodrom colleague loaned me the DAC212SEII for three days while he was travelling elsewhere. I am in a constant search for an ultimate preamplifer that would be absolutely transparent and would add nothing the existing uber-transparency of my playback chain. The DiDiT performs really good in this aspect, though I heard similar (if not slightly better) performance from the Rockna Wavelight DAC that operates in the identical price category. Unlike the Rockna, the DiDiT had a slight beautifying effect on music, as if it casted a bit of silky sheen and shimmer on music. Attractive it was, neutral it was not. Anyway, I have to agree with TR that – in the DAC mode – this is a great performer.

Price as reviewed:130 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Associated components

    • Sources: C.E.C. TL-51XR, Mytek Brooklyn Bridge II
    • Amplifiers: Mark Levinson No.526, Mark Levinson No.423, Mytek Brooklyn AMP+
    • Interconnects and speaker cables: Kubala-Sosna Emotion
    • Loudspeakers:  Revel Ultima Studio2
    • Power conditioning: IsoTek Titan, Shunyata Research Sigma HC, Nordost Qb8



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