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Questyle CMA Fifteen: Built-in ES9038Pro and Four Current Amplifiers

Questyle CMA Fifteen
Questyle CMA Fifteen

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Questyle has released the flagship DAC / headphone amplifier as well as the Questyle CMA Fifteen preamp. The name and circuitry of the amp continued the ideas of the previous flagship – CMA Twelve.

The new product has an updated version of the DAC: now it is the leading ES9038Pro chipset from ESS – a 32-bit 8-channel device working with resolutions up to 32 bit / 768 kHz PCM or with native DSD512. In addition, the new product supports full MQA decoding.

All this is assembled in a fully balanced circuitry, and the analogue part of the amp is implemented using Questyle proprietary technologies with current amplification. This is logical, since the analog outputs of the DAC are also built in this way. In total, CMA Fifteen uses four of the same discrete amplifier circuits. According to the manufacturer, they adapt perfectly to almost any impedance.

Via USB (with USB-C priority), the new product supports UAC 2.0 and connects to computers running Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, as well as Linux, Mac OS and more. Also, CMA Fifteen is ready to work with smartphones that support OTG audio output.

Onboard Bluetooth module with LDAC is ready to accept resolutions up to 24 bit / 96 kHz. Digital S / PDIF in optical and coaxial versions accept the maximum allowed 24 bit / 192 kHz. Rounding out the picture is a pair of analog RCA inputs that were not available on the CMA Twelve – so the Questyle CMA Fifteen can be used as a preamp too. The outputs are both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connectors.

Headphone outputs in three versions – unbalanced 6.35 mm, balanced 4.4 mm or 4-pin XLR – are artistically placed on the front of the cabinet. CMA Fifteen boasts better THD + noise than 0.0003% for 300 ohms or 0.001% for 32 ohms.

The body itself is made of 10 mm aluminum sheets, with a machining tolerance of ± 0.02 mm – so the manufacturer has insured against unnecessary vibrations. Case size: 330x200x55 mm.

In the US, the Questyle CMA Fifteen headphone DAC is priced at $ 2,400.

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