Alpha Design Labs

  • The new Alpha Design Labs H118 headphones ($300.00) offer superb value. We have compared them to phones costing up to $1000.00 and they hold their own. We think one of the best 2 phones that we have heard at the $300.00-$500.00 price range. Sale $269.00

    Furutech Pure Transmission technical tidbits abound; high noise attenuation, 40mm high-resolution extra-large high-flux neodymium drivers, a ring engineered to keep ultra-high frequencies in coherent phase and excellent transient response from extremely light-weight coils made with copper-coated special aluminum alloy wire.
    Pair H118s with Alpha Design Labs Esprit and GT40 USB DAC/Preamplifier or the Stride and Cruise Portable Headphone Amplifiers, or any other quality headphone playback system and become intimate with your music.
Features of the: 
  • Dynamic closed-back circumaural headphones
  • High noise attenuation and low distortion tailor-made diaphragms
  • 40mm extra-large high-flux neodymium magnet
  • Ring between voice-coil and diaphragm keeps ultra-high-frequencies in phase
  • Excellent transient response from extremely light-weight coils of copper-coated special aluminum alloy wire
  • Furutech nonmagnetic rhodium-plated stereo α (Alpha) mini XLR socket
    Included in package:
  • 3.0 meter cable
  • Gold-plated 1/8”(3.5mm) to 1/4”(6.3mm) adapter 
Special package deal: Buy a pair of H118 headphones & a GT40 headphone amp for only $629.00. Save $220.00

Sale $498.00
The Furutech Alpha Design Labs GT40 ($549.00) is a small hi-quality headphone amp that has a nice 24/96 USB DAC, phono stage for both MM & MC cartridges, line level input and can be used as a very good-sounding preamp. It even has an A to D converter to digitize your vinyl. It is like a little Swiss army knife. It is a very high-value product with excellent reviews. It is just the kind of inexpensive über performer we like to sell at Underwood Hifi. Reviews have been excellent. The 6moons review summed up with: "The GT40 USB DAC by Furutech (that’s the full name) is a brilliant combination of functionality. You will not manage to find an equally good preamplifier for this money, never mind one with phonostage. The headphone output is equally solid under the proviso of not loading it down with high impedance and low efficiency. The USB DAC too is very interesting, with very good resolution and dynamics."

What Hifi gave it 5 stars and said" "Product of the Year Awards 2011. An unusually specified product that turns out not only to be a jack of most trades, but a master of them, too". Read the review here.

Stereophile was amazed and made it a Class B rated product. Use the GT40 at your desk thru USB into powered speakers or headphones. Use it in a high quality inexpensive system with a computer source and turntable. Just add an amp and speakers for a wonderful hi-value hi-quality system.

From the Furutech site:
● USB & Analog Playback and Record multimedia audio system
● Connectivity: USB B Interface, Analog input/output RCA jack
● USB Playback Resolution : 24bit/96kHz
● USB Recording Resolution: 96kHz (Max) supports 32kHz/44.1kHz/48kHz
● Frequency response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz (40Hz: +0.5 dB, 15kHz:-0.5dB)
● SN ratio:-90dB (A-wtd) / Line Output
● Line Output Level: 1 Vrms
● Line Input Level: MC 0.4mV / MM 5mV / Line 1V
● Headphone Output Level: 80mW ( 32 ohm ) Max.
● Power Supply AC Adaptor Rating: AC 9V 0.5A
● Dimensions: 150 (W) x 111 (D) x 57 (H) mm 
● Weight: 785g Approx.

The load (Input Impedance) for the ADL GT40 is fixed at 47K ohm input impedance for both MC and MM.
Maximum Input Level for MM: 5.0mVrms at 1K Hz
Maximum Input Level for MC: 0.4mVrms at 1K Hz
Maximum Input Level for LINE: 1Vrms at 1K Hz

The Gain setting for the ADL GT40 is fixed at 62.5dB for MC and fixed at 48.5dB for MM.
(MC input to LINE output) => 62.5dB @ 1K Hz , +6dB(Line)
(MM input to LINE output) => 48.5dB @ 1K Hz , +6dB(Line)

The GT40 is built for enthusiasts with growing music collections on their computer hard drives. It’s a high performance 24bit/96kHz USB DAC that’s amazingly affordable. Looking to convert your LPs or other analog sources to digital? The GT40 will take you to the podium with every album you archive.

The seriously-shielded audiophile-grade GT40 features a low-latency USB 2.0 audio driver that plays and records at 96kHz. A likely first for this category, the GT40 includes a built-in low-noise MM/MC phono preamp! Record your favorite vinyl to hard disk via the USB output. The ADL GT40 features L/R analog outputs, and switchable line or phono inputs with a vivid, captivating sound that is simply unheard of in this category.The ADL GT40 (wired with Furutech’s GT2 USB cable of course!) brings Furutech’s signature sound -- smooth, detailed clarity -- to desktop systems, especially with high resolution 24bit/96kHz files, but even 16bit/44.1kHz files sound impeccable and very musical.

  • High performance 24bit/96kHz USB DAC and ADC IC chip 
  • Enjoy audio in high resolution at 24bit/96kHz surpassing conventional 16bit/44.1kHz standards 
  • Incorporates the most trusted driver in professional audio for 96kHz recording and playback 
  • External power supply: while a USB-powered device might be convenient, it won’t develop the power required for high resolution playback, so we designed the GT40 with an external power supply to solve the problem. 
  • Headphone Amplifier: It contains a high performance headphone amplifier with ample drive for good headphones 
  • Analog-to-Digital Converter: The GT40 sports a high-performance ADC IC chip for high resolution recordings via analog inputs including phono, AM/FM radio, or other analog signals. 
  • Phono Preamplifier: A first for this class, the GT40 features a phono equalizer for recording your precious LPs. Switch between Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC) or Line input 
  • Highest Quality Parts: The GT40 features a high quality amplifier and condenser supporting its high performance analog circuit 
  • High End Audio Grade Connections: The GT40 is equipped with gold-plated Teflon-insulated RCA jacks with an extremely high quality aluminum chassis and machined volume knob
Please note: The GT40 requires recording software to be installed to record/rip LPs to Hard drive. This software is not supplied with the GT40. There are a variety of free or pay recording software available, so very difficult to make recommendations, but Audacity is a free-to-download software that is relatively simple to use and very functional.



The Esprit's machined-metal input selector and volume control knobs have the luxury feel you'd expect with a first-class component. … Listening to a few high-resolution albums upped my estimation of the Esprit's transparency. … I compared the Esprit with one of my favorite USB converters … but the Esprit had a fuller sound, and its broader and deeper soundstage was more inviting. The Halide was more immediate, with more of an edge, but I missed the Esprit's lush life. … The only real problem I had with the Esprit was that it sounded so good it interfered with my productivity. I would find myself not working and just savoring the sound.
-- Steve Guttenberg, CNET, The Audiophiliac

Read the entire review at:

The Esprit is a high quality 24-bit /192K DAC and digital preamplifier at only $899.00. It also has a 24/192k Analog to Digital (ADC) converter and a 24-bit /96k USB input. Just hook up a computer and a pair of powered speakers or amp and speakers for a hi quality audio system. Record and playback from hard disk in both analog and with the Esprit, digital. It even offers a toggle switch to choose Recording Attenuation: dB: 0dB, 6 dB, or 12dB.

The Esprit is designed around a high-performance 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC. ADC duties are covered by the CIRRUS LOGIC CS5361 24-bit/192kHz converter with Multi-bit architecture at 114dB dynamic range. It also features optical, coaxial and a pair of line-level inputs for whatever home entertainment devices you’re using. The Esprit also carries both analog and optical outputs (Optical output for USB source only: Optical S/PDIF output signal via USB playback only. The S/PDIF signal output will support digital surround multi-channel formats such as AC3/DTS Decoder). Completely control an analog, digital or computer-based system with superior sound while recording vinyl or any other analog or digital source to hard disk! The exceptional headphone amplifier drives 16 to 600 ohm ‘phones with aplomb.
The sound is vivid, captivating, palpable and unheard of in this price category. The ADL Esprit brings Furutech’s signature smooth, detailed clarity to high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz files and 16-bit/44.1kHz files sound better and more satisfying!

Esprit USB DAC Specifications

  • USB/Analog Playback/Multimedia Recording
  • Connectivity: USB-B Interface, analog input/output on RCA jacks, optical Toslink input and coaxial input RCA connectors, output Toslink connector (USB output only)
  • USB Playback Resolution 24-bit/96kHz (Max)
  • USB Recording Resolution: 16-to-24 bits, Sampling Rate: 32/44.1/48/96kHz
  • Coaxial and Optical Playback Resolution: 24-bit/192KHz (Max)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz (±0.5 dB)
  • S/N ratio: -95dB (A-wtd) / Line Output
  • Max. Line Output Level: 7.5 VRMS (THD <1%) Line Output impedance : 100 ohms
  • THD: Line Input < 0.01% , Digital Input <0.05%
  • Headphone Max. Output Level: 1% THD 1kHz, 156mW (16 ohms), 224mW (32 ohms), 241mW (56 ohms), 130mW (300 ohms), 76mW (600 ohms)
  • Power supply-1: 5V DC from USB bus-powered USB chip - optical output only
  • Power supply-2: ErP Step2 Compliant, 2-wire AC, Class II, AC/DC Switching Adaptor
  • DC 15V / 0.8A / 12W
  • Dimensions: 150mm / 6" (w) x 141mm / 5.5" (d) x 57mm / 2.25" (h)
  • Weight: ~ 970g / 2.14lbs  
  • 24/192kHz Wolfson WM8716 DAC
  • 24/192kHz Cirrus Logic CS5361 ADC converter with Multi-bit architecture at 114dB dynamic range
  • 24/192kHz CIRRUS LOGIC CS8416 Digital Audio Interface Receiver with low-jitter clock recovery
  • 24/96kHz Tenor TE7022L Hi-Q USB Audio Streaming ControllerSupports Asynchronous Mode and ASIO
    • Supports USB 2.0 Full Speed and USB Audio Class 1.0
    • 2 isochronous input endpoints for recording, 2 isochronous output endpoints for playback, and 1 interrupt endpoint for HID
    • Supports 32/44.1/48/96kHz sampling rates
    • I²S bus separates clock and data signals for very low jitter connections
    • Supports 2 input and 2 output channels with one I²S pair with independent sampling rates
    • Optical output functions with USB sources only
    • Output S/PDIF signals support digital surround multichannel formats like AC3 and DTS
    • Toggle switch chooses recording attenuation of 0, 6, or 12dB
    • Toggle switch chooses S/PDIF sampling rate playback at 96kHz or 192kHz
      • Reset sampling rate switch after changing by turning the Esprit off and on
      • Set to 96kHz for better performance when playing sampling rates of up to 96kHz on source components like CD or DVD players
      • Set to 192kHz for 192kHz source material only or there will be no audio output
    • Dual External power supplies
      • Power supply 1: 5V DC from bus-powered USB chip and optical output only
      • Power supply 2: External DC 15V / 800mA / 12W AC/DC Switching Adaptor for high resolution audio
    • Headphone Amplifier: TI TPA6120A2 driving 16-to-600 ohms 'phones at >120dB dynamic range
    • Highest Quality Parts like ELNA ROB or ELNA RFS-grade capacitors
    • Line In, Out and DAC OPA : Burr-Brown  OPA2134 (with DIP socket) and upgradable
    • OP Amp ( ADC ): JRC NJM5532 Low-Noise Dual Operational Amplifier
    • No drivers are necessary with Mac computers and a single standard driver is supplied for Windows
    • Furutech gold-plated PTFE-insulated RCA connectors
    • Best quality aluminum chassis and beautifully-machined and operating volume control
    • Inputs: LINE1 and 2, OPTICAL and COAXIAL simple to use and very functional.    
    • STRIDE-White or black- Portable Headphone Amplifier with USB DAC $369
    • Special package: Stride headphone amp and H118 headphones only $499.00, Save 170.00  
    • CRUISE Portable Headphone Amplifier with USB DAC $ 499 
    • Alpha H1-4-1.2M High Speed HDMI Cable 1.2M 1080P Ver1.4a/cat2, $99