About Ciúnas Audio

Ciúnas Audio arose from the conviction that low level noise which fluctuates with signal processing, is one of the most overlooked issues in audio playback systems, having widespread detrimental effects in dynamics, speed, inner detail, resolution, transparency, tonality, imaging, soundstage - all summed up in one word musicality.

 

Pristine, low noise & stable power was premised as one of the ways to investigate this issue.

In 2009, I became aware of a relatively new battery technology which which had been developed for powering electric vehicles. These batteries being 3.3V nominal output, could be used to directly power many digital chips & proved to be one of the best power sources I had heard. Yes, they improved sound when used as the power source into voltage regulators but far better when fed directly to devices. I now always use DIRECT power from batteries (& now supercapacitors) to power audio devices which results in a very noticeable improvement in sound, even compared to using some of the best regulators (currently LT3045)

 

Voltage regulators use feedback to maintain their regulation & measurements show that even the well regarded LT3042, suffer noise issues under dynamically changing loads (not the fixed loads used for datasheet measurements). Batteries & supercapacitors having the qualities of impressive stability due to very low impedance & huge instantaneous current delivery, speed & ultra low noise levels, act like a flywheel where dynamically changing loads have zero effect.

 

These characteristics are perfect for powering all devices in the digital audio chain as it avoids one of the main sources of electrical, low level noise in audio playback. This is not a hum or buzz heard through the speakers - read the effects of noise on our perception of music playback here. This makes a profoundly audible perceived difference in any area I have used them on audio devices.

I have now moved away from battery as a power source as supercapacitor power sounds more incisive & faster.  

The result of this research, experiments & testing was

Ciúnas Audio (Ciúnas is Gaelic for calm, stillness, serenity)

Ciúnas Audio launched three lines of products since its inception (other products came before such as JKDAC, JKSPDIF). First was the line of non-isolated, battery powered DAC & USB-SPDIF converter. Building on this, USB isolation was added to give the ISO range of DAC & USB-SPDIF converter & USB hub - ISO-DAC, ISO-SPDIF & ISO-HUB (as well as ISO-PS). And now battery power has been replaced by supercapacitor power

A fundamental feature of the Ciunas line of products (Ciunas DAC & SPDIF) is the use of a very safe battery technology ( now using supercapacitor) that allows direct powering of digital circuits. This direct power (no voltage regulator on the output), delivers the lowest dynamic noise, most stable power to digital circuits resulting in reported listening impressions of stability & solidity to the soundstage. See reviews

Building on this ultra clean & stable power as the core, the next product line introduced isolated USB signalling - the ISO-HUB device seen in the picture right at top left is the core device. This is just like a normal USB hub except that the USB signals are isolated & cleansed / reformatted. Significant sonic improvements were reported when USB audio devices were connected using this HUB - for instance a USB DAC or USB to SPDIF converter connected through this HUB. One reviewer said "digital done right" - see reviews

You can connect any USB device to these ports just as if they were internal computer USB ports & use them like you would any other USB connected device - the only difference is that they are carrying isolated & cleansed USB signals.

The ISO-DAC & ISO-SPDIF add DAC or SPDIF converter functionality to this isolated HUB & take advantage of the internal isolated/cleansed USB signals. As can be seen in the picture stereo RCA outputs are included on the ISO-DAC & a BNC (or RCA) SPDIF output included on the ISO-SPDIF.