Essence For High Res Audio

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Essence™ Ships World’s First Sub-$500 DAC with HDMI Input for Blu-ray Audio

For Immediate Release–Contact Bob Rapoport– bob@essenceelectrostatic.com727-580-4393 

 4 Digital and 2 Analog Inputs + A / D and D / A Conversion Make The HDACC The Most Versatile Preamp or DAC On The Planet


St. Petersburg, FL—Dec 1, 2013….Essence™ has announced the arrival of world’s first DAC under $700 that includes an HDMI input for the uncompressed native LPCM 24/96K stereo soundtracks on Blu-ray.  The target market is audiophiles with high end 2 channel analog preamps who want to add Blu-ray HD Audio as a source without using video, no display is required.  The owners of AVR’s or PrePro’s built before 2008 lack the right version of HDMI to enable playback of the uncompressed soundtracks as well. The HDACC is a bridge to the digital world for all those analog systems still in use around the world. 

The HDACC outputs analog stereo on balanced XLRs or RCA stereo jacks and also features additional digital inputs for Asynchronous USB 2, Optical, and Coaxial digital plus 2 analog inputs with A to D conversion for older content on vinyl or tape .The Hi Def Audio Control Center (HDACC) sells for $699 MSRP and includes remote control switching and volume control, making it two products in one; it can be used as a versatile digital preamp or as a DAC.

The crisp OLED display is easy to read from a distance, the native resolution of the source and how its output after conversion.  A separate headphone output is amplified with selectable impedance control.

 HDACC rearMany audiophiles have not yet upgraded to Blu-ray because their current stereo system lacks digital inputs. All 2 channel Preamps and Preamp/Processors built before 2008 are unable to connect by HDMI v1.3, the minimum necessary version of HDMI with HDCP compliance required for playback of the highest resolution uncompressed HD audio content.  The other outputs like USB or Coax/Toslink down-rez the audio output to the previous standard, still  compressed 2 to 1.  The HDACC is a digital hub controller to accommodate the growing list of digital sources in addition to  Blu-ray; SACD, CD, PC’s, iPods, Tablets, Servers, Networks, Smartphones, Satellite radios, and more. 

HighFidelityPureAudiodiscReached at his office in St. Petersburg, FL, AV industry veteran and Essence™ CEO Bob Rapoport, who has been the leading advocate for the adoption of Blu-ray audio for several years said “I believe music is the essence of life. Blu-ray audio puts us closer to the original recording than any previous format; it’s the perfect add-on for audiophiles with analog 2 channel systems because it includes the protected HDMI input/output as well as inputs for all the other digital sources.  For the first time, the full frequency bandwidth and dynamic range, bit for bit identical to the original master recording, is available for playback on home systems that only support analog stereo, the end of a long journey in search of the holy grail of high fidelity for many audiophiles”.

Concerts by the world’s leading artists on Blu-ray are stunning, combining uncompressed audio with uncompressed 1080p video to produce a sensory experience that has never been possible at home.  New Pure Audio Blu-ray releases by Universal Music of famous catalog classics by Marvin Gaye, Supertramp, Velvet Underground, Bob Marley, Nirvana, and many more are now shipping.  

The HDACC is an audio only device that can pass the native 1080p HD video through to an HDTV from its HDMI output, fully HDCP compliant. The HDACC supports HDMI v1.3 on pass through, only extracting the LPCM 24/96K stereo soundtrack for conversion. Video is not required to hear the audio so no display is required.

A new comparison chart of the top rated DACs exposes how the HDACC outperforms everything else on the market. The HDACC is in stock and shipping.

Dealers and distributors can contact Bob Rapoport at 727-866-9767 or for more information.




  1. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: September 17, 2014 .

    Hi Milpai, Yes, you can play DSD data via HDMI into the HDACC. Your Oppo player will by default convert the DSD to PCM output automatically unless you have the right app downstream, see the Oppo set up instructions:

    Secondary Audio: Off
    HDMI Audio: Bitstream
    SACD Output: PCM (or DSD if using the right app)
    HDCD Decoding: On
    Coaxial Optical Output: (any – not in use)
    LPCM Rate Limit: (any – not in use

    When I listen to both PCM and DSD, they both sound great and in double blind tests nobody can tell the difference between them. PCM is the universal language of digital devices, Blu-ray is always PCM, so are CDs, most downloads, its just easier to work with in a world full of other PCM products and standards. Its like the old Sony Betamax vs VHS, Sony lost that one too. Set your Oppo up so that it cant down res or compress the output in any way, the HDACC sounds much better than the Oppo built-in DAC, thats why people choose it to manage their digital files, it makes every source sound fantastic, the best you’ve ever heard.

  2. By: milpai

    on: September 17, 2014 .


    I was wondering if the HDMI Input supports DSD data.
    Basically if a player like Oppo 103 is used, can it’s HDMI Output be sent to this DAC?


  3. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: August 23, 2014 .

    Yes Derek, you would then need a downstream DAC to convert the optical to analog. Why do that when you can route the hi res analog RCA output to the next downstream device?

  4. By: Derek

    on: August 23, 2014 .

    If this was connected to a pc and used as a usb DAC, using the XLR outs to an amplifier,
    will it also simultaneously output the audio signal through the optical out ?

  5. By: Paul Niemi

    on: April 28, 2014 .

    Thanks for the reply Bob.
    The Sony player is a BDP S1100. I have Time Warner Cable and a TiVo box through which I watch most of my TV, although I’ve just added a Roku 3 player which looks like a real find. We rarely play actual disks. I am still putting together this system and am trying to maximize both picture, with better cables, no wireless, and sound, with a DAC. Finally, for volume control with the Harmony remote, can I code it through a computer or do I need to do the visual transfer routine?
    Thank you again,

  6. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: April 28, 2014 .

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your interest in Essence. First, you have a great new TV but should not be using it as a source for your audio, especially if you own a Blu-ray player. Please tell me the model number of the Sony player, lets be sure its recent enough for the highest resolution audio and video output. Do you use a cable tv or sat receiver as a broadcast source?

    Yes, if you are interested in using the Harmony remote instead of the HDACC’s remote, thats fine.


  7. By: Paul Niemi

    on: April 26, 2014 .

    I have a new Sharp LE650U with the only digital out being optical. All HDMI slots are in. Currently I run an audio out from a 3.5mm headphone jack into Swann Mark lll powered speakers. Would I be able to improve the SQ using the optical out to this DAC? Secondly, I do have a Sony Bluray player. Could I simultaneously run that HDMI out to this DAC to improve SQ? Finally, I use a Logitech Harmony for control. Can that be used to control the volume of this DAC?
    Yours truly,
    Paul Niemi

  8. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: April 7, 2014 .

    Indeed it does provide a way to upgrade all audio sources including Cable. However, you should connect your cable box to the HDACC by HDMI, using HDMI out to your display. The audio from the cable box is digital, upsampled through the HDACC to 24/192K output to your stereo amp Aux Input by RCA cables.

  9. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: April 7, 2014 .

    Thanks for your commment. I recommend a 3×1 HDMI switcher if you need more inputs, they are in-expensive and do a good job. USB Type 2 Async delivers music from your PC, even MP3 files can be upsampled to 24/192K and sound much better. Without HDMI, you have no access to Blu-ray HD Audio.

  10. By: Wojtek

    on: April 6, 2014 .

    … and it would be nice to have several HDMI inputs: Cable TV Box, Xbox/PlayStation, BD Player.

    I’m also very curious how USB input stands here for HiFi purposes – this is actually primary function for me. HDMI is nice extra feature, which would help me forget about competition.

  11. By: Wojtek

    on: April 6, 2014 .

    Does this device make sense for audio upgrade of a Cable TV Box?
    Does TV provide audio signal good enough to bother with such uprade?
    (vs HDMI signal going to TV set and further audio analog signal from TV set to Stereo Amplifier through RCA interconnect)

  12. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: February 17, 2014 .

    Hi Dustin, thanks for your interest in Essence. Yes, the unit has both variable and fixed output, it depends on if you use it as a preamp or a DAC, its dual use capability is one of its nicest features. Yes, the outputs are all upscaled and upsampled before conversion to analog, including headphone.

    Thanks so much for your commment, may I quote you?


  13. By: dnash

    on: February 16, 2014 .

    Question, does the unit have variable or only fixed outputs. I see that it does have volume for the headphone. I presume what is coming out of the headphone tap is post conversion.
    Really awesome looking product- nothing else like it on the market.

  14. By: Bob Rapoport

    on: December 5, 2013 .

    Hi Lee and thanks for your comment! Somebody had to do it. We took advantage of the default setting, its legally permissible to de-embed the stereo channels from the Dolby TruHD or dts MasterHD for LPCM 24/96K stereo output. No further post-processing is required so we don’t need surround decoding for our version, which is meant to provide a bridge for the analog preamps to gain access to these best stereo soundtracks, the best of all time if you follow the HDMI protocols. That means no downloading, no recording, just listening.

    The multi-channel soundtrack remains intact on our HDMI output so it can feed another processor with HDMI input. Older AVR’s and PrePros with matrix decoding can turn 2 channels into 5, Pro Logic IIx or Neo 6 can sound fine for movies. This keeps the stereo soundtrack pure, a feature the audiophiles should love.

    Thanks for supporting Blu-ray; the artists last hope of survival in a world that thinks their music should be free.

  15. By: Lee Johnson

    on: December 5, 2013 .

    Great news Bob!. Congratulations on the HDACC. Its about time HDMI was supported.
    Any chance on making a multi-channel version of HDACC? That way audiophiles can get rid of the crummy DAC in our pre-pros and use your high-end sound DAC instead. Support Blu-ray surround in full glory.

    Lee J


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