There are a couple of menus that can be accessed through the front console, and admittedly, it is a bit of a pain. Holding down the re-sampling button for two seconds will cause the “on” light to blink repeatedly and the “BAL” light to blink once, this means you have entered the digital roll off menu. Hitting the input select button will make the “BAL” light stay lit up. This means the digital filter will have a soft roll off. Hitting it again will turn the light off, and that means the filter has a hard roll off. Holding down the re-sampling button for two seconds again will bring you out of the menu.
Now, holding down the input select button for two seconds, will cause the “LOCK” light to start blinking. This means you are in the analogue output selection menu. Here is what Lake People have to say about the analogue output:
“Unlike in the analog world, digital technology uses a clearly defined maximum level, described as 0 dBFs, or “zero deciBels Full scale” in clear text. From this maximum downward, signal levels are expressed with a negative sign. The “translation“of the digital level into analog is provided by the D/A converter and is extremely flexible, whereby several standards have established. Professional broadcast facilities in Germany – i.e. radio and TV stations -understand 0 dBFs as equivalent to +15 dBu analog level. In other countries this may be handled differently. Notabene, +15 dBu represent a voltage of 4.5 Veff which may exceed the capabilities of many audio devices designed for a voltage swing of 1…2 volts. Therefore, the maximum output level of the DAC RS 06 can be adapted by means of software. While factory-preset to +15dBu, the maximum balanced output level can as well be set to +21 / +15 / +9 / +3dBu. The unbalanced outputs have always 6 dB lower level: +15, +9, +3, -3 dBu (+9 dBu ex works). While the level adjustments are made inside the D/A converter, these settings have no influence on the very low output impedance of all analog outputs. Also there will be no signal degradation due to the truncation of the digital signal as the level setting is part of the 32 bit conversion process. Theoretically the signal can be attenuated by 8 bit or 48 dB without touching the original 24 bit resolution. When there are only 16 bit signals present on the digital input (CD quality), the same would be true for 16bit or 96 dB attenuation.”
For practical purposes, what this means is that you can adjust the analogue output of the DAC like you would the gain level on an amp. When you are in the menu, one to four of the lights will be lit: The more lights, the louder the output.
With the RS-06, all of the inputs are capable of handling 192/24, with the possible exception of the USB input. When buying the RS-06, you are given two choices of USB inputs. It comes standard with the Tenor USB chip, which can do up to 96/24 (but not 88.2) and doesn’t need a driver to be downloaded to work with Windows. For a price, you can upgrade that to an XMOS chip, which will do up to 192/24. Of course, the RS-06 doesn’t do DSD, the reasons why were covered well by L in his V850 review. As a person who isn’t on the DSD train, I have no issue with this.
Now, where is the advantage to all of this? Well, the V850 costs $1660 dollars. It sounds amazing, to be sure, but as great as it sounds, that cost is hard for me to swallow. I just want a great DAC, but all those bells and whistles will go unused by me. The RS 06 is the answer to that. With the Tenor USB chip, the RS-06 runs $940. That is over $700 less than the V850, less than 60%! That is a huge discount for getting rid of features I (and I have a feeling many others) wouldn’t have used anyway. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is still a HUGE chunk of change, but I can honestly say, if you have the money, and are looking for a DAC, that it will give you your monies worth. If you insist on being able to do 192/24 (or 88.2), adding the XMOS chip will drive up the cost to $1160, but that is still $500 off. Just think, with the money you save, you could throw a G 109 amp by Lake People into the mix, and have a really killer setup. Or maybe wait, as the Lake People have a pair of amps coming out as part of their Reference Series. Here is hoping they are to the V281 what the RS-06 is to the V850. Like a great man once said, “she may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.” The RS-06 provides end game sound for a less than end game price. If you can afford it, go for it.