The Polish manufacturer Ferrum has expanded its portfolio with the Erco DAC/headphone amplifier model. The Warsaw based brand HEM is already known for its Hypsos power supply. By the way, together with Hypsos power supply manufacturer recommended to use the novelty.
Its name is taken from the Esperanto language. “We chose Esperanto inspired by its creator, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof, who lived around the corner, next to our office on the outskirts of Warsaw,” said Marcin Hamerla, Founder and CEO of HEM. Worth noting as it is Esperanto, the name Erco is pronounced not as “Erko”, but as “Erzo”.
ESS Saber ES9028PRO DAC
Ferrum Erco is based on the ESS Saber ES9028PRO DAC in a hybrid, “chip-discrete” architecture. It handles PCM resolutions up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD resolutions up to 256 (11.2MHz/12.2MHz). The circuitry is completely balanced. Inputs: three digital and one analog.
In addition to a balanced 4.4mm or unbalanced 6.35mm headphone jack, there are also adjustable XLR or RCA outputs. So Ferrum Erco may well work as a preamplifier. Note that the RCA output is promised an analog dynamic range of 130dB (A-weighted) and a THD of <0.00032%. In addition, MQA decoding and rendering are provided.
In addition to the Hypsos power supply, it was recommended to use the Ferrum Power Link (FPL) system to connect them to the Ferrum Erco. It uses two power wires and two wires to control it.
Availability and price
In Europe, the Ferrum Erco headphone amp/DAC available for order and will cost 2,400 euros, and with a Hypsos power supply, 3,600 euros.
Ferrum Erco Specifications
- Headphone output gain: balanced -5.8 dB, +6 dB, +17.8 dB; single ended -11.8 dB, 0 dB, +11.8 dB
- Power inputs: 5.5/2.5 mm DC connector centre positive; proprietary FPL 4-pin DC connector (FPL)
- Analogue inputs: RCA (Consumer level; Pro option with future software update)
- Digital inputs: USB-C (all formats); S/PDIF optical (up to 24-bit/192 kHz, DoP64); Coaxial (up to 24-bit/96 kHz, DoP64)
- DAC chip: ESS Sabre ES9028PRO
- PCM sample rates: 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 / 352.8 / 384 kHz
- DSD sample rates: 2.8224 / 3.072 / 5.6448 / 6.144 / 11.2896 / 12.288 MHz
- MQA: decoder and renderer
- DAC resolution: PCM up to 384k@32bit; DSD up to 256 (11.2 MHz / 12.2 MHz)
- Headphone jack outputs: balanced 4.4 mm (TRRRS); unbalanced 6.35 mm (TRS)
- Line outputs: balanced XLR; unbalanced RCA (both Consumer level; Pro with future software update)
- Volume control: analogue with bypass option (bypass for line outputs only)
- Frequency response: 10 Hz – 30 kHz (+/- 0.05 dB) 10 Hz – >200 kHz (+/- 1 dB)
- Output power unbalanced: 300 mW into 300 Ω; 1,7 W into 50 Ω
- Output power balanced: 1.2 W into 300 Ω; 6.1 W into 50 Ω
- THD on balanced output: < 0.00018% / -115 dB, 1 mW into 16 Ω; < 0.00018% / -115 dB, 100 mW into 16 Ω
- THD on unbalanced output: < 0.00032% / -110 dB, 1 mW into 16 Ω; < 0.00057% / -105 dB, 100 mW into 16 Ω
- Dynamic range analog: 130 dB (A-weighted)
- Dynamic range digital: 120 dB (A-weighted)
- Input impedance: 47 kΩ
- Output impedance unbalanced: 22 Ω on pre-amp
- Output impedance balanced: 44 Ω on pre-amp
- Output impedance Headphones: < 0.3 Ω
- Power consumption: idle <15 W
- Power adapter: 100-240V AC to 22-30V DC
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 21.7 cm x 20.6 cm x 5 cm / 8.6” x 8.1” x 2.0”
- Weight: 1.8 kg / 3.97 LBS