APL Hi-Fi is a High(er) End  boutique hand-made Hi-Fi company based in Ruse, Bulgaria who’s history goes back as far as 1998. So one thing is for sure, these guys are absolutely no newcomers in the Hi-Fi world and really know their game.

Alex has 25 years of audio component design experience, plus a 7 year engineering experience with Sony electronics, inc. In their Broadcast and Professional division.

Previous works include, Tape Decks, Solid State Amplifiers, Tube Amplifiers, Hybrid Amplifiers, Pre-Amplifiers, Equalizers, DACs, ADCs, Phonostages, Microphone Amplifiers, CD/SACD and Universal Digitals Players, Power Supplies, Loudspeakers, Signal and Power Cables.

For example: the APL Hi-Fi High Resolution CD-SACD digital player re-design, based on Philips SACD1000, using their proprietary digital modules and tube analogue output stage, won “Most Wanted Component 2004” award by Stereotimes online audiophile magazine.

NWO series of Universal Digital Players, based on Esoteric UX-1 and X-01 machines, introduced in 2006, are recognized worldwide as state-of-the art designs.

But enough of this referencing and award winning enumeration, you’ll find more on their website by yourselves. And if you still want more, you can even consult the APL dedicated forum which covers almost any topic, from general information, to very specific product info to suit your needs.

The DSD-Master Reference is our top-line Digital to Analog converter, specifically made for the most enthusiastic audiophiles who prefer true analog sound, comparable to state of the art vinyl.
It is an all-hand-made boutique, designed and built with the best possible audio quality in mind, cost-no-object.
Inspired by reference vinyl sound quality, the DSD-MR pleases with a very natural sonic character that is truly unique.
It represents the culmination of our 25 years digital and analog design experience, as well as component selection knowledge.
From the quadruple DSD processing rate, to the differential Class-A tube output stage, the DSD-MR proves technology and refinement of the highest level.

The DSD-MR is based on a modular design, allowing a cost-effective future upgradability of any internal stage.

Let’s talk about Alex a bit!
Don’t worry, I won’t give you an in-depth character analysis of Alex, just a few impressions of our meeting and the afternoon I spent with him and Pierre Costers, listening to, well…erm…, music! After the introduction, casual chit chat, and customary coffee and croissants Alex struck me as being overall kind guy (but I dare you to mess with him…).
Most of all, he’s a really talented electronics engineer, using his mind (mixed with a generous portion of common sense) to serve his love for music through the development of uniquely conceived and built electronics. Alex gave me quite an interesting explanation about his DSD-Master Reference DAC which I will spare you, but let’s say the key-word is linear, all the way.

Enough trivia, time to discuss our listening session.
Pierre and I are friends since many years now and I know he’s got big news to tell me when he asks me to come over as soon as I can. This is one of these occasions…
I take place in the Charles Eames Lounge chair to prepare myself for what’s about to come.
As soon as the DTR-MR Digital Transport (which Alex kindly brought with him as well as some other goodies) starts spinning and sends the first bits of Melody Gardot’s My One And Only thrill to the APL Hi-Fi DSD-MR DAC my jaw drops open. I’m not prone to using abbreviations, but: OH-EM-GEE !
I have had the opportunity to listen to many DACs (and a fair bit of them being qualified as High End) before, but this… this…
Suddenly, Melody Gardot is here with us, her sweet voice accompanied by those slight velvety accents, her breath, those airy melodies, the definition in the bass, the drumsticks playfully tickling the hi-hats.
No superlative can be enough to define what I’m hearing right now. Such an organic sound! Such a… real sound too! Most of the DACs you’re given to hear at BELHiFi do indeed offer you a great deal of detail and superb definition, but never have I experienced digital like this.
Whereas, in my opinion, many brands have a tendency to go over the top in the analytics department and, thus, give a huge amount of detail, a clean mechanical sound but forget what music is all about. APL Hi-Fi combines the best of both worlds. You get all the detail you could ever want, but most of all, this thing makes music! And that’s what it’s all about! Real, live, soul moving music!
In the past, when you wanted this kind of real, live, analogue sounding music, the only choice you had was going vinyl, using real analogue equipment. Until now…

Could you say the APL Hi-Fi DSD-MR is the ultimate DAC? Oh yeah, you could. Pierre and I can honestly say that that this DAC really plays in a league of its own and has none to few competitors to measure up to. Will it please everybody’s ears? Probably not, since music, and especially it’s reproduction, is a very personal matter and that such an exceptional DAC needs equally exceptional gear to be driven to perfection.
So, to get the most out of it, you really need to know your game and carefully mix and match every single component of the chain in order to get that much wanted synergy, that alchemy between every single piece of your setup!
Once this is achieved, you get real magic!


Digital Processing
  • Proprietary asynchronous USB input module accepting PCM from 44.1kHz/16bit up to 384kHz/32 bit, as well as DSD64 and DSD128.
  • Proprietary PCM to DSD converter module with DSD128 and DSD256 capabilities, user selectable from the remote control.
  • Proprietary 64 bit User Selectable Digital Filters for PCM processing - Slow, Normal and Zero/Non-oversampling.  
  • Proprietary Pure DSD Digital to Analog conversion module. No off-the-shelf devices.
  • Ultra-low-jitter Femto Master Clocks.
  • Proprietary 10 pin RJ-45 input for connecting our DTR-MR transport.
Analog Output Stage
  • Custom Lundahl output transformers with Oxygen Free Copper windings.
  • Pure Class-A, Differential tube stage featuring the vintage E182CC tubes.
  • Entirely passive current to voltage conversion and DSD analog filtering.
  • Zero Negative Feedback.
  • Non-magnetic resistors.
  • No capacitors on the signal path.
  • No Op Amps.
  • No mechanical contacts on the signal path.
  • Solid core Oxygen Free Copper internal wiring.
Power Supply
  • Oversized Custom P-Core balanced main power transformer.
  • Optically controlled, mechanical-contacts-free devices for main power switching control.
  • Delayed High-Voltage supply, after tubes warm-up, for increased tubes life.
  • High quality Lundahl choke for tube power supply.
  • High grade, specially selected rectifiers and passive components.
Convenience and mechanical
  • Large FLD display.
  • Microprocessor control with last settings memory.
  • Infrared Remote milled from solid Aluminum blocks.
  • All-Aluminum enclosure with machined 20 millimeters thick front panel.

Five years warranty. One year for the tubes.


Digital Inputs
  • Two S/PDIF Coaxial digital inputs with WBT NextGen true 75 Ohms Gold plated RCA connectors.
  • AES/EBU professional standard balanced digital input with Gold plated Neutrik connector.
  • Note! S/PDIF and AES/EBU accepting up to 192kHz/24bit PCM.
  • TOSLINK Optical digital input. 
  • USB input accepting PCM from 44.1kHz to 384kHz as well as DSD64 and DSD128 in DoP format.
  • Note! All PCM rates from S/PDIF, AES/EBU, Optical and USB inputs are converted to DSD128 or DSD256, user selectable.
  • DTR input uses proprietary encrypted DSD, as well as PCM via balanced LVDS transmission, similar to I2S. 
Analog Outputs
  • Single Ended RCA outputs with top-line Furutech Rhodium plated RCA connectors.
  • Balanced XLR outputs with top-line Furutech Rhodium plated connectors. 
  • Note! RCA and XLR outputs can not be used simultaneously.
  • Output level - 2.3V RMS at 0dBFS.
  • Output impedance - approximately 20 Ohms.
Power input and fuses
  • IEC power inlet made by Furutech NCF series.
  • 115V or 230V / 50-60Hz, factory pre-set.
  • Other power input voltages available on request.
  • 1A fuse for standby power supply.
  • 2A special Gold fuse by AMR for main power supply.
Dimensions and weight
  • W450 x H120 x D380 millimeters.
  • Height with feet included - 140 millimeters.
  • Weight - 24.5kg unpacked.
Included Accessories
  • Special power cable of our design.
  • Infrared Remote Control capable of controlling DTR-MR, DSD-MR and HAS-MR.
  • User Manual.


    APL Hi-Fi


    €49,000.00 EUR




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