Krell Vanguard DAC

The Vanguard Universal DAC is the first standalone DAC from Krell in over 20 years and it reignites the Krell digital legacy incorporating the latest in digital connectivity and technology. Enabling the Preamp option from the menu will add full volume control capability and it becomes the first digital-only preamplifier from Krell.

The digital input suite includes USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs, 2 HDMI inputs and output, Ethernet music streaming controlled through dedicated iOS and Android apps; and aptX Bluetooth wireless for convenient streaming from phones, tablets and computers.

The Vanguard Universal DAC is a perfect center-piece for an all digital two channel system.

An ESS Sabre DAC feeds a classic Krell balanced, fully discrete Class A circuit which is also used in the Krell Illusion II Preamplifier. Krell Current Mode technology is employed to assure unequaled signal bandwidth, enough to easily handle the latest high-resolution PCM and DSD audio sources.

Coaxial and HDMI inputs support PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz. Optical input supports up to 24-bit/96kHz.

HDMI 2.0 inputs support DSD and 4K video content. HDMI output includes Audio Return Channel for use with smart TV streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu, and Pandora. USB and Network streaming support MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV(PCM), FLAC, ALAC up to 24-bit/192kHz.

Bluetooth streaming features aptX® technology. A Bluetooth connection is a data pipeline between devices. Because the pipeline has a maximum width, it is difficult to flow large audio files through it. aptX solves the problem of sending audio wirelessly over Bluetooth by reducing the size of the audio files so they can be squeezed through the wireless pipeline without affecting sound quality. Formats supported are A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP.

The Vanguard Universal DAC is Roon Ready* and Spotify Connect* compatible. Additionally, with the mconnect Control app (available in iOS and Android versions) the Vanguard Universal DAC supports Tidal* and Deezer* music services and Internet radio. The app also provides playlist creation and extensive search features for music stored in the cloud, on the local network, or on a USB flash memory stick.

The Vanguard Universal DAC includes MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology. MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. Visit for more information.

Also included are features that make it perfect for custom installation, such as 3.5mm jacks for IR input and 12-volt trigger input and output, as well as optional rack-mount ears. Additionally, the unit can be controlled with home automation systems or the Krell web server through its Ethernet connection.

*A subscription is required for these services. Updating the digital module software may also be necessary depending on the vintage of the unit (see the download area at the bottom of the page).

**Krell highly recommends that users of the mconnect Control app update to the latest version of the app (v2.4.1 or higher for Apple devices and v2.3.7 or higher for Android devices). This fixes a potential issue where getting a phone call while using the phone to play music to the Digital Vanguard or Vanguard DAC could result in a large increase in volume level.  Keeping the mconnect Control app up-to-date also ensures access to any new features and performance improvements.


Digital Audio Inputs:1 EIAJ optical via TosLink connector
 :1 Coaxial via RCA connector
Digital Video Inputs:2 HDMI
 :1 USB-A (Front Panel)
 :1 Bluetooth
 :1 RJ45 Network Port
Analog Audio Outputs:2 Balanced via XLR Connectors R, L
 :2 Single-ended via RCA Connectors R, L
Digital Video Outputs:1 HDMI with ARC
Control / Update:1 IR Receiver for Remote control
 :1 RC-5 via 1/8" stereo "trs" Receptacle
 :1 Ethernet viai RJ-45 Connector
 :1 12vdc Remote Trigger Input via 1/8" Mono Receptacle
 :1 12vdc Remote Trigger Output via 1/8" Mono Receptacle
Audio Output Impedance:Balanced: 150 Ω
 :Single-ended: 150 Ω
RC-5 Pin Out:Tip = RC-5 date, Ring =+5 V, Sleeve = GND
 :XLR Pin Out Pin 1 (ground) Pin 2 (non-inverting "Hot") Pin 3 (Inverting)
Maximum Output – DAC Mode:Balanced: 4 Vrms
 :Single-ended: 2 Vrms
Maximum Output – Preamp mode:Balanced: 11.6 Vrms
 :Single-ended: 5.8 Vrms
Power Consumption:Standby: 6 W
 :Operation: 26 W
Dimensions:42.76 x 8.81 x 43.33 cm (WxHxD)
Weight:8.16 Kg (unit only)


10.89 Kg (shipping weight)

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