• ASC1

    ASC1 Controller

    winner badge mdThe ASC1 is the original controller for the award winning Black Amplification system

  • Overview

    ASC1 - Overview and Technology

    ASC1 top

    The ASC1 is the heart of the BLACK system. The ASC1 is not a digital to analog converter; it is a Master Clock/Controller and the only one of its kind. It could be described as the digital preamplifier, with analog and digital inputs and digital output. The easy to read programmable display allows you to select the best view or turn it completely off.

    asc1 top knob

    The volume control and input selector is controlled from the multi-function rotating wheel on the top of the ASC1, you can also use the IR custom remote control, or your iPhone/iPad and the custom iOS app. The master control is always ready to adjust volume, press it once and rotate to enter input, or press and hold to enter the menu, where you can set the system up that best meets your needs.

    asc1 foot

    The ASC1 is an all-digital asynchronous controller with galvanic isolated inputs that eliminate the potential for noise to corrupt the fine audio signal from digital, networked and analog sources. The ASC1’s 64 bit DSP processor core controls system function, 32-bit volume and custom FIR Filters retains the highest level of accuracy. And at the heart of the ASC1 is the custom ULN Master clock circuit, ultra-low phase noise clocks with independent power supplies measure below 40 Femtoseconds, keeping phase noise and jitter to extremely low levels, ensuring pure sonic performance.

    asc1 back system

    The ASC1 handles all audio inputs, ranging from a networked audio UPnP Ethernet, USB2, a suite of SPDIF/AES digital inputs and an Analog line input that is digitized with a high performance 24/192 ADC 2cm from the input connector. All DSP based control and filter functions are contained within the ASC1 with each FIR filter allowing you to set the tonal balance that best meets your personal preference. Just as a high performance analog preamplifier is critical to the performance of a traditional audio system the ASC1 is critical to the superior musical performance of the BLACK system making sure the signal is ready for digital optical transmission to the MPS1 monoblocks.

    The Technology of Black

    The Black system architecture incorporates the most advanced digital and analog audio technologies and a series of unique electronic and mechanical design solutions aimed at preserving the delicate audio signals. Black’s bold design isolates source and DSP processing in the ASC1, creating an ideal signal transfer to the MPS1 monoblocks where digital conversion and amplification takes place in an optimized environment. Each innovation in Black adds up to create an audible experience that is simply remarkable.

    black tech cutaway

    Bel Canto's Ultra-Low Noise (ULN) Masterclock Circuitry

    The mission of Black’s ULN Masterclock circuitry is to flawlessly re-time the digital audio signal, removing any jitter related digital noise before being sent to the MPS1s for final conversion to analog. In order to take full advantage of 35 Femtosecond clocks great care is taken in the physical layout of each technology that plays a critical role in overall signal performance. Each input is extremely close in proximity to the DSP core, Masterclock and power devices creating very short signal paths to the output, and maintaining the ultimate signal integrity.

    ULN Masterclock

    Bel Canto’s ULN Masterclocks circuit push the limits of low phase noise and jitter. Our research has shown that lowering the noise levels well beyond previous limits provides the absolute transparency and musicality that defines the true potential of digital audio. The phase noise levels of our ULN Clocks are below 35 Femtoseconds from 100Hz to 1MHz, with a clock noise floor of -170dB we are virtually equivalent to the noise floor of 24 bit PCM audio limit. While difficult to measure, the sonic superiority of our ULN Master Clocks is easily heard.


    High Speed 64 bit Modular Audio Processor Core

    Processor core

    The ASC1’s 64 bit Digital Signal Processor Core provides complete control over all signal processing functions with optimal control of volume, balance, input selection, custom FIR filters, and all asynchronous interfaces without computational compromise. Using a powerful dedicated signal processor provides the most versatile and accurate way to handle system functions.

    Custom Asynchronous Interfaces

    asynch interface

    Asynchronous Interfaces are used on all of ASC1 Controller inputs. This allows the ULN Masterlock to strip any jitter and noise from the digital signal before it is sent to the MPS1 monoblocks. Black uses dedicated asynchronous processors for the USB2.0, Ethernet UPnP/DLNA, and unique asynchronous circuitry for the AES/SPDIF/ST Fiber and TOSLINK inputs to ensure optimum performance from all inputs.


    Proprietary FIR Filters

    Bel Canto FIR filters provide subtle sound contours for a truly natural sound quality. This is critical for 16/44.1 CD playback. CD playback is remarkably engaging and competes with any high resolution source when played through the Black system.


    There are 3 selectable custom filters that allow the listener to control playback to their tastes, using last octave roll-off to create a more natural decay. These subtle filters adjust the shape of the waveform to more accurately mimic the natural sonic structure of music. Black is designed to bring recordings to life, the design process being constantly informed by regular experience with live music.

    Filter 1: minimum phase filter- flat to 20Khz with minimal pre-ringing
    Filter 2: minimum phase filter- -3dB at 20Khz with less pre-ringing
    Filter 3: minimum phase filter- -9dB at 20Khz with least pre-ringing


    High Performance Asynchronous Audio Renderer

    audio renderer

    Black also provides the best possible Networked audio experience.

    Black’s unique UPnP/DLNA Ethernet Interface is a superior Asynchronous implementation, receiving the critical audio clocks derived from the Bel Canto ULN Masterclock circuit. This ensures the best sound quality from a Networked Audio System. The custom software is running on a powerful Analog Devices Blackfin processor that provides a reliable interface without the use of internal computers. The IP addressable input is easy to setup and seamlessly decodes DSD and PCM to 24/192 for the highest quality audio streaming.

    StreamLink High Speed Glass Fiber Interconnects

    stream link cable

    The Black system uses a unique ST glass fiber interface between the ASC1 and the MPS1 monoblocks, completely eliminating any electrical connection between the front end sources and the sensitive analog processing. This high-speed, no-loss, no-noise signal transfer is non-interactive and completely eliminates ground loops and noise artifacts that can occur in cables and I/O circuitry. This provides maximum flexibility for component placement. Whether the cable is 1 meter or 1000 meters, there is no signal degradation. The StreamLink digital connection is the perfect path from the ASC1 to the MPS1 monoblocks.

  • Specs

    ASC1 Specifications

    Maximum Data Input Rates:

    24bit Data at 192KS/s: AES XLR, SPDIF 1/2, ST Fiber, TOSLINK
    24bits at 384KS/s and DSD64: UPnP/DLNA Ethernet
    ULN Master Clock Phase Noise: <40femtoSeconds RMS, 100Hz-1Mhz

    FIR Filter Options:

    Filter OFF: Standard Linear Phase
    Filter 1: Minimum Phase Apodizing Flat to 20Khz
    Filter 2: Minimum Phase Apodizing -3dB at 20Khz
    Filter 3: Minimum Phase Apodizing -9dB at 20Khz

    Analog Input:

    Maximum Input: 2.5 Vrms RCA
    Input Impedance: 12K ohms RCA
    THD+N: 0.003%, 2.5Vrms in, 1KHz
    Dynamic Range: 106dB, A-weighted 20Hz-20KHz


    Control Interfaces: IR, Rotary Encoder, RF
    Power Usage On: 8W
    Power Usage Off: 0.0W
    Power Requirement: 100-120VAC, 220-240VAC 50/60 Hz
    Dimensions: 19" W x 12" D x 3.8" H (483 mm x 305 mm x 97 mm)
    Weight: 40lbs. (18.2 kg)