Questyle CMA Twelve DAC / Headphone Amp


The CMA Twelve is Questyle’s flagship preamp/DAC/headphone amp with sound quality to please any audiophile, versatile for use at home and professional studios.


Digital to analog converter. Headphone amp. Preamp.

The CMA Twelve is Questyle’s flagship preamp/DAC/headphone amp. With sound quality that will please any audiophile and versatility that makes it useful both at home and at professional studios, it’ll be a welcome addition to any audio system. CMA Twelve’s DAC uses a state-of-the-art AKM chip to process PCM up to 32-bit/384 kHz, and True DSD processing yields a pure DSD signal up to 256 — without conversion to PCM. Its Class A amplifier section incorporates four stages of Current Mode Amplification and features both single-ended and balanced XLR/4.4mm headphone jacks, ensuring optimum performance from even the most demanding headphones. And when you’re not listening to headphones, CMA Twelve can act as a highly-capable DAC for your hi-fi system connected via its stereo RCA or balanced XLR sockets with variable or fixed output level.

Distinctive Questyle Design

Revel in the exquisite finish and design detail achieved between Questyle and manufacturing partner Foxconn, setting new benchmarks in technological standards. The chassis of the CMA Twelve is formed from 10mm-thick aircraft-grade Aluminum 6063, with high precision machining techniques of ±0.02mm. It is able to dissipate heat very efficiently, which ensures the amplifier within will with absolute stability in pure Class A. The elegant lines and laser-etched text for status and volume echo the professional “genes” of the Questyle family. Serious thought for every detail is revealed with the amber glow of each LED indicator against the sandblasted black enclosure. CMA Twelve’s volume pot is made from a solid block of milled aluminium and has a precise, tactile feel in both headphone and pre-amp mode. The included remote can be used to control this motorized volume knob and switch inputs.


Material: CNC tooled Aluminum
Colour: Black
Power Consumption: 17W
Working Status: Pure Class A
Dimensions [WxDxH]: 12.99” (330mm) × 7.87” (200mm) × 1.38” (55mm)

DAC+Headphone Amplifier Section

Outputs: 4.4 mm balanced headphone jack; 4PIN balanced headphone jack; 6.35mm headphone jack
Max Output Power(Po): 247mW @ 300Ω; 900mW @ 32Ω (6.35mm headphone jack); 825mW @ 300Ω; 2W @ 32Ω (balanced headphone jack)
THD + N: 0.00070% @Po=100mW, 300Ω; 0.00167% @ Po=50mW, 32Ω
Frequency Response: DC-20kHz(+0, -0.4dB)@0dBFS, 24Bit, 192kHz; DC-80kHz(+0, -3dB)@0dBFS, 24Bit, 192kHz
SNR: 112dB, non-weighting

DAC+Pre-Amp Output Section

USB Type B Input: Supports 44.1kHz-384kHz/16Bit-32Bit PCM and DSD Native DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, as well as DSD64, DSD128, DSD256 of DoP format
(Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, and Mac OS)
Digital Input & Output: SPDIF input and output, Optical input, AES/EBU input; Supports 44.1kHz-192kHz/16Bit-24Bit PCM
Pre-Amp & DAC Section: Balanced XLR x1 pair, unbalanced RCA x1 pair
STANDARD 14dBu: XLR: 5.084V RCA: 2.549V
STUDIO 20dBu: XLR: 8.887V RCA: 4.475V
THD+N@STUDIO 20dBu: XLR: minimum at 0.00085% RCA: minimum at 0.00115%
SNR: XLR:>112dB RCA:> 109dB (non-weighting)
(Note: preamp can be switched between Fixed Output Mode or Adjustable Output Mode.)

Full Performance for Your Headphones

CMA Twelve is designed with four groups of Current Mode amplifiers, exhibiting forceful driving power and an ultra-low distortion level of a mere 0.0005%. Combined with its high-performance BIAS Control System, CMA Twelve will give full performance to your headphones and bring you an exceptional listening experience. Questyle’s patented Current Mode Amplification was invented by Jason Wang, Questyle Audio founder, in his university lab as an alternative to the far more commonly seen voltage mode amplification. Its implementation is a four part process — an input buffer, a current transmitter, a trans-impedance amplifier, and finally an output buffer — that combine to increase bandwidth while reducing distortion (THD + N 0.0005%) and the unpleasant, metallic sounding highs associated with solid state amps.

Pure Class A BIAS Control ensures that the amplification operates in Class A mode with stability and consistency, providing the purest sound and lowest distortion, even when presented with a difficult load. Small switches on the underside of the unit allow you to reduce the gain of the headphone stage by 10dB should you have very sensitive headphones or IEMs.

Ins and Outs

CMA Twelve features a 6.3mm single-ended headphone output, along with a balanced 4-pin XLR output for those seeking even more power. Balanced headphones with a 4.4mm connector are a rapidly-growing trend, with many headphone manufactures including Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and Sony launching products with 4.4mm connections. CMA Twelve is Questyle’s first device to feature the 4.4mm jack and Questyle is committed to support this connector.

Digital audio signals from your PC, music server, CD or Blu-ray can be sent to the CMA Twelve via AES, SPDIF, Optical or USB. The core patented technologies of Current Mode Amplification, True DSD and 3x Clock Asynchronous Transmission allow the CMA Twelve to offer outstanding performance from its DAC and pre-amplifier. The specially designed ADJ/FIX switch is used to match with power amplifiers and active speakers.

In addition to SPDIF and Optical inputs, the CMA Twelve supports a professional AES input and XLR output. Live recordings can be monitored in real time via the 6.35mm headphone output. Output level matching is user switchable between Studio and Standard mode. In the Studio mode, the power level will increase from 14dBu up to 20dBu instantly, matching it with studio-level professional equipment.

Additional information

Weight 5 kg
Dimensions 22 × 12 × 35 cm

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