Jay Garrett's avatar

by Jay Garrett

2nd January, 2019


During the break, we have been chatting with New Jersey-based Orchard Audio about the latest addition to the company's emerging line of high-performance audio equipment: GALA.

Orchard Audio is the result of decades of engineering expertise and consulting work for some of the world's most advanced companies, including NASA, Lockheed Martin, L3 Technologies and Siemens.

The third product to be released from Orchard's fruity Succasunna HQ, GALA is a Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC) and preamplifier. Boasting an impressive signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 130dB (A-weighted) and a total harmonic distortion + noise (THD+N) of less than 0.0004% (0dBFS).

GALA is the follow-up to Orchard Audio's successful ApplePi DAC Kickstarter project. GALA is a standalone DAC that keeps the ApplePi DAC's praised sound signature with improvements to performance.

The natural feeling analogue potentiometer controls digital attenuation, enabling a short analogue signal path while allowing precise volume control and fantastic performance.

The driving goal behind GALA's creation was to provide exceptional audio quality at an attainable price point.  For less than $400 they promise the kind of performance currently only available at much higher prices.

Orchard Audio Gala DAC

At the heart of the Orchard GALA sits twin flagship Burr-Brown PCM1794As DAC chips. The units are manufactured in the USA and wrapped in a 14 gauge steel case. The DAC features PCM sample rates up to 24bit/192kHz plus balanced outputs, coaxial S/PDIF input and support for upstream MQA decode.

With future projects already in the pipeline, Orchard Audio is poised to shake up the audio marketplace and welcome new and returning audiophiles into the market. 

Orchard Audio Gala DAC

Orchard Audio President Leo Ayzenshtat told StereoNET:

Anyone can notice the difference in quality, but not everyone will appreciate it.  We design our products for those who appreciate excellence in their listening experience.

Currently GALA is only available through Indiegogo at https://igg.me/at/GALA-DAC. Furthermore, there are still some Early Bird offers at $349 (£278) waiting to be claimed.

I wonder if they'll ever release a Granny Smith's component?

Orchard GALA tech spec

  • SNR: 130dB (A-Weighted, 10Hz - 22kHz bandwidth)
  • THD+N: <-108dB (0dbFS) or <0.0004%
  • Output Level: 5 Vrms (XLR)
  • Output Impedance: 100 ohm
  • Frequency Response: DC - 22kHz
  • Input: Gold Plated Coaxial S/Pdif
  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz
  • Resolution: 16 and 24-bits
  • Size: 5.5'' x 4.25'' x 2.375''
  • Volume Control: 0 to -80dB, and mute (knob turned fully counter-clockwise)
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Support for upstream MQA decode
  • Support for upstream Dolby Atmos decode
  • Support for upstream Dolby TrueHD decode
  • Support for upstream Dolby DTS-HD decode
  • Support for upstream Dolby DTS:X decode


Jay Garrett's avatar

Written by:

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

Get the latest.

Sign up to discover the best news and reviews from StereoNET UK in our FREE Newsletter.

Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: orchard audio