PinkFaun 4.32 SE
DAC Review

by Maarten van Druten


Recently I am testing a lot of DAC's.
This time I have something very special in my livingroom, it's a DAC from a Dutch high-end company called: "PinkFaun".

When I asked the owner what the name means, he said: "Pink" stands for "Pink Noise" and "Faun"
is a forest god from the Roman mythology which is half human and half goat, and is often playing a panpipe.
Interesting story! the DAC also looks very promissing, and it has some unique features that I haven't seen by any other DAC brand.
I'm excited to test this DAC!

About "PinkFaun"

First of all, who is "PinkFaun" ?
"Pink Faun" consists out a small group of enthusiastic audiophile engineers that also have an driven passion for music.
Pink Faun was created from electronic parts and vacuum tubes trading, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kits, custom designs, repairs and modifications. The modifications and DIY kits were in the past so well received by customers, that soon the question arose to design complete crafted audio products.

PinkFaun is not going for high volume or high profits.
They sell directly to the customer, so that prices of their products are more competitive than a brand
that use a distributors system.

Pink Faun wants to make a very good, natural sounding high-end products for a normal price.
Pink Faun supplies only on a small scale and in-house developed and handcrafted products.
Designed and handmade in the Netherlands.
The great advantage of this is that they can use special components, which are not to be found on a large scale.
Their main product designer is a very good and renowned engineer, his designs are very good sounding high-end products. the PinkFaun 4.32 SE is one of them.

PinkFaun 4.32 SE DAC

About the DAC, this is the cheapest DAC of Pink Faun it costs 890 euro's (1068 dollars)
The DAC is handbuild, very solid and has a unique no-nosense quality look.

The Pink Faun 4:32 SE DAC is a 32 bit DAC based on the Burr-Brown PCM1795 DA converter IC.
Behind this DAC is a fully discrete I / V converter, directly coupled to a single ended Class A output stage without feedback.

The "Pink Faun" 4.32 SE DAC has an I2S over HDMI input!
There are also SPDIF optical, and coaxial SPDIF inputs and this DAC can be expanded with a optional 32-bit asynchronous USB input.
With this optional USB input, also formats like DXD, and DSD 64, 128 can be played.

But the strength of is DAC is PCM in combination with i2S over HDMI.
Therefore I have tested this DAC mainly with the I2S input in combination with PCM High Resolution music files (24bit 192 kHz)

There is only one button on this dac, but it has multible functions;
If you press the button shortly the DAC will switch on,
During startup of the DAC all the lights on the front once lit, this is the start-up time.

If the DAC is on, press the button briefly, now the input changes,
To turn off the DAC press the button for 5 seconds, and the DAC switches into standby.

The DAC 4:32 SE is available in silver and black.

On the back is the "I2S over HDMI" input, SPDIF optical, coaxial and place for a optional asynchronous USB input.
What is also very interesting is the small LED light next to the power connector. (POL CHK)
It's an polarity checker! it shines "red" when the powercord cable is connected in the wrong way.
This small but very important feature proves that "Pink Faun" takes quality very serious.
I have never seen such important feature in a DAC before.


This DAC is very well designed and built, it has:
- Heavy linear power supply with a steel shielded LOW-B power transformer
- Extreme grounding
- Developed in-IV converter
- Zero feedback
- 32/192 "I2S" input
- Servo output, no condensers in the output
- Heavy duty 10mm fuse

One of the most important components of an audio component is the power supply.
The Pink Faun DAC4.32se has very good power supply with LOW-ESR ceramic capacitors,
LOW-ESR ceramic power capacitors, nano-crystalline core coils and a custom designed
LOW-B power transformer equipped with a 5mm steel shielding.
The power supply of DAC4.32 has a lot of buffering capacity but uses special transformers with "pi-filtering" to keep the power supply "clean".
Because of the large buffer capacity, the power supply has a lot of reserves and control, resulting that the music comes completely free from the speakers.

This special linear power supply is developed by Pink Faun themselves.
The size of this power supply is not the only thing that matters, but the power supply also has to be good.
A power supply can contain a lot of capacitors (much buffering), but if this is not designed properly it can awakens only against you.
"Pink Faun" have a lot of experience on this matter, and they succeeded to design a
Power supply that has both; power and control.

Thanks to this comprehensive power supply, the 4.32se DAC excels with a lot of control, spaciousness and a natural sound character.


The heavy linear power supply with a steel shielded LOW-B power transformer is designed by Pink Faun themselves.

The two black parts are the solenoids
of the pi-filters, one for positive and one for the negative side


Close-up of the heavy duty 10mm fuse, due to the large contact areas and high clamping force than the "regular" fuses, this fuse sounds significantly better.
because a fuse is a passage between with two contacts!

I have never seen a DAC before that has such clever and thoughtful designed features.
And don't forget this is a DAC of only 890 euro's, and this is only the entry level DAC of Pink Faun!

I2S - "Integrated Interchip Sound"

The best way to connect this DAC4.32 to your computer or transport is with "i2s".

"i2s" is not new, but is new for many of us, it's a Philips/Sony invention from 1986 called "Integrated Interchip Sound"
and it's a interface standard for connecting digital devices together.
Specially for PCM encoded material.
The best part of this interface system is that it separates the clock and serial data from each other.
Which results in a very low jitter.
and it gives also a better sound quality because the data is transported directly to the DAC.
For example If you use USB to connect to the DAC;
the digital signal has first to be encoded to USB protocol then the data will be transported, and at the other side (DAC)
the data has to be de-coded back from USB to the original data again.
This USB encoding en decoding can result in little faults that can cause "jitter".

So "i2s" is the best way to connect your HTPC to your DAC.
To use "i2s" you need a "i2s" compatble DAC, that has an "i2s" input.
And you need an "i2s" PCI-E card (for your HTPC) that transports the data and clock signals to the DAC.
Pinkfaun also makes a PCI-E "i2s" card they call it: "I2S Bridge"

"PinkFaun I2S Bridge"

This "i2s" PCI-E card is meant for PCM encoded stereo material only. and the card is designed for Windows.
In the future it will maybe possible to transport native DSD encoded material, but now it's limited to PCM only.

More technical information about "i2s" can be found on "PinkFaun's website:

During the test I listened mainly music through the Pink Faun I2S Bridge, which I had placed in my
HTPC (i7 Passive Cooled)

On my HTPC I use Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit as operating system.
The "Pink Faun I2S Bridge" is connected with a HDMI cable to the 4.32SE DAC.

Listening tests

After the DAC was set-up with HDMI with my HTPC, It was time to listen to music!
I was very exited how this DAC with "i2S" should sound.
Well after many listening days to several 24bit 192 kHz music files one thing became quickly clear, this DAC sounds very clean, smooth and relaxed!

And how does "I2S" sound?
I think "i2S" is more important for a DAC than the capability to play native DSD files.
The differences between 24bit 192 kHz WAV, FLAC and DSD music files are very small, but the "i2S"
gives this DAC a very stable, relaxed and controlled sound.
Because of this controlled and stable sound, it also becomes more enjoyable for the long term!

During this test the "Pink Faun 4.32 SE DAC" was connected with "i2S" with my HTPC and with RCA cables to my
"Audio-GD Master 10" amplifier.
I only used 24bit/32bit 192 kHz audio files during the test.

This "Pink Faun 4.32 SE DAC" with Burr Brown PCM1795 chipset sounded very relaxed.
Listening for many hours to the "Pink Faun 4.32 SE DAC" is very pleasant experience, this DAC sounds very comfortable.
Especially when I listened to classical recordings of "2L Nordic sound", I found that the "Pink Faun 4.32 SE DAC"
really presents the classical instruments how they should be.

If you are looking for a realistic, smooth and relaxed sounding DAC, the "Pink Faun 4.32 SE DAC" really is the DAC to go for.
This DAC sounds very... "musical"
and that's a big compliment!



After this test I got a lot of respect for the Burr Brown chipset.
I have experienced with my own ears how nice a Burr Brown PCM1795 DAC can sound.
Of course it's not the DAC chip alone that is responsible for the actual sound quality.
Also the analogue parts, the power supply and all other parts around the chip set are very important.
All together they are responsible for the final sound.
One thing has become very clear, "Pink Faun" really knows what they are doing, and they achieved to design and build a very nice, musical DAC that is a joy to listen too!
The 3D capabilities of this DAC are good, but the music instruments didn't came meters away from the speakers, they stayed more like around the loudspeakers.
After this review I liked this DAC very much, and when you are looking for a DAC around 890 euro's (1068 dollars) that has a smooth, relaxed sound and also sounds very musical
Make sure to listen to this "I2S" DAC!

What I also like about "Pink Faun" is their no-nonsense approach to quality, the DAC maybe look a little bit
Spartan, but in the end all what matters is the sound quality, right?
Their products are well designed and build with a lot of  enthusiasm for quality and music.
Because they sell directly to the customer, the "price/quality" level is also very high.
In the end it's all about enjoying music, this little gem of a DAC is very good in this!

Maarten van Druten


- Very musical and comfortable sounding dac
- 32/192 "I2S" input
- Very well build modulair design, can be upgraded for future
- In House developed in-IV converter
- Zero feedback
- Servo output, no condensers in the output
- Extreme grounding
- Heavy duty 10mm fuse


- no standard asynchronous USB input (this is optional)
- 3D projection could be a little better
- the multifunctional power on/off switch takes some time to getting used to.

Link to "Pink Faun"

Their products are sold via the "Triple M audioshop: only, http://triplemaudioshop.nl/
there website is in Dutch, but they also speak fluent English.
you can use Google translate to translate the text;




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