I think is a good general rule of thumb, but there are some very transparent passive pre-amps out there. 2 are upscalers , not upsamplers. Please specify coaxial S/PDiF or optical S/PDiF. Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites, Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623, DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels, You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. DAC Comparison Reference DAC Modules 4x Hybrid DAC Clock The Femto 33 Digital Inputs 4x User Replaceable Input Slots Optical and Coaxial input module Included Analog Outputs Preamp XLR Output Module - 150 Impedance RCA output available with external adapter Analog Inputs XLR Analog Expansion Modules RCA or XLR Input RCA or XLR Output I'm really anxious to hear more opinions about this DAC and noticed that DAVE hasn't got a thread of its own (only together with Mojo). Click to expand. You'll be shocked by how much you lose by going through a separate preamp. How r they comparing to the MSB Select 2 and Trinity? - Up to 32 bit - 768kHz. Any owners around here? You are using an out of date browser. definitely up there with the best dacs in the world. conversation. Thirdly, having suggested that the brightness issue may lay elsewhere, I will shortly post a suggested tweak directly to both HMS and DAVE - that I have found to increase the "weight", "solidity" and "analogueness" of the resulting sound. HiFiMan Ananda, SR Orange fuses, Taiko Audio Daiza platforms, Startech FMC optical network link, Oyaide EE f/s2.0 V2 mains spurs, Akiko Audio tuning sticks, GIK Acoustic TriTraps/panels. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivsts. It was a speaker setup (as in my signature.) Different songs will sound better with different sources - Different horses for different courses. Sign up for a new account in our community. The DAVE DAC does not perform anywhere near where it should. Cs | Critical Mass CS2s -> components, Isoacoustics -> speakers + subs | Adona Eris II rack on Herbie's titanium footers | Fully treated and dedicated 2 channel room. I've had some excellent preamps in my system (Dartzeel, Absolare, Robert Koda, Kondo). At some point you have to be content in this hobby. The Base module has two outputs (high and low) depending on whether you are outputting to a preamplifier or directly to a power amplifier. Looks like your budget goes up to ~$20k? I'm looking for suggestions between $10K - $12K. Our digital testing has been done over the last 20 + years I called the distributor and we went through everything again. The lo-res display also makes menu ]set-up fiddly because it doesn't have enough space to display words. It's my understanding that the Wavedream only There are separate optimal PCM and DSD modes for playbacks and bit perfect playback is how DAVE performs optimally as the FPGA up samples and noise shapes everything to 104MHz 5-bit. I did try with just the one power supply and the Discrete remained a very strong performer with the differences being a very slight loss in the sense of separation and definition when listening intently. Is it better than the Chord DAVE that I raved about a few years ago? state his/her experience and preferences. You'll be shocked by how much you lose by going through a separate preamp. I have enjoyed my time with the MSB Discrete DAC a great deal. Did you audition all of them in the same place with the same system? There is no such thing as a "FPGA DAC"! Putting price aside, what are your thoughts about the Hugo TT as an integrated DAC+amp? Right now my favorite music player is from the same manufacturer of the Phasure NOS1a DAC: Stealth LPS running XXHighEnd software; again with the same caveat that I haven't heard a lot of the other highly regarded music players in my system. connection to the dac chip. Id imagine that upscaling refers to increasing bit-depth (like from 16 to 24 bits) which adds "vertical" resolution to the waveform in theory, improving amplitude resolution making subtle low-level detail more natural and audible (among other things) if done correctly. There is scale on bigger productions and intimacy on smaller-scale recordings and pieces, It wont make a pigs ear into a sows purse, but its majestic on really good recordings, Its very detailed but not harshly so actually, its a very easy component to fit in a system and live with, Its not cheap and you will want both PSUs once you compare with just one, No analogue inputs to make it the heart of a full system, You know that MSB have stuff that is out of reach financially and potentially better, Price: 11,000 plus 1,650 for a second power supply. It will kick your ass. I haven't heard MSB or theDenafrips DAC. will every hear. Personally we have A/B 76 different digital front ends.. Watts is avidly not reading this in anticipation of the video version he won't watch. I've sometimes heard people say that DAVE is too bright or analytical for them. a year ago I got the new Renderer V2 which was a step up over USB. Powered by Invision Community. I don't think any of us have heard the Dave, and we don't have any interest. There are a lot of people that absolutely love the M-scaler. And what streamer are you using to feed the DAC? Going by the performance of the Mola Mola Makua (pre with dac module) it will be extremely good. the Select II pushes the analog to be its best. Im outputting directly to the LAB12 (and later a Krell KST100) power amp and so a digital volume algorithm is used where the digital volume control is left at a relatively high output so as not to encounter loss at lower volume levels. The formats that is used in comparison test is all 16bit / 44.1KHz, not DSD The Result : 1st : Select DAC II Full Option - 100% 2nd : Trinity DAC - 90% None, despite working back as I always do if theres an issue! I just heard DAVE directly connected to MacBook Pro via USB without any expensive cables, headphone amplifier, power conditioner. The end users ears are the only ears that count. To my ears it makes music sound unnatural. See what the reviews are saying. The MSB Renderer was developed using an in-house hardware design running an ultra low noise A5 processor for optimal audio playback performance. I may need to reset expectations a bit lower: This is an update to some old DAVE vibration control posts. I'm looking for suggestions on DACs I should listen to as possible replacement of my Chord Dave. I have Chord Dave and Blu2 too. It is not hard to audition these DACs in Melbourneand this is your best way to work out your own preference. Regular readers will appreciate all that is taken from the MSB website and I make no apologies for not really understanding the electronics. As I listen to this tune a few times it strikes me that the Discrete is just that (discrete), it doesnt seem to add a great deal of itself to the file it is playing. JavaScript is disabled. https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/a-dac-that-crushes-price-vs-performance-ratio. SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers. It has the option for two PSUs and once you hear with both it becomes a necessity to have both. They're very back ordered and are a pro unit with balanced only outputs and no remote but oh my do they sound spectacular. I like all this attention to detail and the MSB website suggests a company that is massively proud of its American heritage and of the products they make. The Dave as a DAC actually sounds decent. Main Menu Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator, https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/absolute-top-tier-dac-for-standard-res-redbook-cd. The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. Superior conversion begins with clean and stable low-noise power. Gbel High End [Divin Noblesse], [Divin Marquis], ([Epoque Aeon Fine]). Like x 5 List Like a true audiophile with "issues", I'm saying to myself, if at $8300 Have you thought about hooking up a Blu2 to Dave? Well this is going to set the cat amongst the pigeons for sure. By clicking links on our site, we may earn affiliate commission, but our editorial remains entirely independent and unbiased. To each their own, but I think Chord sounds cold and artificial. Can I ask how you procured all those DACs? Founded in 2010 Whats Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. Some very good advice here. You must log in or register to reply here. The best upgrade for Dave easy. Only hifi shops and shows hear and there. Look, says I theres obviously a fault with this unit as its lighting up, I can see it on the network and I can send tunes to it via the Stack streamer and Roon! We went through everything and I was getting ready to pack it up and send it back when I reached around the back of one of the PSUs and switched it on MUSIC!!! November 11, 2020 in Digital Sources, DACs, and Computer Audio. You must log in or register to reply here. The modular nature of the Discrete and other MSB DACs is very clever and I assume this goes a good way towards giving it such a neutral and detailed sound, where no one part is interfering with what the other is doing. Also; recently MSB introduced a new interface that optimizes USB and adds fibre to reduce noise, the MSB Pro USB. If I want to build a complicated system, I won't consider DAVE because for the position of DAC, I can choose from other brands (Totaldac, NADAC, Rockna, Prismsound 8XR etc) at the same price. MQA decoding Im participating to both learn and make suggestions where I have experience that may help. In that time, weve pushed the industry forward with each product weve built, redefining whats possible. When you get the chance to hear Chord DAVE, try playing files bit perfect instead of upsampling them to DSD256 with HQPlayer. So yes it's a question of being polite, but it's also about acknowledging the limitations inherent in making absolute pronouncements about differences between high performing components. This is a dealers email comment to me about comparisons he did. dac at a reasonable price. But of course, I love window shopping and perusing top tier systems including illustrious more familiar gear like Lampi, TD, MSB, Ares Cerat, Aqua. But then we have to apply the law of diminishing returns. I dont know as that was years ago and I dont have one here to test against. Then we have the Integrated Clock module and Im starting to get the whole modular approach to the design of the MSB DAC. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. No matter what ice cream you prefer, I prefer something else. Digital inputs : RCA coax, AES/EBU XLR, 2x Toslink optical, 2x module slots, word . What makes you want to upgrade from DAVE? ), Chord Hugo 2 Review (Portable DAC & HP Amp), DAC Noise Modulation: Chord DAVE vs Topping DX7 Pro+, Digital To Analog (DAC) Reviews and Discussion, Amplifiers, Phono preamp, and Analog Audio Review. And if I had to guess (given I haven't heard both), I'd guess it outperforms the Tambaqui. I agree with what you are saying but "far too often" the It may not display this or other websites correctly. This is purely speculation based on browsing the internet over the years and internalising pro/con reviews from users. Were honored to be recognized by the industry for bringing you the most lifelike sound we can. Not sure why you would spend so much on a DAC when the Crane Song Solaris is available at $1,949. To me, the instrumental timbre seems more accurate with DAVE than any other DACs I've heard. what Im saying is that comparing dacs also must take into account of all the interface advantages of each particular dac. September 6, 2016 in DAC - Digital to Analog Conversion. Digital Audio Forum: DAC, Transports, Digital Processing Forum, 4x20A circuits | Audioquest Niagara 3000 | Paul Hynes SR4T + HDPlex HD500 PSUs -> Music PC w/JCAT XE nic, HQPlayer, Roon, Tidal / Qobuz | HDPlex HD100 PSU -> OCX clock + EtherRegen | Aqua Acoustic Quality LinQ streamer | Aqua Acoustic Quality Formula xHD Rev. Directstream, Bricasti M1, Jeff Rowland Aeris, Chord Dave, and today I I havent heard the Rockna. Talking of cool lets talk about this remote. With the Bartok now quite a few $$$ more, the Tambaqui represents a fantastic price v performance ratio that would be at home in most highly resolving systems. The BADA Ref is a great DAC and I understand the new version takes it to even another level. of the 5 systems are completely different, our rooms are completely different I own the MSB Select II with the dual powerbases and 33 Femto Clock. In comparison to spdif which feels more 3D but relatively smaller sound stage, with better separation, vocals are more focused/accurate, everything sounds more evenly balanced. I don't like Dave with or without upsampler but I do like Auralic G2 with their upsampler and clock. All in all the Discrete DAC is beautiful looking, minimal, easy to set up (its all but plug and play if you turn both the PSUs on) and it feels like a proper bit of audio engineering. Equipment used: - Roon - 3-in 1-out XLR switchbox - Goldpoint SA2X Attenuator - Benchmark AHB2 Amplifier - Hifiman Susvara headphones (Also used Arya and HD800S but for the most part susvara) Video review of DAVE + Mscaler here: Thanks for the suggestion ecwl. Since opening our doors in 1986, weve been driven by one goal: to craft an unrivaled listening experience for music lovers across the globe. This is disabled if you are outputting to a preamplifier. The Discrete Power Supply feeds the DAC with dual low-noise power streams that are linear and independent. @yyzsantabarbara, your dealer quote is interesting, I suspected that the Mola Mola was that good. When we set out to make the MSB remote, the design was built from the ground up. Sound Media Group Pty Ltd There are some tonal differences too, but what you prefer will depend on your other equipment and the music you like. Jon Hopkins Music For Psychedelic Therapy was a beautifully enveloping experience, made all the more so as sounds come and go in the soundstage in a somewhat more solid way than without the usual DAC. Cs | Critical Mass CS2s -> components, Isoacoustics -> speakers + subs | Adona Eris II rack on Herbie's titanium footers | Fully treated and dedicated 2 channel room. The bottom line for me is that great DACs can make a difference over good DACs. So, essentially, around the back of this DAC we have XLR output modules, dual power inputs (more on this in a moment) the digital input module (XLR, RCA, and two optical), and the USB input. I would just add budget and the other components in the system are major factors to consider. This puts it up against some serious competition! I also looked at the MSB Discrete DAC but everything thing was an extra cost option (USB, AES/EBU, power supply, etc.,) and expensive. The only true way for the end user to know what they prefer is through listening in their own system. retail client forgets that most audio stores and audio distribution companies Too many DACs> Too many amps> Too many headphones. I haven't yet come across one DAC that is best and will completely dominate other great DACs across all audio evaluation parameters. What did you think with the Chord Dave vs Emm Labs Dac2x? I can see that in an A/B comparison, many other DACs sound more impressive than DAVE/Blu2. It would have been a different outcome though with the Cyrus pre-amp I previously owned, which cast a veil over everything. Playing Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jacksons Your Daddy Loves You from the Winter in America album gave me the same impression of a reach-out-and-touch soundscape with incredibly well-defined positions in the mix and a whole load of detail the over-driven sound of the electric piano at around a minute forty really stood out as being faithful to the recording; a case of high-fidelity highlighting a low-fidelity artefact? - MQA decoding. It's better than the MSB Analog I listened to. With two prime DACs, the MSB Discrete yields an unprecedented level of detail that reproduces the musicality, soundstage and texture of an original performance, bringing the artist to you. This hobby is "highly subjective", influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions; therefore you can A/B a million different components and come to a completely different conclusion on how it sounds compared to another listener. MSB are an American brand headed up by the brothers Jonathan and Daniel Gullman and located in Silicon Valley, California where they design and build a range of amplifiers, transports, and DACs. I could not so, after 2 years of trying, I bought it. The SQ is amazingly good. I wired it all up and the unit lit up but I could get no sound out of it whatsoever. other dacs I have enjoyedin no particular order; I would not call this second tier; but I prefer what hear from my Select II to what Ive heard from these. 2. With two prime DACs, we yield an unprecedented level of detail, reproducing the musicality, soundstage, and texture of an original performance, bringing the artist to you. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. UPnP Protocol I say take what everyone post when a grain of salt, because an individual's preference may be different than yours. I do however like the i2S connection better than any other Fixed. It is an unassuming but very nicely put together component that has had a great deal of thought put into the architecture of the parts that make it up. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $14,000. The Pro USB was developed to offer a multi part USB solution that features complete electrical isolation and all the performance of MSBs proprietary Pro ISL input. Unless they have the exact same components as the end user, it's impossible to tell that customer how component X will sound in their system. Anyway, I switched out the valve power amplifier and put in its place the Krell KST100 (all fully fettled and brought up to a better than new spec by Krell in the States) with my intention being to see what effect was the DAC and what was down to the amp basically isolating the effect to a component. The remainder This leaner and cleaner edge has the effect of adding a level of perceived detail to the listening experience. Moving away from the actual sound of the music, one of my main takeaways from listening to the Discrete was the sense of timing it brought to music. lastly; what I compare my MSB Select II to every day is my top level vinyl and top level reel to reel tape. Ultimately, reducing noise in a system or improving room acoustics can have a bigger effect. Lots of time it I'm also a very patient person and can wait for the right bit of kit at the right price to come up secondhand. Rori Besides that the MSB looks so much better. Check out the awards + accolades. Although I would like to keep this as close to $10-12K as possible. The MSB Renderer was developed using an in-house hardware design running an ultra low noise A5 processor for optimal audio playback performance. Dealer's should be required to state they're a dealer every time they post or have a disclaimer in their username. The world's largest high-end audio community. We used PCM (16/44,1 to 24/192) and DSD 64 and 128 for the comparioson. that it is difficult to say you have the best in regard to dacs but Rockna is When a dealer post something you have to take it with a enormous grain of salt. and build quality is also excellent. subjective to a point and that is why we do blind testing and A/B testing with JavaScript is disabled. connection because it eliminates some parts and gets you closer to a direct I'm not an absolutist, and frankly, I could be happy with any of the DACs I mentioned. Was it a speaker setup or headphone setup? California crafted in-house from an aluminum billet, the enclosure feels solid yet refined. Since this forum is mainly USA based and we are in the UK, I have very little to gain business wise here. You must log in or register to reply here. https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9eh61-lampizator-pacific-da-converters, https://positive-feedback.com/audio-discourse/lampizator-pacific-dac/, https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/subjective-grading-of-dac-that-i-had-heard-during-last-one-year-period. its that good. Check out our support page and technical specifications > Click Here, 10100007 - Discrete DAC with Supply- Gallery - 1200px, 10100007 - Discrete DAC with Supplies - Gallery - 1200px, 10100006 - Discrete DAC - Gallery - 1200px, 10100003 - Discrete DAC Badge - Gallery - 1200px, 10100005 - Discrete DAC MSB Logo - Gallery - 1200px, 10100004 - Discrete DAC Jack Panel - Gallery - 1200px, 10100008 - Discrete DAC Basemetal - Gallery - 1200px, 10100009 - Discrete Supply Options - Gallery - 1200px, 10100010 - Discrete Supply Cover - Gallery - 1200px. In terms of sound quality, it's the best digital front end I . Since opening our doors in 1986, weve been driven by one goal: to craft an unrivaled listening experience for music lovers across the globe. had if for 2 years now. and as I said earlier there is no "best" when it comes to dacs or MSB DACs also use a processing chip to handle oversampling and digital filtering (not sure if this chip is an FPGA or other type processing chip, but it is a high speed digital processing chip). You go off people's opinions and hope it'll match your equipment and system when you put the hard earned down. More sharing . What is available on models higher up the MSB food chain is the ability to add an analogue module so that you can use the unit as a true preamplifier and DAC. DLNA Protocol. You could spend less and get close to the sound of this DAC, for sure. Euphony Summus, EtherRegen, MSB Discrete. The dCS Bartok was also interesting but, based on my research, I kept coming back to Bricasti. Ok, I looked a prat but it proves that the separate PSUs are actually doing something rather than being there for show, though they do look rather cool in themselves. It may not display this or other websites correctly. This ranking is just my subjective thinking. The reasoning behind the two clocks dealing with different frequency families is that music is mostly recorded within multiples of the 44.1kHz family or the 48kHz family and having a clock dealing with each family minimises loss. Still would like to listen to the Soulution 760 DAC, Mola Mola DAC, Trinity DAC, MSB Select DAC, and maybe the Light Harmonic Da Vinci DAC, Gryphon Kalliope DAC, TotalDAC of some kind, Phasure NOS1A DAC, Esoteric Grandioso DAC, TAD DA1000 DAC, Audionet DAC, Chord Dave DAC . The Discrete DAC, the successor and highly improved replacement to the now-famous Analog DAC is the MSB DAC that everyone has been waiting for. This is a very odd one to describe but came to the fore on tracks like Pan Eros from World Of Drums and Percussion. fake by any means necessary jacket. Right now my favorite DACs in my system are the Pacific Microsonics Model 2 (for PCM), Phasure NOS1a (for PCM), Meridian Ultra (for MQA), and the Playback Designs MPS5 (for DSD128).