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Thread: Merlot DAC and Syrah Music Server

  1. #151
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Hi VPN,

    I just received the USB-XIII and used it to connect both a PB MSP-5 DAC and a Pacific Microsonics DAC to a Sound Galleries Monaco 2015/HQPlayer server in my system.

    I haven't done detailed comparisons between the USB-X and USB-XIII, and I don't own or have listened to the Merlot, but I can tell you, without getting into audiophile descriptors, that the USB-XIII raises the MPS5 performance to another higher level.

    And the same is true of the Pacific Microsonics DAC. How much of that is due to the USB-XIII, or the SGM or other improvements to my system, I can't say. But frankly, at this point, I'm enjoying the system too much to fiddle with the comparisons. But without question, the USB-XIII is a significant improvement over the USB-X.

    Of course YMMV, but the USB-XIII is worth an audition if you have the USB-X.

    However, I did speak to Andreas Koch (prior to purchasing the USB-XIII) about how the MPS-5 with the USB-XIII would compare with the Merlot. He remarked that their performance would be very close and the choice would come down to personal preference.

    Which leads me to believe that the anecdotal comments about the Merlot being better than the MPS-5 were probably based on the MPS-5 using the USB-X rather than the USB-XIII with DSD4x capability.

    Nevertheless, I also still look forward to comparisons of the Merlot and the MPS-5 with the USB-XIII.
    Last edited by cmarin; 12-17-2016 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #152
    Member Sponsor Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Chicago area
    Curious to know whether anyone has compared the MPS-5/MPD-5 with USB-XIII to the Merlot yet?
    Source: Playback Designs MPD-5 DAC, PC running JRiver, Garrard 301 TT, Triplanar VII arm, Ortofon A90 cart; Amps: Halcro DM-10 pre, Krell FPB-400cx amp; Speakers: Wilson W/P 7 speakers, REL Stadium III sub; Cables: Nordost Valhalla PCs, ICs, SCs; Power: Furutech GTX-D(R) outlets, Nordost Thor conditioner, Dedicated 30A lines; Tweaks: HRS M3 isolation base; Home Theater: Oppo UDP-203 4K player, Anthem AVM60 processor, Krell FPB-450mcx amp, Krell TAS amp, Wilson Watch center speaker

  3. #153
    Hello Cmarin,

    Thank you for your feedback on the USB-XIII with MPS-5.

    Digital: Totaldac Twelve SE + server, Innuos Zenith SE running Roon+Tidal Amplification: CH Precision L1+X1, 2x Krell FPB 750mcx Speakers: Modded Dunlavy SC-VI w/ Duelund crossovers Cables: Kubala Elation (speaker), Totaldac USB, Echole Omnia 3ft XLR, Echole Omnia 7ft XLR,Power: Kubala Elation and Absolute Fidelity Power, SRA Scuttle mk.3 Rack, SRA VR 3.0 platforms, Four dedicated lines, PS P10

  4. #154
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Destin, FL.
    For someone looking to buy this Dac there is very little info given here about the SQ and where the performance of this dac falls in comparison to some of the other HQ dacs on the market today. Seems like there is much feedback on cheaper dacs $1K to 3K then the dacs at this price point have very little feedback but when the price goes over $10K a lot more writing and feedback happens.

    Is this an average middle of the Rd Dac or does it somehow run with the high $$$ dacs?

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