MSB Grounding DAC to Amp

divertiti

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Jan 12, 2021
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Has anyone tried connecting the ground of their MSB DAC with a grounding lug in the back of the amplifier as illustrated on MSB's site here? What advantage does this provide and have you experienced those improvements?
 
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Alrainbow

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Dec 12, 2013
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Has anyone tried connecting the ground of their MSB DAC with a grounding lug in the back of the amplifier as illustrated on MSB's site here? What advantage does this provide and have you experienced those improvements?
it may if you don’t use usb
as its galvanically isolated
if they show or it’s worth a try
but I can’t see why they even have one
the power supplies are isolated inside as well.
now when I had my stack a while back
in the menu there was a setting to isolate the outputs.
it helped plenty
in fact one day I got a hell of shock leaning on the dac to ground on another device
so it was us full. of course I then fixed the ground loop I had lol.
 

Ultrafast69

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Aug 28, 2018
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Has anyone tried connecting the ground of their MSB DAC with a grounding lug in the back of the amplifier as illustrated on MSB's site here? What advantage does this provide and have you experienced those improvements?
Yes, and it made a subtle difference, adding a touch warmth. It’s worth a shot, MSB includes the cable. YMMV.
 

divertiti

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Jan 12, 2021
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Yes, and it made a subtle difference, adding a touch warmth. It’s worth a shot, MSB includes the cable. YMMV.
Thanks, I don't have the cable from MSB, don’t think I got it from the reference. My amp is a Boulder 1160. Do you know if the cable was solid core or stranded, and what awg?
 

MarkusBarkus

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Feb 7, 2021
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...the stock ground cable from MSB is very small gauge, stranded, it appears to me. They have a grounding white paper, fyi if you haven't seen it around.
 

Atmasphere

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May 4, 2010
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Hm. Normally the ground on an XLR output is handled through pin 1 of the XLR, obviating any need for an external/optional ground wire!

There's something about 'galvanic isolation' on their website. Normally this would suggest a transformer-coupled output. But this seems to be something different. At any rate the way XLR connections are supposed to work is that the ground connection is there to keep the equipment at the same voltage potential (ground) and to provide shielding. It should otherwise be ignored and not referenced by the output of the unit.

Since that has been omitted, it seems a good idea to make the connection. The gauge of the wire, whether its braided or solid, shouldn't make any difference.

I reviewed the instruction on their website- it appears that you can simply make sure the ground straps on the rear of the DAC are connected and all should be good.
 
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Levitator

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Jul 1, 2020
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Brisbane, Australia
Yes, thanks for the reminder…given I only had the 2 cables provided by MSB, I decided to ground the MSB power supplies to my Shunyata Everest and leave the amp alone as there is no easy place on my amp to ground to being a completely sealed unit with no easy to reach chassis screws. The difference in my system was actually quite startling, given I already connect the power supplies to the Everest as well so I’m still not quite sure why the difference. I know the impact of grounding is mixed based on your own system / power supply, but it was a definite uptick in SQ for me.

I can’t suggest anything further with the amp other than to follow the manual instructions whereby you need to lift ’the catch’ on the rear of the power supplies. Definitely worth trying grounding as an option….all the best with it, and let us know how you go.
 

divertiti

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Jan 12, 2021
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Yes, thanks for the reminder…given I only had the 2 cables provided by MSB, I decided to ground the MSB power supplies to my Shunyata Everest and leave the amp alone as there is no easy place on my amp to ground to being a completely sealed unit with no easy to reach chassis screws. The difference in my system was actually quite startling, given I already connect the power supplies to the Everest as well so I’m still not quite sure why the difference. I know the impact of grounding is mixed based on your own system / power supply, but it was a definite uptick in SQ for me.

I can’t suggest anything further with the amp other than to follow the manual instructions whereby you need to lift ’the catch’ on the rear of the power supplies. Definitely worth trying grounding as an option….all the best with it, and let us know how you go.
According to Shunyata's CGS user guide, apparently if you have a 3 prong power cable plugged into the Everest from your component, that's functionally equivalent to grounding the chassis of that component to the Everest grounding post, so you don't need to do it again.
 

Levitator

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Jul 1, 2020
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Brisbane, Australia
According to Shunyata's CGS user guide, apparently if you have a 3 prong power cable plugged into the Everest from your component, that's functionally equivalent to grounding the chassis of that component to the Everest grounding post, so you don't need to do it again.
Yes, that’s what it sais but as is sometimes the way in audio, my ears tell me differently, in my system at least. Easy enough to do, so worth a try to see what it does for you…
 

Armsan

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Jan 28, 2016
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it may if you don’t use usb
as its galvanically isolated
if they show or it’s worth a try
but I can’t see why they even have one
the power supplies are isolated inside as well.
now when I had my stack a while back
in the menu there was a setting to isolate the outputs.
it helped plenty
in fact one day I got a hell of shock leaning on the dac to ground on another device
so it was us full. of course I then fixed the ground loop I had lol.
Alrainbow please, which option of the menu MSB DAC are you referring to? Can’t find here a menu setting to isolate the outputs? Which outputs? The DAC has only one set of outputs…
Thank you.
 

Easy Gliders

Member
Oct 22, 2021
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20
Has anyone tried connecting the ground of their MSB DAC with a grounding lug in the back of the amplifier as illustrated on MSB's site here? What advantage does this provide and have you experienced those improvements?
I have been hesitating for months to try the grounding of my Reference Dac/Powerbase because there is no grounding terminal on the Vitus SIA-030 amplifier. Finally, a friend tested the screws on the back panel of the amplifier to see which screw is grounded to the chassis. The screws of the covers for the optional DAC/Streamer and Phono preamp modules are grounded to the chassis. So I connected the grounding cable from the "Amp Ground" terminal on the Powerbase to the screw on the SIA-030 amplifier.
I was really shocked to hear the significant improvement in the sound quality on the very first song I listened to - Jealous Guy by John Lennon. Much less harshness and it sounds very quiet and smooth as if the volume level has been lowered by a couple of dB. Vocal is very smooth and airy. I listened to 5 more songs that I am very familiar with, and they all sound much better with better focus and details.
Apparently there is an internal local ground shield for the Analog power supply in the MSB Powerbase unit which supplies the power to the analog sections in the DAC unit. Grounding this local ground shield of the analog power supply to the amplifier's chassis ground instead of grounding to the Powerbase's chassis has basically reduced the noise coming from the PSU. According to MSB's website: "While connecting the internal shield ground to the chassis ground is a good configuration for many systems, some improvement in noise reduction may be achieved by providing a dedicated star ground connection from the most critical point (the amplifier)"
All MSB DAC owners must try this grounding connection in their systems.
 

Easy Gliders

Member
Oct 22, 2021
61
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20
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digitaldevil

VIP/Donor
Sep 24, 2022
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Yes, that’s what it sais but as is sometimes the way in audio, my ears tell me differently, in my system at least. Easy enough to do, so worth a try to see what it does for you…
I am late to this party, but I had the same experience with my MSB Reference. I used 10 awg solid copper to connect the chassis ground of the MSB to a lug of the Shunyata Everest power conditioner. In my system, the difference was not small. In my non sophisticated parlance, I will say that it smoothed out the rough edges of the presentation.
 

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