MSB Reference DAC VS Totaldac d1-Twelve mk2

Thieliste

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Aug 31, 2014
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I am familiar with the Totaldac Twelve which i like very much but would like to have feedbacks about the newer mk2 version and compared to the also very new MSB Reference DAC which is a little more expensive.
Both DACs can be used with volume control and therefore be cennected directly to a pair of monoblocks and saving the expense of a costly preamp.
This option would allow me to simplify my system and get a top DAC intsead of a mid-fi DAC + preamp.
 

BF38

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Nov 1, 2017
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Thieliste,
as you're familiar with the TOTALDAC d1-Twelve and as you're in France, it's easy enough to compare with this new MK2.
This is probably the best way to know and a good first step ! And we can also benefit from your experience.

Be well in music
Bruno
 

Thieliste

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Thieliste

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Problem with MSB is that at these high prices you have some serious competition like the Aries Cerat Kassandra Signature 2 box version which is €41K here in Europe or the Lampizator Pacific DAC.
The MSB Reference DAC if you start adding a couple of options you end up at €52K.
 

KeithR

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Problem with MSB is that at these high prices you have some serious competition like the Aries Cerat Kassandra Signature 2 box version which is €41K here in Europe or the Lampizator Pacific DAC.

Yeah, imported I'm sure adds a premium as well. I would be inclined to try the local TotalDac at least for demo since you are in France. Especially if you use AES.

I think the Aries and Lampis are two separate ideas from MSB/TotalDac. You really need to know if you like tube dacs. I personally don't like tubes in any source (dac or phono), but that's my opinion and plenty of others around here would disagree :D
 

Thieliste

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Yeah, imported I'm sure adds a premium as well. I would be inclined to try the local TotalDac at least for demo since you are in France. Especially if you use AES.

I think the Aries and Lampis are two separate ideas from MSB/TotalDac. You really need to know if you like tube dacs. I personally don't like tubes in any source (dac or phono), but that's my opinion and plenty of others around here would disagree :D

Indeed it would be interesting to do a shoot out between the MSB Reference and the Aries Cerat Kassandra Sig to hear the differences between tube and solid state.
 

bonzo75

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Problem with MSB is that at these high prices you have some serious competition like the Aries Cerat Kassandra Signature 2 box version which is €41K here in Europe or the Lampizator Pacific DAC.
The MSB Reference DAC if you start adding a couple of options you end up at €52K.

Audition the 17k GG instead. Trick is to know what caps and valves to put on it, instead of paying up more
 

flyer

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I directly compared the Totaldac Twelve with the Kassandra (Reference version, the Signature goes markedly further) and choose for the latter! Always welcome for a shootout with whichever DAC against the Kassandra Signature that I have. As my demo room and system are extremely resolved (true SET amplification, not the euphonic type, and Symphonia horn speakers), any change is easily picked up!

If you were to go for the Twelve, I recommend you vividly to get the new Driver module as well (except if you connect to a preamp).
 

Thieliste

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Aug 31, 2014
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I directly compared the Totaldac Twelve with the Kassandra (Reference version, the Signature goes markedly further) and choose for the latter! Always welcome for a shootout with whichever DAC against the Kassandra Signature that I have. As my demo room and system are extremely resolved (true SET amplification, not the euphonic type, and Symphonia horn speakers), any change is easily picked up!

If you were to go for the Twelve, I recommend you vividly to get the new Driver module as well (except if you connect to a preamp).

Hi flyer did you have the chance to audition the new MSB Reference ? to compare to the Kassandra and Twelve.
 

wisnon

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Yeah, imported I'm sure adds a premium as well. I would be inclined to try the local TotalDac at least for demo since you are in France. Especially if you use AES.

I think the Aries and Lampis are two separate ideas from MSB/TotalDac. You really need to know if you like tube dacs. I personally don't like tubes in any source (dac or phono), but that's my opinion and plenty of others around here would disagree :D
The Pacific is NOT tubey at all.

I have a demo unit here alongside my GG.

The only caveat is that you need to select your tube combos to see what you like best or what genre you want to optimize. The Pacific is a monster that I would put up against ANY Dac on the market!
 
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ariescerat-espana

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Yeah, imported I'm sure adds a premium as well. I would be inclined to try the local TotalDac at least for demo since you are in France. Especially if you use AES.

I think the Aries and Lampis are two separate ideas from MSB/TotalDac. You really need to know if you like tube dacs. I personally don't like tubes in any source (dac or phono), but that's my opinion and plenty of others around here would disagree :D

Ok Hard Hat donned

I have heard the TotalDAC6 and v my current DAC the Aries Cerat Kassandra, no contest. The Kassandra is more dynamic and 3D, just bigger sounding, further away from your typical digital sound we all hate. The TotalDAC6 was nice, but not as alive to my ears. I have no idea why, but I wondered at that time if it was the gain stage in it. A great tube gain stage can do a lot of good things to a DAC or a pre-amp IMO, especially at the moment the signal is at it's weakest and most vunerable.

In my own audio journey, I actually prefer some tubes somewhere in the chain, and over the last few years it has been in the DACs I have owned. So I would not write of tube DACs as being a negative. The other thing is small tubes last 10,000 hours and give out little heat, plus cheap to buy. I just bought 2 pairs for my DAC for 105 euros, should be good for 5 years+:b
 
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bonzo75

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Yeah, imported I'm sure adds a premium as well. I would be inclined to try the local TotalDac at least for demo since you are in France. Especially if you use AES.

I think the Aries and Lampis are two separate ideas from MSB/TotalDac. You really need to know if you like tube dacs. I personally don't like tubes in any source (dac or phono), but that's my opinion and plenty of others around here would disagree :D

Currently my favorite phono is Allnic... So it is Lampi and Allnic. Though I like the Neodio origine and that's not valves
 

still-one

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The Pacific is NOT tubey at all.

I have a demo unit here alongside my GG.

The only caveat is that you need to select your tube combos to see what you like best or what genre you want to optimize. The Pacific is a monster that I would put up against ANY Dac on the market!

The couple I auditioned were on the tubey side.
 

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