MSB Reference Transport - the first home audition

Jun 18, 2011
780
13
18
Hong Kong
#1
MSB sent a Reference Transport near-finalized prototype to the GuangZhou International Hi-end Audio Visual Show 2018 in Mainland China last week.
After the Show and on its trip back to US, my friend Ricky in Hong Kong who was a die-hard MSB fans borrowed it for home audition for a few hours.


The MSB Reference Transport
Reference Transport front1.jpg


Its back
Reference Transport back1.jpg


On rack.
you may notice the stack of MSB Signature UMT V transport and the two Single Diamond Transport Powerbases in the background.

Reference Transport on rack1.jpg


The PRO ISL optical digital output of the Ref Transport
Reference Transport PRO ISL output1.jpg


The PRO ISL optical input module installed on his Select II dac.
Select II PRO ISL input1.jpg
 
Last edited:

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
2,780
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#2
Awesome!
We were supposed to have that transport here for our event yesterday, but as you can imagine, China/Asia was more important, so there it went :)
I hope you guys enjoyed it, it looks very cool!


cheers,
alex
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
6,428
72
48
E. England
#3
It’s got some serious competition, with the overengineered Wadax and JMF transports, already firm faves on the AE forums.
I remain a massive advocate of disc playback, if only my funds stretched a bit further...
 
Jun 18, 2011
780
13
18
Hong Kong
#4
Awesome!
We were supposed to have that transport here for our event yesterday, but as you can imagine, China/Asia was more important, so there it went :)
I hope you guys enjoyed it, it looks very cool!
cheers,
alex
Hello Alex,
Mainland China is an important market for MSB, but not so for Hong Kong. :(
My friend is a very good friend of the MSB official HK dealer so he could enjoy it for a few hours.

In summary even though it's only a prototype with the original desktop psu, it blew the Signature UMT V transport/two Single Diamond Transport Powerbases away in seconds!
Yes, extremely awesome!
 
Jun 18, 2011
780
13
18
Hong Kong
#5
Competition? Maybe not.

Both MSB and Wadax have their own proprietary I2S type of transport-dac connections. I guess most audiophiles will buy a whole set.

The JMF is beautiful and over-engineered but is at disadvantage in this aspect.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
2,780
25
48
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#6
Hello Alex,
...
In summary even though it's only a prototype with the original desktop psu, it blew the Signature UMT V transport/two Single Diamond Transport Powerbases away in seconds!
Yes, extremely awesome!
That's interesting, because that's the exact same feedback I heard from MSB here in the US, when they compared it at the factory. New transport, original PSU, blew their UMT V with two dedicated power bases, and it was not even close.

I'm currently enjoying *streaming* through the UMT V to our SELECT. Since the MSBs are based on the Oppos, you can actually stream to them, and since the new MSB Transports are based on the Oppo 2xx, they are Roon endpoints too!

So there's no need to choose anymore. You can get one box that will spin discs *and* stream, all while using their cool new Pro ISL interface! We should get our (new) Transport in a few weeks, so I'll be able to say more about it...



cheers,
alex
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,138
58
48
#7
I suppose there could be a transport in my future. i'll have to select one though.:rolleyes:
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
That's interesting, because that's the exact same feedback I heard from MSB here in the US, when they compared it at the factory. New transport, original PSU, blew their UMT V with two dedicated power bases, and it was not even close.

I'm currently enjoying *streaming* through the UMT V to our SELECT. Since the MSBs are based on the Oppos, you can actually stream to them, and since the new MSB Transports are based on the Oppo 2xx, they are Roon endpoints too!

So there's no need to choose anymore. You can get one box that will spin discs *and* stream, all while using their cool new Pro ISL interface! We should get our (new) Transport in a few weeks, so I'll be able to say more about it...



cheers,
alex
could you explain what that Pro ISL interface does
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#9
Competition? Maybe not.

Both MSB and Wadax have their own proprietary I2S type of transport-dac connections. I guess most audiophiles will buy a whole set.

The JMF is beautiful and over-engineered but is at disadvantage in this aspect.
Here is the stiffest competition--

MSB-Renderer-Input-Module-235px.jpg
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#11
could you explain what that Pro ISL interface does
The experts can comment but just briefly, it looks like it combines all the benefits of IS2 with the benefits of 100% electrical isolation through glass. Pretty cool.
 

awsmone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2014
1,093
13
38
Canberra Australia
#12
The experts can comment but just briefly, it looks like it combines all the benefits of IS2 with the benefits of 100% electrical isolation through glass. Pretty cool.
It appears to be two optical cables I assume clock and data like the older Meitner pro st optical link, but I am speculating
 
Jun 18, 2011
780
13
18
Hong Kong
#13
CK,
Does MSB make their own transport or is a bought in OEM version and then tweaked?
All MSB universal transports, past and present are Oppo-mods.
So are the Wadax & JMF universal transports.

However the Wadax, JMF and MSB Reference & Select are so thoroughly modded that they can't be recognized to be relatives of Oppo. :D
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#14
The experts can comment but just briefly, it looks like it combines all the benefits of IS2 with the benefits of 100% electrical isolation through glass. Pretty cool.
It appears to be two optical cables I assume clock and data like the older Meitner pro st optical link, but I am speculating
That was the reason I asked as it looks like the optical glass I use in my Playback Designs and prior to that in my Meitner
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
2,780
25
48
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#15
could you explain what that Pro ISL interface does
It replaces the Pro I2S interface, currently used in transports. The current Pro I2S uses Ethernet cables to carry (bi-directionally) the data.

Pro ISL is meant to do the same thing, while eliminating any and all possible effect the cable and connectors might have in the process, by using the optic couplers/decouplers. Theoretically, you could run a mile of cable between the DAC and transport, with no loss. That's the kind of application ISL is used for, and MSB is using it for the transport now.

I'm waiting for some more specific information, but I do know it's NOT standard fiber optic, TosLink, etc. Actually, I just want one of those here :)


cheers,
alex
 
Jun 18, 2011
780
13
18
Hong Kong
#16
It replaces the Pro I2S interface, currently used in transports. The current Pro I2S uses Ethernet cables to carry (bi-directionally) the data.
Pro ISL is meant to do the same thing, while eliminating any and all possible effect the cable and connectors might have in the process, by using the optic couplers/decouplers. Theoretically, you could run a mile of cable between the DAC and transport, with no loss. That's the kind of application ISL is used for, and MSB is using it for the transport now.
I'm waiting for some more specific information, but I do know it's NOT standard fiber optic, TosLink, etc. Actually, I just want one of those here :)
cheers,
alex
Our home network is full of noise. Effort has been spent to avoid the noise getting into the dac.
Optical Isolation in CAS has been adopted widely by CAS desktop computer DIYers in Hong Kong for many years.
One of the best product lines is Adnaco : http://www.adnaco.com/products/
Both multi-mode and single-mode transceivers and fibers are available.



A local CAS audio brand (N&E Audio) launches a FiberBox which contains the input & output optical conversion modules and a linear psu in one chassis.
Very convenient.
DSC_1129.jpg 211613f7dkwygzyzyotvog.jpg


Recently Trinity Audio applies optical isolation for the usb connection between their Trinity Media PC and Trinity DAC.
f669fbdcb8d951ae00a2451b97bade.jpg 366hckswtpqd.jpg
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
242
0
16
Houston area
#18
Jun 17, 2014
367
0
16
USA
#19
What is the device?
It is an Ethernet Renderer input module with network card. MSB is still working on it and hasn’t released it yet.

Ken
 
Oct 30, 2017
496
0
16
USA
#20
It is an Ethernet Renderer input module with network card. MSB is still working on it and hasn’t released it yet.

Ken
Yes Ken it plays and decodes common audio formats from HTTP streams outputting direct to IS2. The clock is synchronized by the very low jitter DAC master clock and all grounds are isolated and dedicated clean power is provided. It is extremely hard to beat. Oh and the new version is Roon and MQA compliant.
 

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