Mytek Stereo192-DSD DAC

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#2
Bruce-How did you pull that off?? I waited over six weeks and never received one and gave up after different dealers told me they had no idea when they would receive them.
 

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,535
85
145
Alpharetta, Georgia
#3
I would really like to get your detailed impressions on this one Bruce. I'd love it if the PCM and DSD playback on this unit were near reference as its something I might be able to afford soon.
 

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
754
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170
Seattle WA area
#4
Bruce-How did you pull that off?? I waited over six weeks and never received one and gave up after different dealers told me they had no idea when they would receive them.
Mark,

That's what separates men from the boys. :)

Guess we will stay young longer this way. ;)

We are eagerly waiting for Bruce's take on how a common man's Mytek $1500 DAC compares with his professional multi-million $ (or pretty close to that price tag and world's best anyway) DACs in his studio playing raw DSD128(256?) files over USB that he transferred from the original master tapes that he knows the original sound intimately.
 
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Dec 26, 2011
275
1
18
#6
Picked 1 up 2 weeks ago.
Mine is the pre-amp version.
Having trouble loading the USB driver, so I can't use the USB 2.0 input yet.
Luckily there is a USB 1.0 input which works with my laptop.
Sounds great out of the box.
I watch a few episodes of ancient aliens via youtube through the mytek, and the details and soundstaging is unbelievable.
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
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Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#7
After a couple days listening to this amazing box, I'd have to say it's quite a bit better than the Korg MR2000s playing DSD material.
I have some music recorded from a Fazioli at DSD128fs from the Korg. I put the same music into my Signalyst HQPlayer software and hit play. I'm listening to the Korg and then switching to the HQPlayer, I definitely like the Mytek/HQPlayer better. I was careful of matching levels...blah... blah....
Now on to the Playback Designs MPS-5 comparison!

photo.JPG
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
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Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#8
Oh... and listening through Audeze LCD-3 and Senheiser HD800 phones are drop dead gorgeous! It has plenty of gain, no highend glare and enough bass to move your ears! I have the volume in by-pass mode, so it only affects the headphone gain.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#9
Oh Bruce...I need one of those two you have! Or at least hook me up with your guy so I can get one.
 

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,535
85
145
Alpharetta, Georgia
#10
Keep the insights coming Bruce. I am very interested in this one. :)
 

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,535
85
145
Alpharetta, Georgia
#11
Any updates Bruce on sound quality? Inquiring minds want to know.
 

Bruce B

WBF Founding Member, Pro Audio Production Member
Apr 26, 2010
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Seattle, WA
www.pugetsoundstudios.com
#12
I've had this in the system 24/7 for about 2 weeks now and can say I prefer this over the DAC section in the Korg MR2000s. This thing really shines in the bass department. The leading transients on plucked bass are sharp and authoritative. There is no grain or smearing in the high end. I can play the same DSD file from the Sonoma going through the PD MPS-5 and then from HQPlayer going into the Mytek and I prefer the bass from the Mytek! In the mid region, it’s an even playing field. I can’t tell them apart. On bells, cymbals, and recorded sibilance, I prefer the PB. It’s not night and day though and you can’t make the determination from an A/B comparison. The factor I go upon is, does it capture your attention when you’re doing something else? When I’m doing tape transfers, breaking in equipment and such, I do other things like editing or house cleaning. If I hear something out of the ordinary, I can immediately catch it. I was breaking in the Mytek and Muddy Waters was playing. I immediately stopped what I was doing and actually wanted to turn it up and listen! This thing got my attention. It’s something on the order of like listening to CD’s all day and then suddenly a 24-bit file gets played. It gets your attention and you don’t want to do anything else but relax and enjoy the music!
 

flez007

Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
2,899
4
36
Mexico City
#13
Well - that says it all (at least for me) - taking into consideration the Mytek MSRP!

I am not into DSD (yet) just WAV files ripped from my original CD collection (+1000), maybe it is the right time to dig deeper! :)

Thanks Bruce!.and please keep your findings coming.
 

audioarcher

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2012
1,330
2
135
Seattle area
#14
I've had this in the system 24/7 for about 2 weeks now and can say I prefer this over the DAC section in the Korg MR2000s. This thing really shines in the bass department. The leading transients on plucked bass are sharp and authoritative. There is no grain or smearing in the high end. I can play the same DSD file from the Sonoma going through the PD MPS-5 and then from HQPlayer going into the Mytek and I prefer the bass from the Mytek! In the mid region, it’s an even playing field. I can’t tell them apart. On bells, cymbals, and recorded sibilance, I prefer the PB. It’s not night and day though and you can’t make the determination from an A/B comparison. The factor I go upon is, does it capture your attention when you’re doing something else? When I’m doing tape transfers, breaking in equipment and such, I do other things like editing or house cleaning. If I hear something out of the ordinary, I can immediately catch it. I was breaking in the Mytek and Muddy Waters was playing. I immediately stopped what I was doing and actually wanted to turn it up and listen! This thing got my attention. It’s something on the order of like listening to CD’s all day and then suddenly a 24-bit file gets played. It gets your attention and you don’t want to do anything else but relax and enjoy the music!
Hi Bruce,

Have you done any comparisons using FLAC or WAV files yet? It would be interesting to know how it fares with those.

Sean
 

ted_b

New Member
Feb 4, 2011
105
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0
#15
Bruce, good stuff. As you well know I have had the Mytek for almost a year now, and love what it does for both DSD and PCM. And all for about $1500! Michal has a few new things to try and is sending me new hardware and new firmware to beta test. Heck, I may end up with 3 of these stacked and have them be my DSD-capable multichannel DAC, as Michal believes we could do DoP multichannel with a simple firewire hub (Meitner MA-1 is my big rig 2 channel go-to, but the Mytek holds its own, and has taken my second system to new heights).

The only bad (good news really) is that most of us have found that it improves up to 600+ hours. And yes, I keep it in bypass mode too.

Look forward to seeing you at RMAF and CES once again.....

and if anyone else needs my SACD ripping guide for dummies (i.e PS3, etc) feel free to PM me. DSD is quite sublime. :)
 

firedog

New Member
Mar 21, 2011
14
0
1
#16
If anyone wants to order one of these, I suggest you order it online direct from Mytek. You get the newest model with the updated HW tweaks and firmware, and the waiting period isn't long. Shipping varies from a few days to a couple of weeks.

I got one a few months ago and am very happy with it. There are some amazing sounding DSD files out there. But it sounds great with PCM also. Just bought some of the Blue Note re-issues from HDTracks in hi-res, and the playback really got my feet tapping.

I'm not saying it is the best DAC out there. But I think it is as good as anything up to about twice its price. Basically, you have to get a 4K or 5K DAC to beat it. And when you add in the feature set (DSD, preamp function with analogue in, all the types of inputs and outputs you could want), it is a real bargain.
 

flez007

Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
2,899
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36
Mexico City
#17
If anyone wants to order one of these, I suggest you order it online direct from Mytek. You get the newest model with the updated HW tweaks and firmware, and the waiting period isn't long. Shipping varies from a few days to a couple of weeks.

I got one a few months ago and am very happy with it. There are some amazing sounding DSD files out there. But it sounds great with PCM also. Just bought some of the Blue Note re-issues from HDTracks in hi-res, and the playback really got my feet tapping.

I'm not saying it is the best DAC out there. But I think it is as good as anything up to about twice its price. Basically, you have to get a 4K or 5K DAC to beat it. And when you add in the feature set (DSD, preamp function with analogue in, all the types of inputs and outputs you could want), it is a real bargain.
How it really works as a preamp? (I was not considering that feature and looks tempting), did you compare it wth some other unit?
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
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#18
Mine just showed up yesterday and I think it is a game changer. In this day and age of some DACs still unable to pass 24/192 files from your computer via USB, now we have a super-reasonably priced
DAC that does that and plays DSD files as well. And none of that would matter if it doesn’t sound really good, but it does. In fact, I think it sounds great.

Mine is the mastering version and the output has to be fairly high because I have to back off the volume control from the normal level I would listen to with the E-MU 0404. I thought the Mytek had something to prove to me because I do feel that the 0404 is a damn good DAC. And when you consider its cost, it’s really a damn good DAC. The Mytek and 0404 aren’t even in the same zip code.

The Mytek throws a much bigger soundstage and it just brings music to life in a way that eludes the 0404. For the first time last night, I actually enjoyed listening to my 24 bit USB Flac files from my Beatles little green apple.

The amount of energy the Mytek will put into your room (assuming you have a big-boy stereo system) is high. It may pressurize your room in a way you haven’t heard nor felt before. This thing has some serious swagger.

The pictures of the Mytek are deceiving because it looks much bigger in the pictures. This thing is dinky, but the sound that comes out of it would make you think it is coming out of 4 boxes with two of the four being huge power supplies. But nope, it’s all coming from this very small, diminutive little box. I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t blown away last night by how good this thing sounds.

And I’m still working some kinks out. I know the non-DSD side lash-up is correct. Whatever Foobar says the file is (44.1, 88, 96, 192) is what the Mytek says it is. I need to read the ‘manual’ and figure out how to make the display stay lit. I also need to figure out the DSD side. When playing DSD files from my external hard drive, the Mytek doesn’t show ‘DSD’ on the display. It just shows ’88.’

If the Mytek gets any better, it would be scary. Once I get the DSD and the display lined out, the next step will be to switch over to XLR cables from the RCAs.
 

ted_b

New Member
Feb 4, 2011
105
0
0
#19
The "preamp" function is somewhat of a confusing issue, as many folks consider "preamp" to mean that the DAC can be connected directly to an amp and can use its own (remote if possible) volume control. Well, this is true of ALL Mytek Stereo 192 models, not just the one they call "preamp" (to differentiate it from the "mastering" model). The way Mytek defines "preamp" is to add rca analog inputs into the DAC, thereby making it not only a volume attenuator but also both a digital (of course) and analog switcher.

As a remote volume DAC (the remote codes are in the user manual and work perfectly) it is ok, but not great. As Michal and I have discussed ad nauseum, for a budget of $1500 they had to make sacrifices, and one area IMHO, is the variable analog stage. It suffices, but is wayyy better (again IMHO :) ) in bypass mode, which then requires the user to use a preamp or integrated amp (or active speakers, etc). Also, as a Mytek-defined preamp the analog ins are clean and would suffice for someone who primarily listens to digital but needs a secondary analog source for those few times.

Note: the simple difference between the preamp model I am discussing and the mastering model Bruce is using is the choice between RCA analog ins or a set of pro-level SDIF DSD ins (Bruce can hook his Sonoma directly to it). In both cases, remote analog volume is still a menu selection.

As you can tell, this little wonder box has a lot of features, not to mention user set-able DSD and PCM filters, upsampling, etc.
 

ted_b

New Member
Feb 4, 2011
105
0
0
#20
And I’m still working some kinks out. I know the non-DSD side lash-up is correct. Whatever Foobar says the file is (44.1, 88, 96, 192) is what the Mytek says it is. I need to read the ‘manual’ and figure out how to make the display stay lit. I also need to figure out the DSD side. When playing DSD files from my external hard drive, the Mytek doesn’t show ‘DSD’ on the display. It just shows ’88.’

If the Mytek gets any better, it would be scary. Once I get the DSD and the display lined out, the next step will be to switch over to XLR cables from the RCAs.
mytekmenu.jpg

MEP, the display options are in the menu, with the workflow shown above. The only difference is that with newer firmware (i.e 1.6x) the leds (if you have a model that has front panel leds) do now work for DSD too.

MEP, what player are you using that you are trying to play DSD through? DoP (DSD over PCM) or ASIO are a little tricky to setup, but then work 24/7. Feel free to PM me, or we can troubleshoot here. I have some setup tips in my SACD guide, but the lions share of the guide is to set up a compatible PS3 and local computers for DSD ripping and extraction. Again, remember that the Mytek gets wayyy better sounding after several hundred hours; a break-in change that is more substantial than most pieces of equipment I listen to.
 
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