The Analog DAC

Elberoth

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Keep in mind the Berkely USB converter has clocking circtutry (and powersupply of course). When you feed USB to the MSB dac this is entirely redundant. So of course $1400 for a USB interface is a rip off in terms of cost of components to price ratio, but you are really paying for the functionality (another gateway into the architecture of the MSB processing engine) more than components. an analogy is when you buy a software package you pay a license fee to switch features on and off. In this case, the cost to the manufacturer is not even the $50K - it is zero.
I agree with you, which is why I gave the car manufacturers policy example.
 

edorr

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May 11, 2010
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Not sure where he is sourcing that information from. The manufacturer policy is not to reveal ANY details re chips they use.

The DAC sounds simply fabulous with hi-res stuff.
Check this post. He claims it is actually 16 bit. When asked the manufacturer denien nor confirmed, which is not a good sign. He could simpy confirm it is 96/24 or 192/24 without disclosing what chip he uses.

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...volume-Control&p=140444&viewfull=1#post140444
 

Elberoth

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So If anything, the DAC would be 16/192 limited, not 24/48 ;) (on bit depth side, not sample rate side)

I had my eyes on a Metrum HEX, but our good friend Opus 111 pointed out its internal architecture (DAC chip) is very likely running at 48/24 max, so not a winner for high rez.
I know the specs of the DAC chipset that is allagedly used in Metrum DACs. However, Martin Collom's Metrum Octave measurements in HiFi Critic indicate that the DAC measured resolution is actually closer to 17-18 bit (which is not bad; there are many so called 24-bit DACs dont do better than this), which means that the DACs are probably not run in parallel, but may be deleyed by one clock cycle by some glue logic. That would explain the extra resolution over the basic 16-bit spec of the DAC chip, and would have a sideefect of creating a natural low pass filter.

Whatever the design is - the proof is in the pudding :)
 
Feb 11, 2012
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So If anything, the DAC would be 16/192 limited, not 24/48 ;) (on bit depth side, not sample rate side)
From memory the Metrum Octave is using the DIR9001 as S/PDIF input receiver - this is guaranteed only to 110kHz or so. Some people report their Octaves working at 176kHz, the occasional one works at 192kHz. I think the input receiver on the Hex has been changed, not sure what Cees is using now.

I know the specs of the DAC chipset that is allagedly used in Metrum DACs. However, Martin Collom's Metrum Octave measurements in HiFi Critic indicate that the DAC measured resolution is actually closer to 17-18 bit (which is not bad; there are many so called 24-bit DACs dont do better than this),
Martin Colloms claims this in his review but I don't see the figures anywhere in that article which support 17-18 bit performance.

which means that the DACs are probably not run in parallel, but may be deleyed by one clock cycle by some glue logic. That would explain the extra resolution over the basic 16-bit spec of the DAC chip, and would have a sideefect of creating a natural low pass filter.
I doubt this very much - it would require some post-processing but as far as I'm aware, the DACs just have output resistors for paralleling.

Whatever the design is - the proof is in the pudding :)
Indeed, it sounds pretty good I understand, not having heard it myself. That's not to say it can't be improved - the use of ground fill is something that's almost certainly detracting from the SQ. Also the grounding of the S/PDIF input isn't optimal and one of my contacts reports considerable improvement from upgrading the toroidal trafos to R-cores.
 

Elberoth

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You are talking about the Octave. That DAC was limited to 176kHz (but my own worked with 192k files without problems). I believe the HEX uses different input receiver, as it locks to 192k signals by default.
 

cuprone1

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Feb 10, 2013
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Hi to all,
I am new here and sorry if I disturb you with this question.
I own a Msb Platinum Dac IV with a Signature PB, using hiFace Two S/PDIF Output Interface to go to the Dac. Now my pusher advices me to buy a USB3 input as he says sounds better . By your opinions it is true? Anyone of you tried?
Thansk In advance for reply.
Piero
 

Priaptor

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Jan 29, 2012
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Hi to all,
I am new here and sorry if I disturb you with this question.
I own a Msb Platinum Dac IV with a Signature PB, using hiFace Two S/PDIF Output Interface to go to the Dac. Now my pusher advices me to buy a USB3 input as he says sounds better . By your opinions it is true? Anyone of you tried?
Thansk In advance for reply.
Piero
What is your pusher telling you to use as a server? The USB 3 is fabulous will play DSD 128 but use a windows based server like CAPS 3 with a Red Wiine Black Lightening power supply. I think you will be very happy
 
Feb 17, 2012
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What is your pusher telling you to use as a server? The USB 3 is fabulous will play DSD 128 but use a windows based server like CAPS 3 with a Red Wiine Black Lightening power supply. I think you will be very happy
Just to clarify, MSB DACs handle DSD via all their inputs so USB isn't a requirement in that area.
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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Hi to all,
I am new here and sorry if I disturb you with this question.
I own a Msb Platinum Dac IV with a Signature PB, using hiFace Two S/PDIF Output Interface to go to the Dac. Now my pusher advices me to buy a USB3 input as he says sounds better . By your opinions it is true? Anyone of you tried?
Thansk In advance for reply.
Piero
There is no other way to find out than to try in your system. MSB's USB module is P&P as far as I know.

Does your dealer have one which you could borrow ?
 

Priaptor

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Just to clarify, MSB DACs handle DSD via all their inputs so USB isn't a requirement in that area.
Correct and to be fair I have not tried those other inputs with the loaner I have. I have only tried the USB input and love it.
 

Priaptor

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Priaptor, thanks. I have a normal Apple macbook pro i5 as source, an external 2 tera HD. No server.
I am not looking to start a controversy here, BUT, I really have tried just about every Mac based player. I really recommend you try a Windows based solution such as JRiver.

If your converters will work in Bootcamp, that is probably the cheapest way to try it, assuming you have a copy of Windows 7-not optimal but cheapest. After struggling for close to a year with Mac players, I made the move. Chris's review of the Aurender at Computer Audiophile, a unit I was considering, helped direct me. If you read between the lines, he found his CAPS server solution better than all others. That is when I decided to try it with my then ARC DAC8 and I have never looked back.

When I got the Diamond for a trial, to be fair, I again tried the latest from Audirvana, Amarra and PM. None, in my opinion, compare.

The reason I bring this up is it is my opinion, that a JRiver solution sounds better.

Lastly, MSB is very liberal with their demo policies. You should see if you can get a USB for trial.
 

ted_b

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Feb 4, 2011
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I understand. And I am out of money and most likely soon to be divorced if I do what I am stupidly thinking of doing. But what the hell my sound system is more important than my marriage, no?!
I'm in the same boat, but there are certain things better left unsaid in the interest of marital stability. This is my approach. DACs look pretty inconspicuous to the unsuspecting non-audiophiles spouse.
Howie and Erik, I will tell both your wives everything unless you sell me your discarded DAC2X's for $2k each. :)

Regarding CAPS V3 and processing power, last night was the first time I encountered the need for any more cpu power (my CAPS V2+ is really simply a CAPS V3 Lagoon but was designed with Chris's help before he released the naming conventions of CAPS V3). I was trying to run my Mytek 5.1 DSD J RIver USB prototype with higher-than-24/192 5.1 surround files (2L DXD surround!) and found that it buffered often. This was simply a test to see if overtaxing the cpu was causing a clicking issue Mytek and I were hearing in DSD. It is not. Anyway...unless you need to do some DSP or heavy (larger than 5.1 DSD) multichannel a Caps V3 Lagoon sized server will handle any 2 channel you throw at it. But Dirac Live or any other DSP will likely tax an Intel 2800 mobo doing DSD. If I stay with the Mytek 5.1 setup I will build a dedicated simple CAPS with a larger cpu (Zuma's Dh77EB but simple case, etc) and more RAM.

Has anyone been able to hear the Analog and compare it to the "intermediate" DAC IV setups? (Note: if I missed it above I apologize; simply point me). IOW, is there a gap filler (sonically) between the Analog and the max'd Diamond Plus that Priaptor is demoing. As discussed earlier, the options, especially clocks, are ridiculously priced and almost usury IMO, taking advantage of captive audiences.
 
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Priaptor

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Howie and Erik, I will tell both your wives everything unless you sell me your discarded DAC2X's for $2k each. :)

Regarding CAPS V3 and processing power, last night was the first time I encountered the need for any more cpu power (my CAPS V2+ is really simply a CAPS V3 Lagoon but was designed with Chris's help before he released the naming conventions of CAPS V3). I was trying to run my Mytek 5.1 DSD J RIver USB prototype with higher-than-24/192 5.1 surround files (2L DXD surround!) and found that it buffered often. This was simply a test to see if overtaxing the cpu was causing a clicking issue Mytek and I were hearing in DSD. It is not. Anyway...unless you need to do some DSP or heavy (larger than 5.1 DSD) multichannel a Caps V3 Lagoon sized server will handle any 2 channel you throw at it. But Dirac Live or any other DSP will likely tax an Intel 2800 mobo doing DSD. If I stay with the Mytek 5.1 setup I will build a dedicated simple CAPS with a larger cpu (Zuma's Dh77EB but simple case, etc) and more RAM.

Has anyone been able to hear the Analog and compare it to the "intermediate" DAC IV setups? (Note: if I missed it above I apologize; simply point me). IOW, is there a gap filler (sonically) between the Analog and the max'd Diamond Plus that Priaptor is demoing. As discussed earlier, the options, especially clocks, are ridiculously priced and almost usury IMO, taking advantage of captive audiences.
Ted,

I agree, their pricing leaves much to be desired. IMHO, they should have just had a price without all these crazy and super expensive options, with three price points. I believe what they are trying to do, by allowing people to pick and choose their base configurations with all these options, was done with the consumer in mind in order to get their products "cheaper" and not to gouge, however, it appears, from the outside looking in, that it is indeed gouging.

After having a pretty long dialogue with the guys from MSB it has not been my experience that they are pushing me towards the higher priced units or options-quite the opposite. I should have listened to Elberoth who warned me about giving the Diamond a try.
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
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Howie and Erik, I will tell both your wives everything unless you sell me your discarded DAC2X's for $2k each. :)

Regarding CAPS V3 and processing power, last night was the first time I encountered the need for any more cpu power (my CAPS V2+ is really simply a CAPS V3 Lagoon but was designed with Chris's help before he released the naming conventions of CAPS V3). I was trying to run my Mytek 5.1 DSD J RIver USB prototype with higher-than-24/192 5.1 surround files (2L DXD surround!) and found that it buffered often. This was simply a test to see if overtaxing the cpu was causing a clicking issue Mytek and I were hearing in DSD. It is not. Anyway...unless you need to do some DSP or heavy (larger than 5.1 DSD) multichannel a Caps V3 Lagoon sized server will handle any 2 channel you throw at it. But Dirac Live or any other DSP will likely tax an Intel 2800 mobo doing DSD. If I stay with the Mytek 5.1 setup I will build a dedicated simple CAPS with a larger cpu (Zuma's Dh77EB but simple case, etc) and more RAM.

Has anyone been able to hear the Analog and compare it to the "intermediate" DAC IV setups? (Note: if I missed it above I apologize; simply point me). IOW, is there a gap filler (sonically) between the Analog and the max'd Diamond Plus that Priaptor is demoing. As discussed earlier, the options, especially clocks, are ridiculously priced and almost usury IMO, taking advantage of captive audiences.
As priaptor mentioned, msb is not pushing their top of the line stuff, and for example mentioned you will be hard pressed to hear a difference between the galaxy and femto 140 clock. Between the entry level analog dac and the diamond, there are the platinum and the signature. There are conflicting reports about the relative differences in sound quality between the models, so listening for yourself is advisable. I predict that after I have recovered from the initial financial shock, I may be auditioning a diamond side by side with the signature to decide for myself as well.

My caps 2.0 runs out of steam converting dsd to PCM at 96/24, so once you start using serious dsp features you need more procession power in a hurry.
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,146
7
36
Smyrna, GA
Hi to all,
I am new here and sorry if I disturb you with this question.
I own a Msb Platinum Dac IV with a Signature PB, using hiFace Two S/PDIF Output Interface to go to the Dac. Now my pusher advices me to buy a USB3 input as he says sounds better . By your opinions it is true? Anyone of you tried?
Thansk In advance for reply.
Piero
I'd be surprised if there was much of a diffrence. The spdif is buffered and reclocked. I will try the USB against my offramp 5 converter myself at some point and predict the offramp will be on Audiogon shortly. However, I bought a unit with USB, and the offramp / battery / cabling is $5k msrp, so for me it would make sense to go the USB route financially.
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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Sorry Elberoth, no dealer can borrow me, so I cannot find out..yes it is P&P.
I will try to next week to compare the MSB USB384 card vs Berkeley Alpha USB outboard SPDIF/USB converter on the DAC IV Signature that I still have at home, and will let know, how good the MSB solution really is.
 

cuprone1

Well-Known Member
Feb 10, 2013
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msb usb

I will try to next week to compare the MSB USB384 card vs Berkeley Alpha USB outboard SPDIF/USB converter on the DAC IV Signature that I still have at home, and will let know, how good the MSB solution really is.
Thanks Elberoth, I will looking forward to read your considerations.
 

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