The all-new Digital Director
It's here! We have been working towards this point for a few years now and are wildly excited to share the results with you. Introducing, The Digital Director. I want to take a moment to try my best at explaining what this product is and how it works. As it is a new product category, we are still figuring out the right words.
To start, this is a DAC Upgrade. This works with all existing Discrete, Premier, Reference, and Select DACs. Any version of the digital director works with any version of our DACs. It is an additional product chassis that marries with the DAC to do extraordinary things. New firmware will be required for the DAC. Current input modules are removed from the DAC and installed into the Digital Director. With the Pro ISL and Optical control link providing two way communication will allow the DAC display and controls to operate the Digital Director as a seamless experience. This will not work as an independent product. The Reference and Select level Digital Directors have integrated linear power supplies, whereas the Premier Digital Director has an integrated switching power supply.
The creation of this product stems from the ever diversifying market of digital sources. Servers, computers, and renderers etc. We set out to find a way to bring all bit perfect sources onto an equal footing. This required more power, processing, and perfect isolation. Mission accomplished. Having this as an external product was key for isolation. We are doing everything possible to further quite down the DAC chassis where the conversion process is most vulnerable to noise.
Lastly, we have offloaded the digital processing from the DAC into the Digital Director. Using new high-performance DSPs along with all-new digital filters our DACs have taken a huge step forward. I was blown away hearing the soundstage snap into even sharper focus! I love how our favorite recordings continue to surprise us with new details and experiences. It seems our digital journey is not yet complete and we are excited to discover what's next.
I will be jumping on a plane heading for the Munich High End Show shortly and am looking forward to meeting up with many of you! We will have the first Digital Directors in our showroom for listening and discussions. Take care!
Optimized audio. Superior isolation
The DAC Reimagined
Meet the Digital Director: a reimagining of the entire Digital to Analog Conversion chain, improving everything from the source to the analog audio. With all-new firmware in the MSB DAC, the Digital Director enhances essential DAC functions, externally managing digital audio sources, noise isolation and processing. Using our proprietary ProISL laser fiber optic connection, the Digital Director eliminates noise coupling into the DAC from any digital source. This advanced isolation technology elevates the performance of all digital audio sources, along with increased processing power ensures our digital filtering algorithms achieve a new level of realistic and accurate analog reproduction. Born from years of research and development, along with a keen understanding of digital filter design, the Digital Director levels up the performance of all digital audio. We’re thrilled to start this new chapter of digital reproduction and can’t wait for you to experience how the Digital Director will breathe vibrant new life into your audio experience.
- New Digital Director models:
- The Select Digital Director with linear power supply
- The Reference Digital Director with linear power supply
- The Premier Digital Director with switching power supply
- 4 digital only input module slots
- Complete source isolation from the DAC engine
- One Pro ISL Input module and Control Link Module included to connect with existing DACs.
- Two-way communication shares DAC display, controls, and remote functions.
- Increased processing power for advanced new digital filters
- Fully syncronizes all clocks prior to transmission to the DAC
- In-house machined billet CNC chassis
- Made in California, USA
Note: Production begins this year, but we ask for patience with new orders as we navigate severe chip shortages and difficult supply lines. Once the new firmware is installed, The Digital Director is compatible with all existing Discrete, Premier, Reference, and Select DACs. All new Digital Directors are manufactured according to our most recent designs and production standards and are not guaranteed to be a perfect finish match to existing systems. That being said, they’ll have stacking compatibility and will follow the correct sizing and shape. All new orders placed between May 2022 and the shipping release of the Digital Directors will be an exact match. Current and new DAC orders will ship when ready and the Digital Director will be sent at a later date when production schedules allow.
Computer audio and server considerations
The sonic effects of using various computers and servers are well known and often have a profound impact on the overall sound quality. As engineers, we ask the following: if all audiophile computer audio sources are outputting the exact same bit-perfect file as it came from the studio master, how can these various sources sound so different? Certainly we need to consider the various connection methods of the associated gear, such as USB vs Renderer with a direct ethernet connection, or AES/XLR, etc. Once we have chosen the best connection between the source and the DAC, we might consider the somewhat new category of ethernet filtering offered by an increasing number of manufacturers for an incremental improvement. Much of the electrical noise on your local ethernet is generated by the modem, routers, switches and their associated power supplies.
We might also consider that ethernet, just like wall power, can be incredibly noisy from the local ethernet service polluted by any number of things, like cell towers, TV/Radio stations, or coupling outside the house with AC power lines. While the very noisy ethernet still contains the bit-perfect data that we desire, carried along with it can be incredible electrical noise polluting any DAC or any server in ways that damage the sound. This noise can affect the critical DAC clocks and the signal grounds in crucial ways. The very high frequencies of this noise is intrusive and therefore important to control.
The MSB Digital Director goes further than the ethernet noise filters to isolate the noise from all critical circuitry and process systems. By moving the digital input modules outboard of the DAC’s essential analog conversion function, this prioritizes the DAC’s performance as a dedicated conversion engine. Noise typically introduced within these sensitive processes will instead be managed and isolated by the Digital Director. Using our proprietary ProISL laser fiber optic connections, we’re able to eliminate noise coupling into the DAC. This advanced isolation technology has pushed all digital audio sources to their highest potential.