SACD is currently experiencing what can only be termed as a renaissance all over the world. As the revival of Vinyl has shown, there is an undeniable charm in owning a tangible data medium with audiophiles particularly still wishing to play music from CD and SACD. For that reason, T+A has developed the MP 3100 HV multi-media player, featuring a new disc mechanism incorporating the latest decoder technology. More »

As we featured in our Bristol Sound and Vision coverage, Melco have updated their original N1 series with their new MkII range which reflects both technical improvements and feedback from owners, with the aim to further improve sound quality and also to add ‘innovative new functionality previously not possible with this type of Audiophile Source Component’. More »

Danish manufacturers Densen have launched their brand-new Cast Amp Streamer, the first in their brand-new Dino range of products. More »

Ifi say that “The nano iOne is the versatile, audio solution for the modern home, it allows the use of many different digital audio devices and input options in one complete unit”. More »

Chord Electronics’ flagship Reference range and its full-size Chord range is to benefit from a new solid black machine-polished acrylic side panel option. More »

DAC3 is the latest converter to be unveiled by Benchmark and features the new ESS Technology ES9028PRO chip. Dan Worth takes the £2349 American made DAC3 for a test drive.  More »

Totaldac, of France, has created its own loudspeaker to demo DACs in the Totaldac auditorium and at Hifi shows. Totaldac say that the speakers “are the result of 20 years of experimentation to give a realistic and natural sound. Now these speakers are also offered to Totaldac customers” More »

DAC3 is the latest converter to be unveiled by Benchmark and features the new ESS Technology ES9028PRO chip. Dan Worth takes the £2349 American made DAC3 for a test drive.  More »

Chord Electronics has added a high-resolution USB Type-B input to its CES-unveiled Blu MkII upscaling CD transport. The USB input takes the place of the optical output seen on the prototype at CES and has been implemented following dealer demand for Blu MkII’s upscaling technology to be available to a wider range of digital devices. More »

OPPO Digital have announced that the new Sonica DAC is ready for release. The newest entry into the OPPO family of digital audio products, Sonica DAC merges audiophile-grade performance with the latest network streaming technology, says the company’s recent press release. More »

Bryston distributor PMC, is introducing the Bryston BCD-3 CD player to the UK audiophile market, to bring the benefits of its “class-leading” CD transport and digital to analogue converter technology to consumers who are still loyal to the CD format. More »

PS Audio of Boulder, Colorado, USA have launched their new Stellar S300 Stereo Amplifier, M700 Monoblock Power Amplifiers and Stellar Gain Cell DAC. More »

The Australian sound engineer solves recreational and professional listening dilemma with a networked solution. Veteran Australian sound engineer Ross A’hern has experienced a career that spans senior operational and management roles at Sony Music Studio’s, Sydney Opera House and the ABC. Some years ago, he established a production company based around Merging’s Pyramix DAW, later adding Horus and Hapi networked I/O converter systems when they became available. More »

Chord Electronics has unveiled three new products at CES 2017: Poly, Blu Mk II and Hugo 2, all will be available early this year. More »

Absolute Sounds, the UK importer and distributor of high end audio products, got in touch to let us know about what the brands they represent are showing at CES 2017, starting today and running over the weekend in Las Vegas, USA. Read on for show locations and more details from the likes of Audio Research, Krell, dCS, Dan D’Agostino, Wilson, Magico and more. More »

Mytek, of New York City, manufacturer of the Brooklyn and Manhattan II DACs, is introducing their new Mytek Clef, a mobile hi-res audio headphone amplifier + DAC, offering up to 24 bit/192k and DSD128 playback, with driverless USB Class 2, MQA capability, plus AptX Bluetooth and AAC. More »

UK based Prism Sound is bringing its Callia hifi DAC to CES, aiming to show visitors how domestic digital audio can sound just as good as it does in the studio. On 5th January the company will also be presenting a seminar session on the art of mastering, with special guest and Grammy nominated mastering engineer, Eric Boulanger. More »

SOtM (Sound Of the Music), whose sMS 200 streamer we recently reviewed, have introduced a new Music Server/Player and ultra clock module. More »

Lehmann are a German manufacturer headed up by Norbert Lehmann and make a range of widely respected electronics. Here Janine Elliot pops on her cans and takes a listen to the Linear D Headphone amplifier and DAC costing £1050.  More »

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Christmas is coming and whether you are wanting to find those special gifts for your nearest and dearest, or you want to treat yourself, you are bound to find some inspiration in our Christmas Gift Guide Promotion! More »

Lehmann are a German manufacturer headed up by Norbert Lehmann and make a range of widely respected electronics. Here Janine Elliot pops on her cans and takes a listen to the Linear D Headphone amplifier and DAC costing £1050.  More »

The Connoisseur Of Sound D1 is Taiwanese in origin and costs £8000 in the UK. Janine Elliot puts it through its paces in a truly international rig.  More »

The Connoisseur Of Sound D1 is Tiawanese in origin and costs £8000 in the UK. Janine Elliot puts it through its paces in a truly international rig.  More »

roksponsmallIfi got in touch to let us know about their new DAC. They claim that “the micro iDSD ‘Black Label’ is the world’s most powerful DSD/PCM/DXD battery-powered DAC.”. They go on to say, “Perhaps ‘Double Black’ is a more apt description because it is different on the outside as well as the inside”. More »

roksponsmallThe Mojo DAC/headphone amp from Chord Electronics is being supplied with a free protective case* throughout the holiday season in store at participating retailers, internationally. The promotion offers the protective case (worth £65) with all new Mojo purchases bought in retail stores up until 14th January 2017.  More »

The £2800 Simaudio Moon Neo ACE is a versatile, all-in-one solution that you need only add speakers to…there’s even an on-board moving magnet phonostage. John Scott finds out just how ACE it really is.  More »

Dominic Marsh takes a listen to Roksan’s £1250 K3 Digital to Analogue Converter.

More »

Dominic Marsh takes a listen to Roksan’s £1250 K3 Digital to Analogue Converter.  More »

roksponsmallSCV have announced a new DAC from Benchmark Media Systems, the DAC3. More »

roksponsmallMytek Digital, the second MQA® license after Meridian to ship an Audiophile DAC with MQA technology, will be introducing their MQA-capable Manhattan II DAC. The new Manhattan II DAC is a reference USB/Network DAC/Preamplifier with MQA decoder, 384k PCM and DSD256, phono and line analogue preamplifier and a reference quality headphone amplifier. More »

OPPO Digital today introduces an updated version of the a HA-2 portable headphone amplifier and DAC, HA-2SE. ha-2se-top-view

Aesthetically, the HA-2SE continues the HA-2’s design – genuine leather casing with contrast stitching and bevelled aluminium edges. Inside, the digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) chip is upgraded to the ES9028Q2M, the top-of-the-line from ESS Technology’s SABRE32 Reference series for portable designs. The headphone amplifier is further optimized for very sensitive In-Ear Monitors, with a lower noise floor and higher signal-to-noise ratio over the HA-2.

Featuring hybrid class AB amplification and a USB DAC, the HA-2SE offers high performance digital-to-analogue conversion for Apple’s iPhone/iPod products, a wide range of Android devices, PC and Mac computers. Equipped with a 3000mAh internal battery and OPPO’s patented safe rapid charging technology, the HA-2SE may be conveniently used to charge mobile devices on-the-go and can itself be efficiently charged in 30 minutes.

Being a “Made for iPhone” certified device and coming with a Lightning cable included, the HA-2SE can charge the iPhone and play music at the same time. When used with the right apps, the HA-2SE supports bit-perfect playback of high resolution music, exceeding the 48 kHz sample rate limitation of using the phone’s built-in headphone output or headphone adapter.

In addition to the USB DAC inputs, the HA-2SE provides a 3.5 mm line-in jack for portable music players that do not have a USB-compatible digital output. The same jack doubles as line-out when the HA-2SE is used as a DAC. The headphone amplifier has two gain level settings. The High Gain mode is capable of driving large power-hungry headphones, delivering up to 300 mW into 16-Ohm headphones. The Low Gain mode is intended for sensitive In-Ear Monitor type earphones. For users who like a bit more punch and impact with their music, the HA-2SE offers a Bass Boost function that is implemented purely with analog audio circuits.

Priced at $299, the HA-2SE can be ordered from OPPO Digital’s web site or resellers. The HA-2SE will be available for audition and demo at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver during the weekend of October 7 – 9.

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Merging Technologies will display a pre-production version of the Merging+NADAC Player at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The result of a dynamic partnership with Roon Labs, On a Higher Note, Merging’s US distributor will be demonstrating the product in Long Peaks on the Mezzanine floor of the Denver Marriott Tech Center. The concept of Roon’s ground breaking player program being offered in integrated solutions is not new; there being many existing partners with products available, but this will be the first time that the focus will shift to a complete turnkey and networked solution offering stereo as well as multichannel capability up to DSD256 and DXD.merging_tech_rocky_mountain

The Merging+NADAC player was shown as a concept at the 2016 HIGH END Munich event and was welcomed by the attendees. The ‘single box’ solution with the software and the server combined with a DAC removes the need to have a computer in the living room. The ease with which the whole system can be controlled by your favorite tablet or smart phone enhances the user experience significantly. Integration details such as direct control of the NADAC volume and mute from the Roon user interface, also adds to the overall ergonomics by simplifying the control of the entire system from one single page on one single tablet. The NADAC Player requires only to be connected to the home network to access the remote control tablet through Wifi and stream from NAS servers storing music. When connected on the network any computer can still also stream music to NADAC using Merging Ravenna/AES67 drivers for Windows or Mac, while the NADAC Player enjoys a brand new Merging Linux/ALSA driver. Optional USB drives containing music may be connected directly on the back plate of the NADAC Player.

Merging also announced that this solution can be retrofitted to all Merging NADAC units already in the field and to any units shipping from now on, meaning that early adopters can take advantage of the upgrade if they wish. The Merging+NADAC Player is planned to be shipping in time for CES in January.  Prices will show a small increase from the existing DAC despite the huge increase in functionality and convenience.

Roon’s CEO, Enno Vandermeer commented; “We are sure that this combination of the very best audio reproduction and the ultimate user experience, is going to bring back the enjoyment of listening to music in the home.” On Merging’s behalf, Head of Software Engineering and NADAC Product Manager, Dominique Brulhart stated; “The feedback we have had from customers, dealers and distributors over the past few months has convinced us that the market wants an elegant solution in a neater package. The Merging+NADAC Roon player is just that.”

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Linn has launched the all new Klimax DS, the first product to feature Katalyst DAC Architecture – Linn’s 4th generation DAC platform.klimax_dsm_blk_front_rgb_300dpi_new_online

“Katalyst takes an unprecedented level of control over the critical elements that lie at the heart of the analogue signal’s creation, to deliver the most accurate reproduction ever from a digital source” claims the Scottish brands recent press release.

In 2007 Linn launched their original DS player and in 2016, the five key aspects below have been improved utilising Linn’s investments in R&D:

Reference Level – Now completely isolated from noise to produce a high-stability input Reference Level that generates the signal’s amplitude without variation.

Independent Power Supplies – Independent, isolated power supplies are tailored for each process, so feedback from one process cannot influence the performance of another.

Data Optimisation – Linn-designed data optimisation stage that prepares the digital signal for conversion with greater accuracy, minimising errors right at the start of the process.

Master Clock – A single high precision clock with its own independent power supply ensures greater timing accuracy throughout.

Output Driver – The new ultra-low distortion analogue output driver prepares the analogue signal for transmission out of the device, making it less susceptible to noise and degradation.

Every aspect of the original DS design was carefully drawn from first principles in order to optimise performance, from the electronics inside to the clamshell enclosure, machined from a solid billet of aluminium.klimax_online

Products and Pricing

The new Klimax DS and Klimax DSM featuring Katalyst DAC Architecture are available today in silver or black anodised finishes, with upgrades available for current owners.

Klimax DS: £15,800

Klimax DSM: £18,900

Klimax DS upgrade: £3,850

Klimax DSM upgrade: £4,200

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Chord Electronics has launched a comprehensive Cable Accessory Pack for the Mojo DAC/headphone amp, to include cables, adaptors and a USB adaptor block.mojo-cable-pack-all

Chord Electronics’ new Cable Accessory Pack for its Mojo DAC/headphone amplifier contains a great selection of cables and adaptors to get your Mojo workin’ straight from the box. Designed to offer compatibility with a wide range of partnering devices, the Mojo Accessory Pack also features Chord’s first-ever add-on Mojo module.

The new USB adaptor block module makes connecting Mojo with an OTG (On-The-Go) Micro USB cable or Lightning-to-USB Camera Adaptor cable much simpler. The module attaches directly to the Mojo’s inputs as an extension of the device and a hollow recess houses the bulky end of Apple’s Lightning-to-USB cable and Android-type OTG cables.

The additional length the USB adaptor module brings to Mojo allows plus-size smartphones to align more suitably with the device when strapped together, giving full access to large smartphone screens; Chord-branded rubber band straps are provided in the pack. The module also contains an internal circuit board which extends the Micro USB charging port when the adaptor block is in use and retains visibility of the battery indicator light.

The Cable Accessory Pack includes the following:

1x USB Adapter Module

1x Standard Optical Cable

1x 3.5mm to Standard Optical Cable

1x 3.5mm to ¼” Headphone Adapter Cable

1x 1m Type A USB to Micro Cable

1x USB Micro to USB Micro OTG Cable

1x USB Micro to Female USB OTG Cable

1x Dual Play and Charge USB Cable

2x Chord Branded 180mm Rubber Band Straps

2x Chord Branded 160mm Rubber Band Straps

1x Ferrite RFI Suppression Choke

Note: Apple’s Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter cable is sold separately

The Cable Accessory Pack case sells for £59.99 and is available from dealers now.

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The Stream Xa is a combined streamer/DAC, retailing at £1,295.  The PSX R2 power supply is an optional upgrade and retails at £695.  John Scott takes them both out for a test. More »

At £900 for the amplifier and £995 for the CD player these two units from Audiolab are relatively inexpensive but well specified. Ian Ringstead plumbs them into his system and rather likes what he hears.  More »

Rockna DAC is available from £3950 for the single ended ‘edition’ model with balanced and ‘Signature’ versions also available. Released today is the latest firmware for existing customers and naturally new units will ship with Firmware 4.01 enabling DSD512 compatibility.ROCKNA_wavedream_dac1

The company’s press release says “We always thought that high-end audio should be everything about innovation. Playing around with off-the-shelf available chips is fun and certainly a good and economic way to produce good sound. But once you want to design a cutting-edge product, the off-the-shelf approach doesn’t apply. Naturally, a custom solution, freed from the limitation of the available chipsets, come into place, allowing us to design and build from the scratch an entire digital audio system. All building blocks of the Wavedream DAC concerning digital processing are built entirely on a single piece of programmable silicon – a FPGA . With a FPGA, it’s internal hardware architecture could be described by a piece of software (actually, a very complex one). When upgrading the Wavedream with new firmware, you actually change it’s hardware. This system allows great flexibility, obsolescence protection and let us improve the sound of your dac by changing it’s internal architecture, or add new cool features, or improve the existing ones.”

Release notes for 4.01:

– enabled DSD256 (you need to set ASIO driver as output)

– enabled DSD512 (same)

– enabled dither option (not active in previous version)

– enabled clock option (same)

– brand new upsampling filters

For DSD256/512 playback files are scarce, one way of get great sound is to upsample everything is real-time using HQplayer (which can upsample to DSD512).

Dither “on” will reduce distortion for low level signals (starting at -80 dB and below) ; We used a triangular distribution, shaped mode dither – without increasing noise floor in the audio band.

Clock option works like this : stream mode will track the input frequency constantly while local mode will adjust the lock only from time to time, using a few stages of memory buffers.

Rockna Wavedream Dac and NET player is available in the UK at BD Audio.

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John Scott takes a listen to the Hana Lab Sakura music server and DAC hailing from Croatia and costing £500
More »

Hydra Z from Audiobyte is a USB audio playback bridge and clock generator whilst the Hydra ZPM is its matching Ultra linear audio power supply. Dan Worth is already a user of the company’s previous model Hydra X+ and most definitely a digital audiophile, so who better to put to put this £1050 combo through their paces.  More »

Specialist UK Distributor Sound Design Distribution Ltd has signed a UK distribution deal with Mola-Mola. Mola-Mola is the brainchild of Bruno Putzeys, “he wunderkind of Class-D technology” originator of Universal class-D (UcD) in 2001 while at Phillips and as chief tech guru at Hypex, responsible for the development of its game-changing NCore Class-D amplifier technology.  25101915609_b257e6209b_k

Presented in strikingly distinctive rippled all-aluminium enclosures the ‘Makua’ Control Amplifier, complete with modular DAC and phono options, and ‘Kaluga’ Monoblock power amplifiers will be the first Mola-Mola designs to be made available to UK audiophiles through Sound Design Distribution Ltd.

The Makua is a fully balanced gain stage and routing matrix, accommodating optional DAC and phono stage modules and programmable via a dedicated App through USB or Bluetooth to access any combination of channel, processing and routing. Via the phono stage option for instance, vinyl-lovers can connect up to five turntables and program the settings individually for each.  All five inputs are switchable between XLR and floating RCA connections, and all can be assigned as either phono or line.

All stages in the Makua employ discrete amplifier modules using a little known topology called “single-ended driven differential”, which prevents noise from propagating all the way through to the outputs (paralleled for bi-amping). The relay-based volume control directly controls the gain of the output stage.

  • 5 balanced and 5 unbalanced inputs, all routable through optional processor boards like the phono stage and DAC
  • 2 parallel outputs for bi-amping
  • 4 programmable trigger outputs
  • Distortion at maximum signal level (THD, IMD): negligible – estimated around -150dB
  • Bandwidth >200 kHz
  • Dimensions: 420mm(W) x 110mm (H) x 345mm (D). Depth includes volume knob and connectors
  • Weight: 11kg

Based on Bruno Putzeys’ Ncore technology the Kaluga amplifier uses a circuit from Mola-Mola derived from the Hypex NC1200 amplifier, featuring an audiophile layout of short, isolated signal paths and eliminating board-to-board connectors in favour of star-quad cables soldered directly to the circuit board. The input stage on a separate circuit board uses the same discrete buffers as those found in the Makua pre-amplifier. The redesigned output filter uses monolithic capacitors.

  • Output power: 400 W/8 ohm; 700W/4 ohm; 1200W/2 ohm
  • Unweighted Signal/Noise Ratio: 128 dB
  • Distortion (THD, IMD): <0.003 % (all frequencies and power levels)
  • Bandwidth: >50 kHz
  • Balanced and unbalanced input
  • 2 pairs of Furutech binding posts, bi-wired directly to the amplifier PCB using Kubala·Sosna cable
  • Dimensions: 200mm (W) x 110mm (H) x 335mm (D). Depth includes speaker terminals
  • Weight: 7kg

The DAC from Moma-Mola has been designed from the ground up using circuits and digital algorithms developed entirely in house. The converter is a three board stack that fits in one of the option slots in the MAKUA preamp. On the first board, all incoming digital audio is upsampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted to noise shaped PWM. The two remaining boards are mono DACs, in which a discrete 32-stage FIR DAC and a single-stage 4th order filtering I/V converter convert the PWM into analogue with a 140dB SNR. This is near the theoretical limit for 24-bit files and far beyond that of even quad-speed DSD.

  • Inputs: XLR, Optical, USB and Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • Supported formats: PCM up to 384 kHz /32 bits (>192 kHz and >24 bits only via USB); DSD up to quad speed (DDSD and up only via USB)
  • Performance: Signal to Noise Ratio: 140 dB (standalone version), 130dB (preamp option board); THD, IMD: negligible – estimated around -150dB.
  • Bandwidth: Up to 80 kHz. Choice of sharp or slow upsampling filters, minimum or linear phase.
  • Integrated jitter: <1 ps from 10 Hz upwards, <300 fs from 1 kHz upwards.
  • Jitter rejection: >80 dB at 1 Hz after 20 seconds of lock.

A standalone version of the Mola-Mola DAC is in the final stages of development

The RIAA add-on for the MAKUA Preamp has MC/MM input stages are optimised for current noise and voltage noise respectively.

Unlike the more common arrangement of MC head-amp feeding the MM stage, the two stages are fully independent, realising an equally short signal path for both. Input gain is switchable in 5dB steps over a 40dB range. Input resistance and capacitance are individually switchable. Available EQ settings cover practically all known cutting curves ever used, including most 78RPM. 

UK retail price (inc VAT):

Makua – £7,299; Kaluga (each) – £4,999; DAC board for Makua – £3,999; Phono stage for Makua – £1,699

Availability: September 2016

 

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The £5995 Leema Acoustics Libra is both a DAC and a preamplifier with a plethora of inputs that should be ample for anyone. Dominic Marsh gets to grips with it for Hifi Pig.  More »

The Formula DAC is the first in the aqua – acoustic production to show a proprietary D/A conversion system, that they have named Optologic DAC. This conversion system follows the same multibit technology (already used in the previous DACs such as La Voce and La Scala) but with a discrete R2R resistors ladder instead of Burr Brown PCM1704 dacs. aqua_formula_dac

Galvanic and magnetic isolations are implemented between the FPGA and the four branches of the R2R ladder converter. This creates complete isolation of all digital circuitry – including the clock – from the analogue section for a pure clean ground plane. It also plays the main role in the differential management of the R2R ladders, “achieving perfect symmetry between the counter-phase halves”.  aqua_formula_dac_2

The Formula Dac uses no digital filter or any other compensation, relying instead on attention to each sub circuit. The analogue and digital power supplies are executed purely discretely by extensive use of BJT, Mosfet, Jfet and ultra-fast diodes. Passive parts were selected not just for the best sonic result but also for their top quality, longevity and reliability. With the exception of six superior quality electrolytics, all other caps are Tantalum, solid-polymer OS-CON and double-metalized MJP. The signal path itself is direct-coupled and free of all capacitors. The two output stages (one single-ended, one transformer-coupled balanced) use discrete BJT and JFet with metal-film resistors. All the electronics parts show an ultra low RF noise.

 

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Australian brand Burson have announced a Noir Edition of the Conductor V2+ headphone amplifier/DAC/preamplifier. Hifi Pig had one of the older versions of this in house for a few months driving Audeze cans and it offers very good value and great sonics for money at USD 1499.Burson_conductor_dac_headphoneamp_preamplifier

The Noir Edition will have the same spec as the classic silver one. ie.

8.2W per channel @ 16ohm,

Class A

SABRE32 ESS9018 DAC + Xmos USB receiver making it DSD256 / DXD / 32bit384khz able

Remote Controlled Preamp

5 years of warranty

The Noir version will be Available later in August.

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28. July 2016 · Write a comment · Categories: Hifi News · Tags: ,

Schiit Audio have introduced Modi Multibit, the most affordable DAC in the Schiit Multibit lineup. Modi Multibit, which retails for £249, joins Bifrost Multibit, Gungnir Multibit, and Yggdrasil in the Schiit Multibit DAC line.Modi-Multibit-front

“Modi Multibit smashes the price barrier in advanced multibit DACs,” said Mike Moffat, Schiit’s Co-Founder and head of digital development. “It is the most affordable multibit DAC built on a modern architecture—from any manufacturer, in any country in the world.”

Modi Multibit is built on Schiit’s proprietary multibit DAC architecture, featuring Schiit’s unique closed-form digital filter on an Analog Devices SHARC DSP processor. For D/A conversion, it uses a medical/military grade, true multibit converter specified down to 1/2LSB linearity, the Analog Devices AD5547CRUZ. Modi-Multibit-rr

“It may seem incredible that, just a little over a year after we introduced our first multibit DAC, Yggdrasil, we’re introducing a multibit DAC that includes a version of the same digital filter and a real multibit D/A converter for 89% lower cost,” said Mike. “But we don’t believe that you should have to spend a boatload for great sound, so it makes complete sense.”modi_multi_pcb_top(1)

Modi Multibit is Schiit Audio’s fourth multibit DAC, and is built on Schiit’s second major multibit platform that was developed from the ground up. It fits into the line as follows:

Yggdrasil: Schiit Multibit 1 Platform, Modular/Upgradable, 8X Closed-Form Filter, AD5791BRUZ x 4, Choke-Input, Shunt Supplies, Discrete JFET Buffer Output, Gen 3 USB, £2045

Gungnir Multibit: Schiit Multibit 1 Platform, Modular/Upgradable, 8X Closed-Form Filter, AD5781BRUZ x 4, Discrete JFET Buffer Output, £1125

Bifrost Multibit: Schiit Multibit 2 Platform, Modular/Upgradable, 4X Closed-Form Filter, AD5547CRUZ, £540

Modi Multibit: Schiit Multibit 2 Platform, 4X Closed-Form Filter, AD5547CRUZ, £249

Multibit DACs differ from the vast majority of DACs in that they use true 16-20 bit D/A converters that can reproduce the exact level of every digital audio sample. Most DACs use inexpensive delta-sigma technology with a bit depth of only 1-5 bits to approximate the level of every digital audio sample, based on the values of the samples that precede and follow it.

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MUTEC, German manufacturer of professional and audiophile consumer audio equipment, say they are excited to introduce the firmware V1.10 for their MC-3+ Smart Clock USB. The new firmware V1.10 will not only introduce several functional improvements, it also presents a significant step-up for the already exceptional sound performance of the MC-3+USB say the company. Furthermore, the update will be free to all users and is ready to be installed on their own at home or at the studio.mutec_MC-3+ Smart Clock USB_mutec_firmware_update_news

KEY FEATURES:

  • Free, user-executable update
  • Painstakingly optimized re-clocking algorithm
    Improving the already exceptional sound quality to achieve even more clarity, resolution, and presence
  • PCM/DSD auto-detection
    Enjoy music via USB up to 192 kHz PCM and DSD/DoP streams (up to DSD256 and DoP128 respectively) without the need for manual switching
  • Bugfixes and functional improvements

Windows only at the moment, but Mac update coming soon 

One of the most significant functional improvements and most requested feature of the firmware V1.10 is the automatic detection of DSD and PCM streams when using the MC-3+USB for audiophile computer audio playback via USB. MUTEC CEO Christian Peters comments: “Convenience is key for our high-end consumer audio customers and having to switch modes depending on the source file when playing back a mixed format playlist for example was a major nuisance.” From now on, the user simply has to select the USB input from the reference menu (all top three LEDs now illuminate) and the MC-3+USB will automatically adapt to PCM streams with up to 192 kHz sampling rate and DSD/DoP (DSD256 and DoP128 respectively).

Christian continues: “Our development engineers have painstakingly tweaked the DDS algorithms under the hood yielding a new level of sound quality. This is an achievement we’re particularly proud of and that all users will benefit from.”.

The firmware release package will contain several update files and a comprehensive guide taking the user through the process step by step. The update will be made available via MUTEC’s website as a zip-archive download. At the moment, the update is limited to Windows users only, but a Mac version of the update is expected to follow soon.

Expect a review of this the MC-3+USB on Hifi Pig soon.

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