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MBL, dCS, Goldmund, Gryphon etc Ultra High End Equipment

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  #1  
Old 05-31-2018, 02:26 PM
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Default MSB Select II DAC

I had the opportunity recently to audition an MSB Select II DAC in my listening room and compare it with the dCS Vivaldi 2 DAC, Upsampler and Master clock I've owned for the past three years. Until that audition, the Vivaldi was producing the best music I've heard anywhere (dealer, speaker manufacturer, show). The king is dead, long live the king. The Select II easily bested the Vivaldi in detail, ease, density of instrumental and vocal presentations and laser precise imaging. I don't know if it would do so in any other equipment configuration in any one else's listening room. In mine it wasn't even close. I fed it with an ethernet input from my home network using Room as the library management software.

I voted with my pocket book and just took delivery of the Select II with separate AC/DC power supplies, network renderer (MQA capable), femto 33 clock and their balanced analog outputs. I am feeding my D'Ag's direct from the DAC and the sound is splendid. Full, blooming, dynamic. No pre-amp necessary in my opinion.

Other observations. Stupid simple setup. I had a lot of cables left over after the switch from Vivaldi stack. Build quality is off the charts. These are tanks. Value for the money? In my mind, yes. The peace this system (or previous systems) gives me offsets lots of doctor bills and prescription medicines.

While I replaced the Vivaldi, you should not presume this is not a tremendously musical, engineering tour de force. It is the second best DAC I've ever heard. My dealer took it in trade and it is for sale by him. If you have an interest, PM me and I'll give you his contact data. I'm sure he will price it aggressively.

Cincy
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MSB Select II DAC
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2018, 02:38 PM
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Congratulations. I am not in the market for ~$100k digital set-up so I will never be A/B'ing these two excellent products in my home. I have heard both set-up but never in the same room with the same gear. From my experience and without the benefit of such a comparison I would probably lean towards the Select II as you did. As you note in addition to the any benefits in SQ the savings from not having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on cabling for 3 or 4 box dCS stack is a real benefit for most.

What surprised me most about the Select II is how great it sounds with 16/44 recordings. Who needs high rez?
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Old 05-31-2018, 02:46 PM
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I love the sound of the MSB Select II DAC but at $100k it will never be in my system. Big congrats, I am envious.
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McIntosh C1100, MC601 (2), Esoteric K-01x, Sonus Faber Stradavaris, Berkeley Alpha DAC Ref. Series 2 MQA, Berkeley Alpha USB, Aurender N10, Synergistic Research & Audience power conditioners, AZ Absolute Copper Interconnects, AZ Absolute Speaker Cables, AZ Gargantua II & Krakatoa PCs, Stillpoints & Symposium shelves under everything
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:13 PM
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Nice!! I had the Ref Dac in for a demo with the 33 clock and single power base. I’ll hear the select II in my system soon. Congrats on some really great gear.

Dave
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:17 AM
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Congratulations Cincy!
This seems to be the DAC to beat nowadays.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:17 PM
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Congrats Cincy! I’m so happy for you. You have skillfully put together a world class system!

My Select II DAC should be delivered within the next 4 weeks. Then we can compare notes!

Best,
Ken
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanarSpeakerFan View Post
Congrats Cincy! I’m so happy for you. You have skillfully put together a world class system!

My Select II DAC should be delivered within the next 4 weeks. Then we can compare notes!

Best,
Ken
Ken,

I've been playing the DAC continuously for a week (without amps or speakers) to hasten the burn in. It has improved significantly from the first listen out of the box. The most incredible discovery I have made is that 16/44K recordings of old jazz records available on Tidal sound as good as my best hi res recordings. In fact, every 16/44k recording sounds incredible. The words that come to mind are dense images that are fully saturated. Percussion instruments (bones, cymbals, vibes, even piano) are indistinguishable from live. As I get to know the DAC, I am spending more time in my room in the sweet spot shaking my head than doing anything else. You will be very happy with your purchase.

Eric
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MSB Select II DAC
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REL G1Mk2 Subwoofers (2)
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PS Audio P20 regenerator
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2018, 07:47 AM
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Nice...I like reading about this sort of stuff even though it's outside my affordability point.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2018, 08:02 PM
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Eric,

It's nice to see another M3 owner on here. I am absolutely thrilled, no floored, with the M3's. I am always ear to ear smiling when I listen to them.

I have a full Esoteric/W20 digital complement and am quite happy with it, at the time. So glad to see you are happy with the MSB. I am sure the sound is splendid.

Heartiest congrats on your amazing gear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy2 View Post
Ken,

I've been playing the DAC continuously for a week (without amps or speakers) to hasten the burn in. It has improved significantly from the first listen out of the box. The most incredible discovery I have made is that 16/44K recordings of old jazz records available on Tidal sound as good as my best hi res recordings. In fact, every 16/44k recording sounds incredible. The words that come to mind are dense images that are fully saturated. Percussion instruments (bones, cymbals, vibes, even piano) are indistinguishable from live. As I get to know the DAC, I am spending more time in my room in the sweet spot shaking my head than doing anything else. You will be very happy with your purchase.

Eric
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Last edited by docmd2010; 06-12-2018 at 08:17 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2018, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docmd2010 View Post
Eric,

It's nice to see another M3 owner on here. I am absolutely thrilled, no floored, with the M3's. I am always ear to ear smiling when I listen to them.
I truly understand your feelings. I love the fact that us guys with small rooms have access to a world class speaker designed just for us. Or at least that's the way it seems to me.

Eric
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MSB Select II DAC
D'Agostino M400 Momentum Monoblocks
Magico M3 Speakers
REL G1Mk2 Subwoofers (2)
Transparent Opus Gen5 speaker cables
Transparent Ref XL interconnects
PS Audio P20 regenerator
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