MSB UMT
New $3995 model combines disc player, streamer and USB/HDD player, based on Oppo BDP-93 drive mechanism

Seen here with its optional Signature Power Base power supply, this is the new Universal Media Transport from California company MSB, making its debut at CES 2011.

The company makes no bones about the fact that the $3995 machine, which offers universal disc playback, network streaming and USB/HDD interface, is based around the drive mechanism of the Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player: indeed it says that 'There is just no competition to the core technology of the Oppo.

'MSB makes use of the Oppo Blu Ray drive without modification. Drives are mechanical and will fail in time. Using a stock Oppo drive makes replacement quick, easy and inexpensive. This assures that this keystone of your system will not be put out of commission for lack of a replacement drive.'

In fact, things are kept so standard that the player even shows the Oppo flash screen when powered up – all part of ensuring easy replacement – and the video section of the player is also retained intact.

Beyond that, however, the audio is entirely MSB's own work. Raw audio is processed and stored in memory, the company saying that 'Some formats such as SACD require very processor intensive decimation, which is accomplished with proprietary MSB software with stellar results. Others just need to be read bit-perfect, without resampling or watermarking.'

More after the break

From there, output is either via S/PDIF, with downsampling to 'the best quality 24 bit signal', to any external DAC, or via the company's full-resolution MSB Network connection, used on its own DACs.

These start at $7990 for the DAC IV, and go right up to the $25,995 Diamond Platinum DAC IV.

The company says the new transport gives particularly impressive results with SACD, due to its in-house processing, and that a range of power supply options are available further to improve the performance.

As standard the UMT comes with an outboard desktop power supply, bringing the price up to $4590: the Signature Power Base illustrated takes the total to $7490, while the top of the range Diamond Power Base adds a further $1000 to the price.Follow whathifi.com on Twitter Join whathifi.com on Facebook