Terrible DAC, I had it for a week and it was too much, so soft bottom that I thought maybe my caspian have an issue. Went to sevenoaks and checked the same setup with their equipment and result was the same. Loose bottom . Guys acctually told me the same. No one knows why this Mdac has 5stars. I do not know too. Checked other Dacs for similar price and difference was amazing, Mdac had to go. Btw. One more thing. Why do you need all those filters on signal way? useless.
Can't say this is much of a review.
Having owned the mdac for over a year it's a million miles from being terrible and the guys at sevenoakes just told you what you wanted to hear. The general consensus is that it is a five star product, not only do you get a good quality dac but also a pre amp and headphone amp too, not to mention remote control not bad for £599.
The filters while subtle do a good job at fine tuning your system. The software is upgradable which has a sonic difference too and you can do this at home no need to drag it to dealers. Can't really comment on other dacs of a similar price other than to say the differences probably aren't amazing in fact no other dac in that price point packs in all the features the mdac does.
Some argue that DACs make no difference to SQ and that what listeners are experiencing as improvement amounts to increases in volume. Indeed, some argue so forcefully that I began to doubt my own ears. I mean, who wants to be sold snake oil?Minutes after setting up the M-DAC, I played with the filters. I had three other people with me. Neither I nor the other person who was listening most intently could discern any difference between the various filters. Two days later, I tried running through the filters again, several times, with interesting results. The Transient filters offered little difference from each other but the effect of the other filters was palpable. In the end, I chose the Optimal Transient XD filter as that which pleased my ears the most being as close to a live piano (Keith Jarrett's Paris Concert) as I could imagine. I live with a piano in my house and annually attend several piano concerts. This is a long way around for me to say that, if the M-DAC and presumably other DACs produce no discernible change in SQ, was I merely imagining that the filter that I chose is as close to live piano playing as I could experience? Don't think so. Another small, but I think important, point in setting up this DAC may be that users should find their own 'reference' musical instrument and 'tune' the M-DAC to that instrument. If it's naturalness that you are after, which filter represents the most natural reproduction of the music for you?
I've found the differences between the filters subtle, but always end up with the Optimal Transient XD setting. It sounds more expressive and fluid to me than the other options.
I purchased the mdac after comparing it to the cyrus dac. To my ears it sounded better.
it's being used with the cyrus pre xp preamp analogue input and a pair of Cyrus x200 monoblocks,
fed from the Cyrus stream x2 and then on to Monitor Audio gX 200 floor standers. All fed through atlas cables. I have experimented with using it as a preamp, but I found that it lost dynamics and sounded slightly veiled. So I have stuck to the Cyrus preamp.
it is definitely best used as a stand alone dac.
I would be surprised if my system would sound better if I used a more expensive dac. I have tried experimenting with the different filters, but have found the optimal spectrum sounds the best to my ears.
I am seriously considering purchasing the mcru power supply, due to its good reviews.
i must agree with the previous reviewer that the dac definitely needs a few hours of running to give its best from initial start up. Once it's "run in " it's magical.
I buy the magazine and trawl the reviews before choosing purchases. I bought an M-DAC two days ago and I have a couple of comments that may help others trying to choose a DAC:
1. Filters, there are a few filters but for me the minimum phase or optimal spectrum give the two best sounds depending on the recording. I originally would have preferred the most accurate data conversion (optimal spectrum) and no other options, but minimum phase is good to have for recordings that have harsh treble.
2. Digital Pre-Amplifier vs DAC Mode; I was not after a pre-amp, but I compared using the M-DAC as a Digital Pre-Amplifier and as a stand alone DAC. I would recommend running in DAC mode, and am actually surprised at the difference. The sound is more expansive and sounds much less processed in DAC Mode.
These two factors are tips from my office setup, you may find something different if your kit has different qualities, but here is what I have it connected to:
Marantz CD6003 CD Player
Coaxial Monster M1000DCX
Audiolab M-DAC in DAC Mode
Taralabs Analog Connects
Marantz PM6004 Integrated Amp
Chord Carnival Silverscreen Speaker Cable
Polk AudioTSi100 Bookshelf Speakers
Good quality bookshelf stands, weighted
come on what hi fi it said on the audiolab web site
two finishes black and silva not one as you state
I got one yesterday.. Let it do it's thing... Run in and all that. I will make this simples!... Never has any upgrade made so much improvement to my system ever!!.. WOW... These guys from audio lab much have added some magic to this Dac,Suddenly my rega planet in this case the very first cd play frm rega, sounded open, fuller and very musical.
How did there do that.
After five days with my M-DAC I thought that I would share my views. I didn't listen to it for the first two days but left it running to 'bed in' so to speak. It replaces a two year old DACMagic, and wow, what an amazing difference! The sound is more solid, dynamic and almost organic. It sounds a little like the Linn LP12 that I have just renovated. Jean Michel Jarre Equinoxe 5 and 6 bounce along with more power and detail then I've heard before. Classical music has bags of detail and strings sound very real. This is a game shifter as far as I am concerned. It's so good that I'm starting questioning some of my Hi Res files as Red Book CDs stored as Apple Looseless files and played via a Squeezebox Touch are amazing. Before this I never thought that normal CDs could sound this good. Well done Audiolab.
Come on What-hifi
You need to give the person who inputs the tech specs a big kick.
It has headphone outputs 0
And yet in the picture I can see a huge jack socket with what looks like a headphone icon above it.
That's not the only issue i've found, come on, sort it out.
and (b) Your web page is glitchy as hell, some of the things search and order by do are just bizzare !
A glitch in the database, now fixed.
Looks nice, but....
Many music sources (e.g. universal DVD/Blu-ray players) now only deliver full high-res digital audio streams (e.g. LPCM/DSD) over HDMI (down-sampling the protected audio to 16/44.1 KHz or 16/48 KHz for coax/optical). Sending down-sampled audio to an up-sampling DAC seems fairly pointless!
It amazes me that there are no music biased stereo AV amps out there, surely there must be enough single men who live in small apartments or men with a demanding partner to make them a viable product?
This what your looking for:
OK quite a bit more money, but it's a fairly specialist requirement, as most people will use hook this up to a PC.
If you want 5 or more speakers and room eq then:
And if that doesn't quite have the oomph you can always add:
What-hifi need to be paying me for providing this service
Got this DAC last Friday and within a couple of hours the Powe Switch had broken ! Did someone say that this Audiolab had a good quality build ?? Very, very disappointed !
Is this a new What HiFi award winner category? Prototypes? By the way this prototype sounds VERY good!
Not sure what you're trying to say, Marc. The M-Dac isn't a prototype - it's a full production model on sale now...
What this short review didn't point out was that the M-DAC has a great headphone amplifier on board, so it should suit your HD600 really well.
has it ??? yeah but my graham slee is VERY good ... cant see it beatign it tbh
does it sound better than rega Dac ?
domenn- you'll find that our when we name our favourite DACs in this year's Awards issue, out on Friday
would this be overkill for my senn hd600 / graham slee srg 11 ? pc use ... ive got 96/24 music
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A striking design with good ideas, but we’d expect far better for the money
This system that shows so much promise on paper, but fails to deliver in action. Frustrating
While we’d love deeper bass, the punchy detail, portable design and good price makes this wireless speaker a worthwhile contender
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