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MSB DAC Owners & Discussion Thread


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Hi fellow SNAs ,

Quite a considerable number of  SNA members owned/have been owning/will own MSB DACs but there is not much discussion or impression around SNA.

The price ranges of MSB DACs set its own market and have quite little traffic about discussion or impression, I would like to init a thread here to discuss about it.

 

- It is great to share knowledge, experience, system matching and difference among MSB DAC models with diminishing return evaluation

- Comparison with same price range DAC, ex: dCS, lampizator, Chord, etc. 

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- What MSB modules or external transports  that you think it sounds best with DAC, or have the best positive user experience in your system,

(clock, power supply and isolations are vary among models, hence the impression might be vary on modules or pairing)

2096548973_ScreenShot2020-08-22at12_07_53pm.thumb.png.11774f9c12361739d243c609446b2c40.png

 

Myself, I have been owning the "entry level" MSB Discrete DAC with Network Renderer v2 and dual PSUs, it is totally worth the money to upgrade from Chord Hugo TT2 and Sonore opticalRedu renderer.

Firstly, it sounds better in every way, a strong consideration to upgrade to Discrete from a lesser DAC is on its strength in mid, vocal/ singer voice becomes more real, more life-like and natural body than other lesser DACs I listened/owned before. Secondly, the Network Renderer v2 is a full Roon support option with extremely user friendly, frustration free solution without any dropping out, tweaking or deep dive needed, 100% plug and play

It  has galvanic isolation with some sort of Opto-isolator implementation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_isolation to partially immune to upstream ethernet switch noise, the design has been transparently stated to achieve medium isolation goal on their website. I prefer this over Quad USB module as it cuts a need of computer/transporter to instantly listen to music whenever you like with a hit of Play button on tablets/phones. 

It sounds better too, it is a no brainer choice if you are willing to pull another trigger for Roon license. 

 

The second PSU is also worth to consider, it makes some good and audible improvement verus other tweaks like cables which might be 'hit and miss". So one PSU (P1/main input) only feeds the digital modules  and second PSU (via P2 input) does  more important job to feed The Prime DAC and analog output phase, so please try a more expensive power cable on the second PSU if you have to make a hard choice with 1 kettle and 1 good shielded power cable (Information is direct from MSB technical support)

 

MSB is distributed in Australia via https://www.audiofidelity.com.au (SGR Audio Corp), they did an awesome job to bring MSB price to Australia which is very close to its US price and is likely a direct exchange rates (great job for respecting Australian consumers). I am quite sick to hear over and over again some people argue Australia is one of the most expensive places on earth to run business hence higher price tags to the rest of audiophile world, really??? You have not done to best job to bring the best price to Australians and keep all the fat for yourself, I will deny to own any brand which rrp price is jacked up 20-30% in Australia from other places in the world.

 

Sharing my photos here for its solid build and look which is from a chunk of CNC aluminium block

 

* Also, FYI, MSB DAC warranty is fully transferable and automatically, hence, you only need to have original receipts to get further world-class customer support from both MSB and AudioFidelity

 

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Edited by ikhuong
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My current set up

For whatever reason, the search simply can't find that thread any more. I don't think it was deleted, so I suspect some database rebuild or limitation or just my search skills are failing me. Anyway I

This is a more nuanced question than it appears, because hilariously, they can be the same thing, as implementations differ, though there are some definition differences.  This could turn out quite lo

Comparing with a decent Vinyl setup at around 12k rrp, MSB Discrete DAC beats the Vinyl set up in every single way, except the vintage look or physical record collection to show off in your audio room, the ongoing monthly cost of Roon and Tidal subscriptions are much less than record owning, of course you are not owning anything with streaming, just renting the services.

Edited by ikhuong
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I’ll add my MSB thoughts too.


As I had ATC Active speaker set up, I was down to a Naim Audio 252/SC2DR - Pre. and NDS/555PSDR - DAC/streamer and Naim Superlumina DIN Cable.

 
Although it was great (really great) I was hankering for an upgrade (don’t we all in this hobby !) Wanted a change in direction as my existing Naim Audio rig was at a dead end price wise.

 

For example - The Australian RRP for a 552 pre. $43,000 and/or the ND555 streamer/DAC $25,200. This was way, way too much to afford or even stomach even if I could afford it. Second hand and demo. Naim pieces at this level  never appear in Australia either, so it was with great regret I started looking at a reference level one unit DAC/Streamer/preamp. Time and time again MSB keep appearing in Forums and on review sites as the one to beat - along with dCS.
 

There was a 2m backlog for the dCS Bartok when I was ready to buy. So that was off the table (although it is an awesome piece of kit for the price) then I contacted Stuart at SRG Audio. After selling all my Naim gear, it was an almost straight swap to get the MSB Premier price wise. That would have never been possible upgrading up the Naim ladder. Even the ND555 was off the table budget wise, as second hand prices of the NDS was brutal, not even a third of what a new one cost originally.
 

Stuart is an great guy to deal with, I ended up buying the MSB Premier basic set up only. Over the last 4 months I added the Premier PowerBase PSU and the MSB Renderer V2 module for Ethernet Streaming with Roon. Now I am at a level that this rig comfortable beats my existing Naim Pre/streamer/DAC set up and I still have the option of adding a better clock module latter if I wish.

 

Sound wise it has insight to every recording that boarders on supernatural. Although not quite as PRaT level of Naim, it’s close, real close. The emotional connection is just as good , perhaps a touch better, bass is punchier and deeper. Overall much happier with MSB. The real fun factor is the modular approach of MSB. Can’t afford the one with all the fruit ? No problem, get one in basic configuration and add another module or a better PSU as you can afford them. 
 

And as the OP said, price wise,  it really is the one to beat in Australia at the moment for any high end combined DAC/streamer/preamp -  IMHO. 

 

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I understand it’s use is for the MSB Transport in order to get a perfect jitter sync. with the DAC.

Edited by seadog
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31 minutes ago, ikhuong said:

Right, thanks, a few network switches have options with word clock input, they might not work together then

Network switches will NOT be using a 44.1 or 48kHz word clock, which is what the output will be multiples of.

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I have done a direct comparison of the Discrete DAC, followed by Discrete with two power supplies, followed by Discrete with Premier power supply, followed by Premier with Premier power supply, followed by Premier with 93fs clock, followed by Reference with 77fs clock. I did not listen to the Select. There was a feature thread somewhere here on SNA when the Discrete was first released where I posted my thoughts at the time but I can't find that thread right now. Suffice to say I walked out with the Reference and 77fs clock. If I can't find that thread I'll try to post my thoughts again here.

Edited by Ittaku
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44 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

I have done a direct comparison of the Discrete DAC, followed by Discrete with two power supplies, followed by Discrete with Premier power supply, followed by Premier with Premier power supply, followed by Premier with 93fs clock, followed by Reference with 77fs clock. I did not listen to the Select. There was a feature thread somewhere here on SNA when the Discrete was first released where I posted my thoughts at the time but I can't find that thread right now. Suffice to say I walked out with the Reference and 77fs clock. If I can't find that thread I'll try to post my thoughts again here.

don’t tell us you intended to purchase the Discrete Dac but walked out with a Reference with 77fs clock upgrade which the clock alone costs close to the Discrete DAC.

 

Would be fantastic  if you can share how much improvement when going through the demo chain and how the diminishing return law in MSB world, put aside the costs of remaining electronics and speakers which can accomodate  the improvement

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Just now, ikhuong said:

don’t tell us you intended to purchase the Discrete Dac but walked out with a Reference with 77fs clock upgrade which the clock alone costs close to the Discrete DAC.

 

Would be fantastic  if you can share how much improvement when going through the demo chain and how the diminishing return law in MSB world, put aside the costs of remaining electronics and speakers which can accomodate  the improvement

No, I was looking at the Premier plus extras originally, but I wanted to demo the lot to see about the diminishing returns. As I said I'll outline my comparison if I can't find that other thread. One thing I can say is the Premier was the "sweet spot" for value in my testing when in the stratospheric price range.

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For whatever reason, the search simply can't find that thread any more. I don't think it was deleted, so I suspect some database rebuild or limitation or just my search skills are failing me. Anyway I'll try to summarise my experiences, but I'll add my other experiences as well. Fortunately all this predates my Meniere's disease kicking in and my hearing was perfectly fine at the time.

 

I listened to a few DACs in the 10k + range before to see if I could find something in a DAC that transcended the "all DACs sound much the same" problem. Pretty much all delta sigma based DACs sound like variants of each other to me, whether they be "standard DAC chip" based on ESS or AKM, or unique FPGA technology or otherwise. Some had bigger bolder sound stages and dynamics but brought back the fatigue of early cheap digital and others had a nice softness to them at the expense of detail retrieval. But they all still really sounded like variants of the same thing. The only tech which sounded different to me, is anything R2R based, even if technically they all measure far worse than delta sigma based approaches. I liken it to valve technology in that whatever they do different to the sound, it's a technology manufacturers and listeners alike keep going back to, because it just sounds more real, even if numerically it's subtly (and often dramatically) worse. The timbre of the instruments just makes them sound like the real thing, and creates the real world in-the-room presence. The problem with most of them is there is always a grittiness and haze to the sound in addition, though it makes instruments sound more real.

 

This is where the MSB DACs all come in to me. I went to SGR and listened through their top speakers (~$90K) for hours on end moving from one MSB DAC to the next, with an intent to take home a Premier and listen to it in my home. All listening was done through the rendering module on each device. All the MSB DACs have the ability to combine that magic natural sounding timbre and real world dynamism and all the grit and haze falls away, and there isn't a hint of fatiguing glare or softness.

 

That pretty much describes what the Discrete DAC sounds like to me. It has a holographic presentation in the room, making their dynamic cone speakers sound like electrostats. There is low level detail retrieval in spades and a noise floor that is as deep as the abyss. It almost had a "light airiness" about it. Certainly a fantastic sound and one I could have lived with, but to be honest it still wasn't stroking my sausage in ways that made me immediately think it was worth its money. I felt as though there was a room imbalance in their listening room as things sounded slightly off in the stage, and they did have a door to the back right so I was trying to attribute it to that. It's hard to explain because it was like a very subtle version of what happens when you put speakers out of phase, but only a slight version of that. It was like instead of seeing something face on, you were looking at a picture a few degrees off centre instead of face-on was the only way to describe it.

 

Then I tried adding the second "Discrete" power supply to the Discrete, which is said to provide a substantial improvement at affordable cost. I did a back and forth a couple of times with and without the second power supply, and to be honest I found it disappointing. To my amazement I couldn't convince myself that I could hear any difference. I wondered if this would set the scene for all the next steps up and was preparing myself for further disappointment.

 

Then I tried replacing the Discrete power supply with the Premier power base. Bear in mind this is the power supply off the Premier DAC and costs as much as the Discrete DAC itself when bought as an upgrade option! To my amazement, this power supply addressed almost all the issues I had with the Discrete's sound. It firmed up the bottom end getting rid of the light airiness which was starting to bug me, and the stage snapped into focus, as though the last few degrees were corrected and you were looking at it face on. I was really starting to get excited now because it was more of the bolder experience I was used to in other DACs, and that unnerving slightly-out-of-phase feeling had gone.

 

At this point I switched to the Premier DAC with the Premier powerbase and this was a different revelation. In addition to the boldness and focus the previous combination did, it suddenly fleshed out all the timbre of the instruments. It was as though there was a "comb filter" removing a few harmonics from the sound of a violin or piano previously and they were all suddenly put back in. Finally the timbre of the instruments matched what I'm used to of real instruments, and the last vestige of that "airiness" disappeared completely. Everything was just tonally richer, fuller, and consequently had more "depth" in the artifice that is stage. Think valves here.

 

Then I tried switching from the default clock to the 93fs clock. Apart from saying "low jitter" the default Premier audio clock doesn't specify what jitter it has, but from reading around the literature it's probably somewhere in the 2ps range, so this should be a substantial increase in clock accuracy, and clocks are more than just the timing anyway. Well this was another disappointing experiment. I couldn't really hear much difference initially so we swapped them back and forth a few times. Eventually I did start hearing subtle differences but I really had to bust a gut to tell them apart, and I wasn't really thinking it was worth the amount extra it cost. All I noticed eventually was a slightly better "focus" to the leading edge of instruments, as though guitars were plucked cleaner. There was no digital glare hash haze to begin with, so the better clock didn't really have anything to improve upon. With unlimited budget sure you'd upgrade, but it wasn't where the money was; the power supply and twice as many DAC modules definitely was.

 

At this point I was going to take the Premier home and audition it in my own system when Stuart said he actually had a Reference ex-demo going up for sale, which brought it down close to where I'd budgeted. With some arm twisting I auditioned that too, with the 77fs clock as the only option. This time the improvements again were in different areas. The stage became vast with the natural acoustics of original recording disappearing into the sound field and making it sound more like I was present where the recording was made. The depth moved further in as did the "3D" body of the instruments, and the level of quiet/blackness fell a few notches further, and there was more of that spooky "in the room" realism. At this point I was so sold on the presentation being unlike any DAC anywhere even without auditioning it in my system that I just bought it on the spot. I tried to buy it without the 77fs clock to save money (since the default is 140 and my clock experiences weren't life-changing) but it was part of the same ex-demo package so I bought it as is.

 

Since then I auditioned at home coaxial versus toslink - they were indistinguishable! The MSB DACs buffer and regenerate all input so whatever badness and noise are introduced from upstream are effectively completely abolished, or abolished to equivalent degrees. I also borrowed a network renderer, and the USB quad rate module. The network renderer was noticeably less clean than the other inputs. Just a general haziness, and what almost sounded like compressed dynamics. The USB module was pretty close to the other inputs though perhaps still a little less "clean" than the SPDIF based inputs. Eventually I moved to the USB via their ProISL module which uses fibreoptic for the final communication, and this actually further improved clarity and dynamics compared to the coaxial input (and allows me to input at ultra-high resolutions which is perfect since I now stream at 768 or 705kHz.)

 

When I took it home it actually came with the "Preamp output module" instead of the "Base output module" which is (a $5K option) for using the DAC as a preamp directly into power amps. In my setup I preferred the sound going through my active preamp - it had a little bit more 3D body, warmth, and the microdynamics were more alive so I switched to the base output module. Going through my active preamp, I could discern no difference between the Preamp output module and the Base output module. Bypassing my active preamp and using the Base output module directly into my power amps really wasn't noticeably worse than the Preamp output module in my setup. My power amps have a 200K input impedance so they probably can cope with almost any kind of passive DAC output. Connecting the passive output directly to both my power amps and the subwoofer though was noticeably worse. My preamp powers the subwoofer completely separately so that isolation is important. I note that if I had chosen to use the DAC with its passive preamp output module that there is a subwoofer isolation module that goes with it, so if you went passive output from the DAC

with a subwoofer, this would be a worthwhile addition.

 

So you can probably see why I was reluctant to try and post all this information all over again, but it turns out there was a lot more I had to say than I had in my original review anyway.

 

I haven't auditioned the Select DAC to know how it differs, but it was seriously worth more than the rest of my system combined so I couldn't bring myself to do it.  If I were buying new at full price, I'd buy a Premier with the Premier Powerbase, along with the ProISL USB interface in terms of "price/performance" ratio, but there's no doubt every next step is an audible improvement in the diminishing returns stakes.

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Thanks @Ittaku for sharing your real-life audition experience and valuable opinions.   

 

Looks like little traffic to discuss about current MSB DAC models and I could not search your old post about the mentioned demo experience. This is a good reference for everyone who has limited options to audition MSB DACs, unless in Melbourne. I found MSB upgrade options are quite expensive for rrp but might be a good deal  if we buy them as a set/package. But in general It is good that MSB gives customers many options as a part of fun hobby from audio enthusiasts. Component upgrading or trading/buying next models are always there for MSB DAC's  owners.

 

The USB via ProISL is a very smart solution from MSB and would the best option if your Roon server is a fan-less setup and in the same room with the DAC or you can run fiber across the rooms, I found this option gives the best isolation and immunity to upstream noise, it can cut the need for tweaking on switch or ethernet cables which can be costly too. Fiber optic implementation in USB also eliminates a need for an expensive USB cable too as the USB <> fiber converter would make  electrical noise become meaningless. There is MSB owner PM'ed me to confirm they found network tweak gains improvement in their system for Network Renderer v2, so this is a path I want to try next, if there is no improvement, we can argue how well MSB designed the galvanic isolation for their modules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I stopped looking at possible DAC upgrades once I got my hands on my current MSB Analog DAC more than a few years ago. Came with power base and quad rate DSD interface.

 

Its used with either Spotify or fed DSD directly from my Macbook air. No mess no fuss.

 

If i ever upgrade the DAC I have it will likely be to a newer MSB model. They just sound very right and rather natural which is what I am after. I still prefer the sound of vinyl if i want to be hyper critical but lets be candid here, vinyl is a pain in the neck and getting up to change records every 11 minutes grinds my gears. 

Edited by sjay
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5 hours ago, sjay said:

I stopped looking at possible DAC upgrades once I got my hands on my current MSB Analog DAC more than a few years ago. Came with power base and quad rate DSD interface.

 

Its used with either Spotify or fed DSD directly from my Macbook air. No mess no fuss.

 

If i ever upgrade the DAC I have it will likely be to a newer MSB model. They just sound very right and rather natural which is what I am after. I still prefer the sound of vinyl if i want to be hyper critical but lets be candid here, vinyl is a pain in the neck and getting up to change records every 11 minutes grinds my gears. 

Agree Vinyl is better for critical listening, I keep falling asleep with Roon after 10pm with its auto playlist, lol, Vinyl makes me to standup, clean stylus, dust of records every 15 mins or so.

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21 hours ago, Ittaku said:

The network renderer was noticeably less clean than the other inputs. Just a general haziness, and what almost sounded like compressed dynamics.

Interesting, conducted and A/B with my MSB Renderer V2 Module against a feed from my Naim HDX via Coaxial. My Ethernet is connected via 2x Wireworld Starlight Ethernet cables from a Cisco Switch.


I could not tell any significant difference between the 2 at all. Which was the opposite with my old Naim NDS, Ethernet was very much the superior connection with that set up.


But It’s worth it for Roon alone and the other user friendly features that go along with it. But my findings appear to match Con in regards to how superior MSB have engineered their DAC to convert music signals via all inputs to a superior standard. 
 

With the exception of Ethernet playback.

 

Perhaps a much different Streamer / Server set up than mine, you may also have better speakers & preamp. than me. That and or/we hear thing different etc. at play here.

Edited by seadog
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11 minutes ago, seadog said:

Interesting, conducted and A/B with my MSB Renderer V2 Module against a feed from my Naim HDX via Coaxial. My Ethernet is connected via 2x Wireworld Starlight Ethernet cables from a Cisco Switch.


I could not tell any significant difference between the 2 at all. Which was the opposite with my old Naim NDS, Ethernet was very much the superior connection with that set up.


But It’s worth it for Roon alone and the other user friendly features that go along with it. But my findings appear to match Con in regards to how superior MSB have engineered their DAC to convert music signals via all inputs to a superior standard. 
 

With the exception of Ethernet playback.

 

Perhaps a much different Streamer / Server set up than mine, you may also have better speakers & preamp. than me. That and or/we hear thing different etc. at play here.

I don't have a fancy ethernet setup. In fact it was plugged into a wall outlet which is light years worse than what you had. To me that signifies it wasn't quite as good at isolating from there, or perhaps the noise was orders of magnitude worse than my other inputs were getting. I did not try to isolate it outside the DAC at all. To be honest I thought it might not have anything to do with ethernet at all and was the mini ARC CPU based processing module inside responsible, but that would go against your experience. Either way, I didn't investigate much further.

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53 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

I don't have a fancy ethernet setup. In fact it was plugged into a wall outlet which is light years worse than what you had. To me that signifies it wasn't quite as good at isolating from there, or perhaps the noise was orders of magnitude worse than my other inputs were getting.

I think this scenario is quite similar to MSB’s description on the weakness of Network Renderer which might be impacted by very noisy Ethernet source.

House structure cabling might be degraded or not purposely designed to prevent noise  , cat 6a/7/8 cables are typical better in shielding and can reduce the chance to pickup rfi/emi along the lines and amplified with untweaked  Noisy network switch,
coaxial Internet cables would be the worst case

 

i think optical converter might be an interesting area to try, I contacted MSB technical support, they advised Gigafoil fiber converter has been reported positive outcome from customers

 

but if You have ProISL, there is no point to spend further on this

 

0B6B1063-A301-4FE1-B769-CB9CABDBFA2E.thumb.jpeg.78185a1fd08a2a1ba80e86c6c1958fac.jpeg

Edited by ikhuong
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/\

Fabulous review above, Ittaku!

But really, I should never wander into such threads, with glowing reviews for equipment I shall never own, as only misery can come from such ?

 

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On 23/08/2020 at 6:10 PM, sjay said:

 

If i ever upgrade the DAC I have it will likely be to a newer MSB model. They just sound very right and rather natural which is what I am after. I still prefer the sound of vinyl if i want to be hyper critical but lets be candid here, vinyl is a pain in the neck and getting up to change records every 11 minutes grinds my gears. 

I did some intensive A/B test between an reasonable old vinyl system and current digital on a few same albums


- ~12k rrp Vinyl System with 10-years-old hardware generation  (Rega P9, Ortofon Cadenza Blue and Cyrus phono with PSX-R2)

- ~20k rrp MSB Discrete DAC with 3-years-old for hardware generation

 

to my surprise, the vocal albums sound more enjoyment, live on Vinyl although the background is  quieter on MSB. I need to withdraw my previous comments that digital sound can beat analog on same budget system. It is different taste and use cases, vinyl is fine dining (one a month) while digital is weekly daily/eating out. 

 

i think we can gain more sound quality if we go to a same 20k Vinyl system with latest released components, but vinyl costs weight more on the long run , especially for $2-3/hours cartridge lifespan cost plus hefty records price.
 In Australia, much limited choice on albums and gents 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 23/08/2020 at 6:10 PM, sjay said:

 getting up to change records every 11 minutes grinds my gears. 

I just queued my collection of Bach's music on Roon and it said I had 3 1/2 days of music before I needed to do anything again.

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Has anyone experience occasionally unresponsive of network renderer? I notice it might happen after a few days and need to power off/on the DAC again to reset the Network renderer, all other input is OK, never an issue, just network renderer with Roon

 

could be my network/Roon server issue, just want to rule out. 

 

It is far more stable then Sonore in network playback but not 100% 

Edited by ikhuong
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44 minutes ago, seadog said:

Not with my set up, fingers crossed.

what roon server are you using? custom made PC or Roon Nucleos or some higher end ?

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4 hours ago, ikhuong said:

Has anyone experience occasionally unresponsive of network renderer? I notice it might happen after a few days and need to power off/on the DAC again to reset the Network renderer, all other input is OK, never an issue, just network renderer with Roon

 

could be my network/Roon server issue, just want to rule out. 

 

It is far more stable then Sonore in network playback but not 100% 

are you running the latest firmware on the device?>

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6 hours ago, ikhuong said:

It is different taste and use cases, vinyl is fine dining (one a month) while digital is weekly daily/eating out. 

 

 

This is quite a nice analogy that fits very well. I love both formats and listen to music daily but I only warm the phono up once a week or so ( Herron VTSP-2) for that reason.

 

In the morning when I get up, I just want music to play so I can go about my morning, not fiddle with things, just enjoy the music in the house. When I actually force myself to stop and sit down and relax, its turn table time for me.

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4 minutes ago, sjay said:

are you running the latest firmware on the device?>

yes,  Network Renderer firmware version 2.5R, RAAT SDK Version 1.136

Roon core: Roon Version 1.7 (build 610)

 

I trust all are latest, maybe I have a complicated network as I introduced one extra Cisco switch in between the Netgear router and MSB DAC.

I might take that out at some point and monitor.

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4 minutes ago, sjay said:

It shouldn't matter. A network is a network. It will add milliseconds of latency is all. 

Microseconds.

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15 minutes ago, sjay said:

It shouldn't matter. A network is a network. It will add milliseconds of latency is all. 

I used to assume the same but things are a little more complicated with enterprise switches. Recently I experimented continuous music drop out/Roon unable to detect my Sonore opticalRendu when HQPlayer released newer version, I contacted Jussi and was advised I need to set "flow control is enabled" on the port to go to routers and to Sonore renderer.

 

"OK, with these managed switches it is very important to ensure that  "802.3x Flow Control" is enabled on all ports. This is because 
especially smaller devices like Rendu cannot handle full gigabit speeds. The SoC (processor / system chip) in Rendu can handle max 400 Mbps, and 
also this only when flow control is enabled. Without flow control it becomes overwhelmed resulting in packet losses and lot of resends causing a traffic stalls.
This could be the thing needed to fix your problem.
  - Jussi"

 

I did not put much hope on this but tried it at some point after I could find a USB console cable to connect to the switch command line, after followed his advise, no more music drop out or Roon issues on detecting Sonore.

 

Hints: my background is in network engineer, lol

Edited by ikhuong
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22 minutes ago, ikhuong said:

I used to assume the same but things are a little more complicated with enterprise switches. Recently I experimented continuous music drop out/Roon unable to detect my Sonore opticalRendu when HQPlayer released newer version, I contacted Jussi and was advised I need to set "flow control is enabled" on the port to go to routers and to Sonore renderer.

 

"OK, with these managed switches it is very important to ensure that  "802.3x Flow Control" is enabled on all ports. This is because 
especially smaller devices like Rendu cannot handle full gigabit speeds. The SoC (processor / system chip) in Rendu can handle max 400 Mbps, and 
also this only when flow control is enabled. Without flow control it becomes overwhelmed resulting in packet losses and lot of resends causing a traffic stalls.
This could be the thing needed to fix your problem.
  - Jussi"

 

I did not put much hope on this but tried it at some point after I could find a USB console cable to connect to the switch command line, after followed his advise, no more music drop out or Roon issues on detecting Sonore.

 

Hints: my background is in network engineer, lol

Actually I have just given myself a thing to try now, I have not enabled flow control to my Cisco ethernet port connecting to MSB Network Renderer for the Ethernet port, 

MSB Network render uses 100mbps port, even lower speed than opticalRendu, could be a issue.

 

I will try to see how in a few days

Edited by ikhuong
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6 hours ago, ikhuong said:

what roon server are you using? custom made PC or Roon Nucleos or some higher end ?

I am running a Naim Audio HDX 2TB HDD Ripper/Server and my Roon Core is a MacBook Pro. It’s serviceable, but I will be looking at a better Server next year when funds allow.

Edited by seadog
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I have received my Uptone EtherRegen and very impressed with the improvement brought to MSB DAC with Network Renderer v2.

Vocal has been raised to another knot with more charming, music background is quieter and music play louder with same volume before EtherRegen in place.

There is slight difference when connecting upstream by Fiber cable and Ethernet cable on the "A" side of the switch (dirty side), I prefer fiber optic as the sound is cleaner and more detail

 

the "B" side has been designed with isolator plus differential mode which can resolve quite good with leakage current. This has also proved that Galvanic Isolator implementation in MSB Network renderer could not solve all the noise problem and this is transparently advertised  in MSB technical statement on medium level of isolation.

 

I found some interesting reading on EtherRegen technical paper on how it can improve Ethernet sound by stopping high frequency AC leakage current (although MSB has opto isolator in place but it might not be able To stop high frequency AC leakage current) which is relevant to the result gains in my context.
 
I could trust what John Swenson is real deal and his talented engineering/designs to tackle digital audio issue, there is no snake oil in him, just a lot of folks' knowledge/experiment/willing-to-try are not deep enough , especially the gangs at Audiosciencereview with lots of misleading measurement techniques and single point of view. The forum admin (Amir) tested EtherRegen with M-Dac (I was laughing) ==> look into your test  gears and we know which level you are at, the M-DAC might be a hell of noise pond to actually distinguish its own noise environment with any external extra
 
 
“Q. How can these leakage currents be blocked? Don’t standard Ethernet ports do this? And what about other types of isolators? A. For leakage current to be stopped, a true isolator, properly implemented, is required. While you may see discussion of "galvanic isolators,” by definition galvanic isolation means only that DC is blocked. Galvanic isolators—be they transformers or any form of capacitive or optical digital logic isolator—still pass AC (alternating current). The transformers in Ethernet ports are galvanic isolators—they block DC—they also block low-source-impedance AC leakage. However, high-source-impedance leakage sails right through them.”
 

UpTone-J.Swenson_EtherREGEN_white_paper.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 25/08/2020 at 12:15 PM, ikhuong said:

Has anyone experience occasionally unresponsive of network renderer? I notice it might happen after a few days and need to power off/on the DAC again to reset the Network renderer, all other input is OK, never an issue, just network renderer with Roon

 

could be my network/Roon server issue, just want to rule out. 

 

It is far more stable then Sonore in network playback but not 100% 

I found out the root cause, Roon upscaling 768khz  can cause the processor hung sometimes, I have disabled upscaling and only play native sample rates, no more issue

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great video for perspective of a MSB DAC owner who went from Discrete with dual PSUs --> Premier --> Reference , there is no point to return.

 

 

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A question for all MSB owners. What is everyone’s take in preamp. vs the MSB DAC direct to a power amp. ?

 

My set up is: 

MSB Premier/PowerBasePSU/Renderer Modual V2/ ATCSCM50A active speakers. No preamp. and I am starting to wonder if it’s worthwhile investigating it. 
 

For example I would be very curious to hear it with ATC’s own SCA2 preamp in the chain. Not so sure my Premier is all that OK  direct into active speakers. The sound is quite wonderful, however could it get better still with a top quality preamp that is made to match with ATC’s own active speakers ?

 

A few owners here seem to have preamps. in the chain.
 

 

Cheers

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