DAC architecture reimagined - the Cascade DAC

Dustin Symanski

Industry Expert
Aug 9, 2017
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Here is a project we have been relentlessly refining for a while now. I'm excited to release this next-generation DAC architecture. The results are absolutely spectacular.
1090001-Cascade-DAC-ISO-Gallery-900px.jpg
Here is a short video as well:
 
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...so is this the new flagship model? I read the email blast, but there is a lot to digest. Are any existing models vanishing as you re-balance the lines? And of course: any MSRP on this baby? Cheers, Daniel.
 
An interesting development.

Sonically, where does it fit within the current MSB performance pantheon? Between the Reference with Director and the Select? On par with or above the Select with Director?

Will the Reference and Select DACs continue to be available, along with their analog input modules?

I note that this new architecture no longer requires an optical cable in addition to the Cascade (ProISL equivalent) cable/interface.
 
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When can we expect to see the Sentinel DAC alluded to in the new trade-in policy?
 
Sonically, where does it fit within the current MSB performance pantheon? Between the Reference with Director and the Select? On par with or above the Select with Director?
This Cascade DAC is the best we have ever heard.
When can we expect to see the Sentinel DAC alluded to in the new trade-in policy?
You will need to be patient.
 
It’s always nice to see something understated… still manages to be very elegant and refined with lovely composition and detailing overall, a great example of confident industrial design in the less is more tradition… nice!
 
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Here is a project we have been relentlessly refining for a while now. I'm excited to release this next-generation DAC architecture. The results are absolutely spectacular.
View attachment 130018
Here is a short video as well:
Dear Daniel,

Please tell us more about the new Hybrid DAC Mk2 and Femto Clock Mk3 modules.

Thanks!
 
This Cascade DAC is the best we have ever heard.

You will need to be patient.
I am truly excited by this new Cascade DAC!

I understand that patience is key as we await further details on the Sentinel DAC. In the meantime, I have a query regarding the current trade-in policies. It appears that there is a policy for trading in the Select DAC towards the Sentinel DAC, but I could not find any information about a similar option for the Cascade DAC.

As a Select DAC owner interested in upgrading to the Cascade DAC, I am curious to know if there will be a trade-in program for this scenario or if Select owners are expected to wait for the Sentinel DAC's release before any trade-in options become available. Could you please clarify this?

Further, the trade in policy refers to the Sentinel DAC "while in current production". What does this mean?
 
Seems like a pretty cool design move. Wondering if the clock is also getting an upgrade?
 
Among other much important upgrades I noticed the new umbilicals, it sounds great! Before going out of production I would be happy if current Reference and Select could at least benefit from a similar upgrade: I mean, new umbilicals with old connectors.
It would be a gesture much appreciated by current Select and Reference (DD included) owners, currently most “penalized” by the launch of the new models.
I think that like me, others have purchased (even recently) these latest models as an end game, based on MSB's modular philosophy as a guarantee of future upgrades also resulting from the research and development of new generations of models.
It is always painful to discover that your new and much desired jewel has suddenly become obsolete overnight, especially if it required a significant investment.
 
As a Select DAC owner interested in upgrading to the Cascade DAC, I am curious to know if there will be a trade-in program for this scenario or if Select owners are expected to wait for the Sentinel DAC's release before any trade-in options become available. Could you please clarify this?
From MSB Site: https://msbtechnology.com/support/trade-in-program/

If you own a Select or Reference you are getting taken to the woodshed in my opinion.

Up to 90%? What can I actually expect?
  • Up to 90% when trading The Cascade DAC in “good condition” for The Sentinel DAC while in current production.
  • Up to 50% when trading The Select DAC with or without the Select Digital Director in “good condition” for The Sentinel DAC while in current production.
  • Up to 50% when trading The Reference DAC with or without the Reference Digital Director in “good condition” for The Cascade DAC, or The Sentinel DAC while in current production.
  • Up to 90% when trading The Premier DAC with or without the Premier Digital Director in “good condition” for The Cascade DAC, or The Sentinel DAC while in current production.
  • Up to 90% when trading The Discrete DAC in “good condition” for The Premier DAC, The Cascade DAC, or The Sentinel DAC while in current production.
 
From MSB Site: https://msbtechnology.com/support/trade-in-program/

If you own a Select or Reference you are getting taken to the woodshed in my opinion.

Up to 90%? What can I actually expect?
  • Up to 50% when trading The Reference DAC with or without the Reference Digital Director in “good condition” for The Cascade DAC, or The Sentinel DAC while in current production..
As a long time MSB customer 50% for a Reference DAC and Director - mine are under a year old - is a lousy program that’s not in keeping with the spirit of their upgrade path marketing pitch. I hope they’ll revisit it before long term customers revisit their brand loyalty.
 
As a long time MSB customer 50% for a Reference DAC and Director - mine are under a year old - is a lousy program that’s not in keeping with the spirit of their upgrade path marketing pitch. I hope they’ll revisit it before long term customers revisit their brand loyalty.
I'm in agreement with you on this. I upgraded from a Premier to the Reference less than 4 months ago. The current trade in policy makes the Reference and Premier worth about the same if one was to go to the Cascade.

The list price on a Reference DAC is $54,500 which means you get $27,250 on trade. You lose $27,250 in value with trade.
The list price on a Premier DAC is $27,500 which means you get $24,750 on trade. You only lose $2,750 in value with trade.
 
Does anybody recall the dac v ?? Then sel 1
then the remodel of sel 2 lol.
I love Msb but digital moves fast
 
@Alrainbow I agree that digital moves fast. One of the key benefits of MSB is/was the trade up policy. My issue is the current trade up policy towards a Cascade is destroyed if you own a Reference or Select. To me the current policy needs to be relooked at. Not sure how someone at MSB didn't realize what they was setting up here.
 
One of the main reasons I moved on to MSBs DACs is the possibility to upgrade it.
 
@Alrainbow I agree that digital moves fast. One of the key benefits of MSB is/was the trade up policy. My issue is the current trade up policy towards a Cascade is destroyed if you own a Reference or Select. To me the current policy needs to be relooked at. Not sure how someone at MSB didn't realize what they was setting up here.
There are some nice new DACs from other manufacturers at HE Munich :cool:
 
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One of the main reasons I moved on to MSBs DACs is the possibility to upgrade it.
Agreed. This was one of the main reasons I purchased the Select DAC. A modular chassis making it fully upgradable. It was certainly marketed that way. What’s the point of an expensive modular build if it’s not upgradable?
 
The video tell little about the new DAC. Pretty high level. But it does show that they case work and layout appear excellent. The basic foundation looks superb. What we don't really know is what the internal software is all about. My perceptions are that the software can make a great product superb. If the software is not the best, a great product can rest at great, or maybe not.

I was reading about Pink Fauns USB cards. What is MSB doing to make their inputs superior? Do they have anything cutting edge? I am only asking. What sets MSB apart from any of the other well laid out DAC. Mostly what I see is a remote power supply, remote processors and remote DAC chip. Is that all it takes to make a great DAC. I don't think it is. But I really don't know what makes a DAC work well.
 

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