MSB Select II arrival

QuadDiffusor

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I never power off my MSB SII/M500's, I put them into stand-bye every night. In the morning it takes about an hour for the system to get to it's best.
Just to be sure, “standby” is the SAME as having the AC power cords yanked out, as there is no power consumption, apart from two LEDs lit in red. Both the DAC modules and Femto clock will take equally long (a few hours) to reach thermal stability, whether the units are in standby, or in a genuinely cold “powered off” condition.
 

Kingsrule

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Feb 3, 2011
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Just to be sure, “standby” is the SAME as having the AC power cords yanked out, as there is no power consumption, apart from two LEDs lit in red. Both the DAC modules and Femto clock will take equally long (a few hours) to reach thermal stability, whether the units are in standby, or in a genuinely cold “powered off” condition.
Not really I think the amps actually go into a real stand-bye mode. In addition with the DAC I think that 2watt in stand-bye is a lot more current draw than 2 leds would require. Something other than the led's must be on....
Also it is my understanding that the clock only needs less than 30 minutes to be stable....
 
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QuadDiffusor

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You're right, the two mono powerBases DO consume a couple of watts while in standby; I wonder exactly what in the DAC they're powering? As for the new MSB amps, you'd know better too, as I've yet to even audition even a loaner S202 in my system. Envious of your setup - the combo of the Select II and the M500s must really be something to behold !
 

Gregm

Active Member
Mar 14, 2019
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my Select II sounds better after 5-10 hours once shut down and cold.

for instance last night i had a short power outage (21 degrees, driving snow, 30-50 mph gusts and my barn is not on my NG generator)) so i went to bed. this morning it was cold. powered it up and it's a bit closed in so far. certainly not bad, but not it's best.

so i leave mine always powered up unless i'm leaving for a few days.
Likewise, I keep both DACs on all the time, the consumption is really minimal.
Keeping the Select on standby doesn't seem to dispense with the subsequent warm-up time after switching on -- but maybe that's my own psychoacoustic bias :)


Obviously, the pre is also on all the time. So when I switch on the power amplification, the sound is acceptable from the get-go (of course it improves significantly after ¬30-40mins, my amplification is class A).
 
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Alpinist

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I leave my Select DAC in standby when I’m home but I know I won’t be listening for awhile (busy with work). When I know I’ll be listening a lot, I leave it powered on continuously because I find it takes 24 hours to reach its full potential. My monoblocks take one hour of warmup to reach their full potential. When I’m traveling, it is powered off.

Ken
 
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Kingsrule

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I leave my Select DAC in standby when I’m home but I know I won’t be listening for awhile (busy with work). When I know I’ll be listening a lot, I leave it powered on continuously because I find it takes 24 hours to reach its full potential. My monoblocks take one hour of warmup to reach their full potential. When I’m traveling, it is powered off.

Ken
1 hour at the most here
 

Alpinist

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Jun 17, 2014
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1 hour at the most here
I’m hearing some hardness in the sound of the Select DAC at one hour. If I turn it on first thing in the morning, it will sound liquid for evening listening. Using a different digital input module may account for some of the differences.

Ken
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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i have not personally directly compared the dCS to the MSB myself. so my take on that compare is just a general one. my viewpoint is that i find the MSB Select II has a less processed type of presentation, more natural and alive sounding. i see farther into the music. that is just my feeling.

every time i hear dCS at shows i like it and am impressed. it sounds very good and checks all the boxes in and of itself. i do prefer the bit perfect approach of the MSB to a more processed dac design approach such as dCS (to the degree i comprehend the dSC design). hearing recordings as close to the native format as possible i believe results in the optimal presentation. this perspective gets reinforced constantly in my listening. oversampling dacs i've listened to in the past did not show the native resolution to be as consistently superior in my experience.

there is much more to dac performance than the 'bit perfect' issue. but at the top of the food chain it seems to make a difference.

do some research on some direct compares. they are out there. i know some are referenced in this thread, especially early in the thread.
I have not directly compared them too, but have listened to them individually N times.
My feeling is exactly that of Mike's.
Naturalness is my first priority.
 

Mike Lavigne

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you know how sometimes you do stuff, then you think back why did i do that? then you think some more and realize it was the right thing to do? but then later....... :rolleyes: back in 2010-2011 i decided i wanted to investigate high level headphones. i wanted to see if they could reveal more of the music in some way. a part of the hobby i had not explored. i spent 2 years learning, acquiring a good dynamic headphone rig (HD-800's/Woo 6SE maxxed) and a good electrostat rig (Stax 007 Mk1/Stax-SRM-717 amp) and then later a Stax 009 and Headamp BHSE & Aristaeus amps, which at that time was fairly top drawer. i learned a little and enjoyed it, but then in 2012 had to sell it all to fund my dart mono blocks and MM7's.

since then i've looked into headphones from time to time thinking i would at some point get back into it.

then i started watching Youtube video's and other stuff on my laptop and got frustrated with the sound quality. so about a year ago started checking out headphones again. i knew i did not need to go hog wild, but my way is to jump fully in so i have been more and more checking them out. mostly what i had been watching were the planar dynamics and the new Stax 009S's and appropriate amps to get the most out of them. one issue was how would they integrate into my system when i was not using them for Youtube video's?

this weekend i noticed an MSB Select Headphone amp for sale. one thing led to another and......well......i now own it. and today the Stax SR-009S's i ordered to go with it showed up. i'm listening to the combo right now. i'll not yet comment on the performance. headphones take time to break in.

the Select headphone amp does integrate really well with my system, and i'll be able to plug my laptop into an analog input on the MSB Select II dac and use the Select passive pre volume control for it. i'm waiting for the cable to allow that to work seamlessly; s/b here tomorrow.

one thing, the amp is anodized silver, my dac and power supplies are black. if i decide to keep it long term i can send it in and have it anodized black to match. or if i sell it later it can be matched to that buyer's Select II.

did i need to do this? will it still be here in 6 months? god only knows.

009MSB-1 (1 of 1).jpg 009MSB-2 (1 of 1).jpg
 
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CKKeung

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you know how sometimes you do stuff, then you think back why did i do that? then you think some more and realize it was the right thing to do? but then later....... :rolleyes: back in 2010-2011 i decided i wanted to investigate high level headphones. i wanted to see if they could reveal more of the music in some way. a part of the hobby i had not explored. i spent 2 years learning, acquiring a good dynamic headphone rig (HD-800's/Woo 6SE) and a good electrostat rig (Stax 007 Mk2/Stax-727 amp) and then later a Stax 009 and Headamp BHSE, which at that time was fairly top drawer. i learned a little and enjoyed it, but then in 2012 had to sell it all to fund my dart mono blocks and MM7's.

since then i've looked into headphones from time to time thinking i would at some point get back into it.

then i started watching Youtube video's and other stuff on my laptop and got frustrated with the sound quality. so about a year ago started checking out headphones again. i knew i did not need to go hog wild, but my way is to jump fully in so i have been more and more checking them out. mostly what i had been watching were the planar dynamics and the new Stax 009S's and appropriate amps to get the most out of them. one issue was how would they integrate into my system when i was not using them for Youtube video's?

this weekend i noticed an MSB Select Headphone amp for sale. one thing led to another and......well......i now own it. and today the Stax SR-009S's i ordered to go with it showed up. i'm listening to the combo right now. i'll not yet comment on the performance. headphones take time to break in.

the Select headphone amp does integrate really well with my system, and i'll be able to plug my laptop into an analog input on the MSB Select II dac and use the Select passive pre volume control for it. i'm waiting for the cable to allow that to work seamlessly; s/b here tomorrow.

one thing, the amp is anodized silver, my dac and power supplies are black. if i decide to keep it long term i can send it in and have it anodized black to match. or if i sell it later it can be matched to that buyer's Select II.

did i need to do this? will it still be here in 6 months? god only knows.

View attachment 75161 View attachment 75162
Hi Mike,
Electroplating black colour is very tricky!
Quite difficult to get the exact same black colour.
:(
 

Mike Lavigne

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Apr 25, 2010
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Hi Mike,
Electroplating black colour is very tricky!
Quite difficult to get the exact same black colour.
:(

well; when i added my second power supply my original unit was 2 years old, and MSB apparently matched it perfectly. i'm sure you are right that it's not easy to match it. they have earned my faith that they would do it.:)
 
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Alpinist

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Jun 17, 2014
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you know how sometimes you do stuff, then you think back why did i do that? then you think some more and realize it was the right thing to do? but then later....... :rolleyes: back in 2010-2011 i decided i wanted to investigate high level headphones. i wanted to see if they could reveal more of the music in some way. a part of the hobby i had not explored. i spent 2 years learning, acquiring a good dynamic headphone rig (HD-800's/Woo 6SE) and a good electrostat rig (Stax 007 Mk2/Stax-727 amp) and then later a Stax 009 and Headamp BHSE, which at that time was fairly top drawer. i learned a little and enjoyed it, but then in 2012 had to sell it all to fund my dart mono blocks and MM7's.

since then i've looked into headphones from time to time thinking i would at some point get back into it.

then i started watching Youtube video's and other stuff on my laptop and got frustrated with the sound quality. so about a year ago started checking out headphones again. i knew i did not need to go hog wild, but my way is to jump fully in so i have been more and more checking them out. mostly what i had been watching were the planar dynamics and the new Stax 009S's and appropriate amps to get the most out of them. one issue was how would they integrate into my system when i was not using them for Youtube video's?

this weekend i noticed an MSB Select Headphone amp for sale. one thing led to another and......well......i now own it. and today the Stax SR-009S's i ordered to go with it showed up. i'm listening to the combo right now. i'll not yet comment on the performance. headphones take time to break in.

the Select headphone amp does integrate really well with my system, and i'll be able to plug my laptop into an analog input on the MSB Select II dac and use the Select passive pre volume control for it. i'm waiting for the cable to allow that to work seamlessly; s/b here tomorrow.

one thing, the amp is anodized silver, my dac and power supplies are black. if i decide to keep it long term i can send it in and have it anodized black to match. or if i sell it later it can be matched to that buyer's Select II.

did i need to do this? will it still be here in 6 months? god only knows.

View attachment 75161 View attachment 75162
Congrats on the ultimate headphone system! This is the best of the best. A friend of a friend has this exact same headphone system and he loves the sound quality. He says it’s stunning. You will not be disappointed. The Select headphone amplifier doesn’t get a lot of press but it is right there in performance with MSB’s other top components. Prepare to be blown away.

Enjoy,
Ken
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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Congrats on the ultimate headphone system! This is the best of the best. A friend of a friend has this exact same headphone system and he loves the sound quality. He says it’s stunning. You will not be disappointed. The Select headphone amplifier doesn’t get a lot of press but it is right there in performance with MSB’s other top components. Prepare to be blown away.

Enjoy,
Ken

thank you Ken. i do have high expectations for the Select amp and 009S's. so far it's not disappointed.
 
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Alpinist

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thank you Ken. i do have high expectations for the Select amp and 009S's. so far it's not disappointed.
Mike,

Please give us a full report once everything is broken in.

Ken
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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Congrats, Mike!

Question: why don't you go for a 2nd ProISL/ProUSB module and use that to hook up to your laptop? That'll no doubt give you a better result than using your laptop's analog outputs...
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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Congrats, Mike!

Question: why don't you go for a 2nd ProISL/ProUSB module and use that to hook up to your laptop? That'll no doubt give you a better result than using your laptop's analog outputs...
thanks Alex, for the suggestion. i had not thought about that option.

it's still almost all MP3 files i'm processing from the laptop. but i will watch and see whether that changes going forward. if we get to redbook level frequently then it might make some sense.
 

Billygxx

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Nov 23, 2015
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Hi Mike,
I also own the Select 2 headphone amp with the Stax 009s phones. I also prefer, generally, listening from the Select DAC 2 with speakers using a dedicated preamp. However in this case, the music is simply stunning using only the MSB DAC, headphone amp and Stax headphones especially from the Extreme server via its embedded files. While the combination wont give you the power of your room setup, there is a purity and beauty of this headphone combination that, with the right recording, can be mind boggling.
 

QuadDiffusor

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Apr 3, 2017
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Hi Folks, I wanted to share some information obtained directly from MSB Technology, regarding the dual mono powerbases - hope this will be useful ! :)

"When the DACs are turned off (both LEDs red) there is no power going to the DACs at all. The only thing that is powered is the control circuitry for the powerbases. This control circuitry is the 120/240 volt detection, button, IR receiver, and the LED. This power is under 2W per unit.

As far as the DAC is concerned, there is no difference between standby and having no AC cord plugged in. In both cases there is zero voltage going up to the DAC.

As far as turning the AC on/off to the unit this is no issue at all. You can do this even if the powerbases are “on” and the DAC is playing. We designed our DACs to be immune to power cycles and they detect the voltage is lowering and mute the outputs of the DAC before any harm can be caused to the system."
 

QuadDiffusor

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Apr 3, 2017
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Additionally,

"With regards to the clock, it takes 20-30 minutes for the temperature of the clock to reach its specified operating temperature. I’m told people continue to hear improvements in the DAC many hours later but it gets close to peak performance in about an hour. However, more than just the clock take time to warm up and stabilize, for example, the DAC modules also warm up when the DAC is left on.

For peak performance I suggest leaving the DAC on continuously but if you are going to be away for a few days and you want to conserve power go ahead and shut your system off when you are not using it."
 

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