Playback Designs MPS-5

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#1


For years I owned and loved my Meitner CDCD SE/ DAC 6e SE combo and never thought that I would find a better unit

Along come my two friends Jonathan Tinn and Andreas Koch who were responsible for the development of this unit and bringing it to market

Andreas is almost a neighbor of mine and just prior to releasing the MPS-5 Andreas called me and asked if he could bring over the new unit so that I could a/b it vs my Meitner gear. Of course I agreed. Out of the box, the first thing noticeable is how quickly and quietly this one box loads a disk, which is unlike the Meitner gear. The sound IMO is second to none and the unit has literally every (except firewire) input to access the DAC which can do HiRez files. To my ears the sound approaches analog. The unit also uses the much revered Esoteric transport which is virtually quiet and loads almost instantly when compared to the Meitner

The remote is terrific, has backlighting and definitely better than the Meitner remote

For those needing only a DAC, Playback Designs also makes a standalone DAC the MPD-5 DAC

From the PD website.......

The Playback Designs MPS-5 starts with a modified Esoteric transport mechanism. Although there are quite a few very good mechanisms to use for a lot less money, the chosen transport delivers excellent stabilility and reliability. The build quality is excellent and being the work horse of the player, we decided that the substantial increase in our cost to use these devices was well worth it, especially for the long term.


While the MPS-5 is a world class CD/SACD player, its internal DAC can also be used with external digital sources through a multitude of digital inputs. In particular it can be connected directly to a PC via the USB interface, whereby the MPS-5 becomes the soundcard of the PC and converts all the digital audio from the PC to analog via the same processes used for the transport. Finally you can expect the same level of sonic performance from your PC as you can from the transport. The MPS-5 automatically recognizes any source (such as a PC, IPod, Discman, etc.) and uses new technology we have developed called PDFAS (Playback Designs Frequency Arrival System) to completely eliminate all jitter.


The Playback Designs MPS-5 will challenge what you have come to expect as the limitations of digital playback!PRODUCTS


MPS-5 - Playback Designs Music Playback System 5Photography by carlzappAnalog outputs:
XLR: balanced, 4Vrms @ 1kHz full level, pin 2 Hot
RCA: unbalanced, 2Vrms @ 1kHz full level
BNC: unbalanced, 50O, 2Vrms @ 1kHz full level


Digital outputs:
XLR: AES/EBU formatted for stereo linear PCM data.
If playing from disc the data on this output will be 16bits / 44.1kHz.
If playing from a digital input the data on this output will be up to 24bits and up to 192kHz.


Data / Clock:
For future expansion.


Digital inputs:
AES: XLR connector for AES/EBU formatted stereo linear PCM data, up to 24bits and up to 192kHz.
S/PDIF: same as AES, but S/PDIF formatted on RCA connector.
TOSLINK: same as S/PDIF, but on optical connector.
PLAYLINK: Proprietary links to future Playback Designs equipment.
PC: Direct USB connection to computers for sample rates up to 48kHz.


System Control:
REMOTE: RS-232 wired remote control.
 
Last edited:

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#3
I've been trying to get Andreas to develop an A/D converter to compliment the PD. This is the best sounding DAC I've ever used!

He also said it's capable of going higher than 192k!
He told me that as well.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#4
He also said it's capable of going higher than 192k!
This is probably not the forum to have this discussion :). But higher sampling rate may not be better. DACs lose their accuracy/have more distortion as you increase their sampling rate!

Yeh, I know. As men we always go by the rule that "if a little bit is good, a lot is better." But here we are :D.
 

Ron Party

WBF Founding Member
Apr 30, 2010
2,457
0
0
Oakland, CA
#6
Yeh, I know. As men we always go by the rule that "if a little bit is good, a lot is better." But here we are :D.
Ahem....... I think there are many women who also go by that rule, at least when it comes to ... they just won't admit it to us men! But if you ever overhear a group of women talking.... whoa!
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,534
0
36
NY
#8
Hi,

Can any users report their updates? I've been looking at this unit and I am starting to think this might be the DAC/player to get. I like what I've been reading, but am still a little confused with all the new features and DSD audio.

Thanks!

Joe
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#9
what do you find confusing?

I own it and wouldn't trade for any other

I owned Meitner gear before that
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,534
0
36
NY
#10
Hi Steve,

I know I can download DSD files, but am not sure if there is an easy way to rip SACD to my computer (not that I have many titles). I know that has nothing to do with the PB unit, but all the reviews I've read were excellent. I am contemplating a new DAC or player and this one keeps rising to the top for SQ and features. I can't wait to hear one.

Thanks!
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
0
0
Dallas, Texas
#11
Depends on what you mean by "easy."

It's a lot easier than it looks. There's no other way to do it unless you have a Sonoma system. The hardest part is finding a Play Station 3 with the correct firmware. I got mine from my secretary because I knew she bought one of the first releases of the PS3.

Although I love streaming DSD, I am always more surprised at how "hi-rez" redbook can sound with the MPD-5.
 

joeinid

Active Member
Mar 15, 2011
1,534
0
36
NY
#13
Depends on what you mean by "easy."

It's a lot easier than it looks. There's no other way to do it unless you have a Sonoma system. The hardest part is finding a Play Station 3 with the correct firmware. I got mine from my secretary because I knew she bought one of the first releases of the PS3.

Although I love streaming DSD, I am always more surprised at how "hi-rez" redbook can sound with the MPD-5.
Thanks Dallas! I am sure it's a great unit. I can't wait to hear it.

There is a thread here devoted to ripping DSD files to your computer using PS3
Thanks Steve,

I'll find it and read it. I appreciate the feedback. This looks like the right player/dac, I'm excited.

Joe
 

flez007

Member Sponsor
Aug 31, 2010
2,897
0
36
Mexico City
#14
Steve - the one-box Playback Designs unit is in my short-list, probem is that I am more than OK with the Oppo/Mach2/Havana digital setup I own now, but sure that when the upgrade bug hits again I will definitely considered it with other options from Berkeley (DAC only) or Accuphase players.
 

rad

Member
Jun 13, 2010
145
0
16
Ohio
#15
Hi,

Can any users report their updates? I've been looking at this unit and I am starting to think this might be the DAC/player to get. I like what I've been reading, but am still a little confused with all the new features and DSD audio.

Thanks!






Joe
Hi Joe,
Although digital is highly subjective as with anything else in this hobby, I have to put my flag in the Playback camp as well. The best player I have owned to date & agree with Steve ( wouldn't trade it for any other )
I have owned the higher end Wadia's, Meinter gear, Esoteric, ect...to name a few.
The MPS-5 is much more analog sounding, which fits my tastes.
Upgradeable, for my future server too, soon I hope.
Service has been outstanding !!!!! which I can't say was a strong suit for other players I have owned.


Gary
 
Apr 15, 2013
44
0
6
#18
This thread has not been updated for some time now, but I was wondering how does the current MPD-5 player, ranks as compared to more recent DACs (Nagra, DCs, Sim-moon). Used to represent the state of the art 3 years ago and still is a very credible one box solution with easy upgrades. Looking for feedback especially from long term users. I need to commit to my last CD/DAC purchase. My current CD/DAC is the excellent Burmester 089. The MPD-5 in my system is better in detail, definition, soundstaging and analog feeling. Other options might be better tough.....
 

jh901

New Member
Jun 22, 2018
6
0
0
PITTSBURGH
#19
This thread has not been updated for some time now, but I was wondering how does the current MPD-5 player, ranks as compared to more recent DACs (Nagra, DCs, Sim-moon).
I'd be curious to hear comparisons of fully upgraded MPS-5 (firmware, clock generator, other hardware) versus latest from the likes of Totaldac, dCS, PS Audio, LH DaVinci Mk II, Lampizator, Empirical Audio Overdrive SX, and others.

Is there a high traffic forum which may be best to get informed opinions?
 

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