The Digital Director - A new MSB product improving everything from the source to the output

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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Would MSB Technology *PLEASE* post a schematic diagram, showing the various input/output modules in both (Digital Director, and DAC) chassis, and how they all connect together? A third of the ~100 posts on this thread are questions about the modules and the interfaces… a picture is worth a thousand words!

I’m most curious about how/where a USB output/source should optimally connect to the Digital Director. Optically, through an outboard optical-output Pro-USB module, or electrically, through a USB input module inside the Digital Director?
OK clearly I'm not MSB. They have the following picture of the Premier DAC, Director, and Powerbase on their site.
10202013-Premier-Director-and-DAC-Jack-Panel-No-Cables-Gallery-1200px.jpeg

I added some notes to the picture below. Based on the info MSB Posted you can put any digital input in slots 1-4 of the Director. The Director connects to the DAC via both the Red (Pro ISL Link) and Yellow (Toslink Control Link)
screenshot_01.png

For me I already own a ProUSB/ISL combo so I would put my ISL in slot 4 and connect to my Source.
 

QuadDiffusor

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Apr 3, 2017
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Thanks for posting the two photos, and one usage case/example. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear to me what the optimal connection might be for a source component having a USB output, and the DD + DAC combo.

Are three (3) ProISL modules required?
0) ProUSB optical output
1) DD optical input
2) DD optical output
3) DAC optical input

Or, just two (2) ProISL modules?
1) DD USB input
2) DD ProISL output
3) DAC ProISL input

MSB Technology - please advise.
 

divertiti

Active Member
Jan 12, 2021
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Thanks for posting the two photos, and one usage case/example. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear to me what the optimal connection might be for a source component having a USB output, and the DD + DAC combo.

Are three (3) ProISL modules required?
0) ProUSB optical output
1) DD optical input
2) DD optical output
3) DAC optical input

Or, just two (2) ProISL modules?
1) DD USB input
2) DD ProISL output
3) DAC ProISL input

MSB Technology - please advise.
Both are valid configurations, first one uses ProUSB input module, second one just uses the regular quad USB input module. It works exactly like it does today in the DAC, only with a pair of ISL output (DD) and ISL input (DAC) added.
 
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bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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Thanks for posting the two photos, and one usage case/example. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear to me what the optimal connection might be for a source component having a USB output, and the DD + DAC combo.

Are three (3) ProISL modules required?
0) ProUSB optical output
1) DD optical input
2) DD optical output
3) DAC optical input

Or, just two (2) ProISL modules?
1) DD USB input
2) DD ProISL output
3) DAC ProISL input

MSB Technology - please advise.
You should give MSB a call. I'm sure they will answer all of your questions. I don't believe MSB is on this forum daily like some other manufactures. Honestly I don't blame them. Way too many forums and way too many questions.
 

pleroma

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Jul 7, 2018
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Thanks for posting the two photos, and one usage case/example. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear to me what the optimal connection might be for a source component having a USB output, and the DD + DAC combo.

Are three (3) ProISL modules required?
0) ProUSB optical output
1) DD optical input
2) DD optical output
3) DAC optical input

Or, just two (2) ProISL modules?
1) DD USB input
2) DD ProISL output
3) DAC ProISL input

MSB Technology - please advise.

One of my questions too, but MSB say they intend to have you move your current input module from the DAC to the DD, which would imply the first config (though I don't think they consider them 3 ProISL modules, since the DD out and DAC in would now always be fiber). Just my two-cents based on their website and an email from Jonathan after the show. I'm curious why the bit about not matching finishes, which seems like something changed in their supply chain.
 

divertiti

Active Member
Jan 12, 2021
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I'm visiting my dealer in a few weeks to discuss adding a Director to my Premier. If he has one that I can bring home I will post my findings. My question is going to be do I add a Director to my Premier or just upgrade to the Reference (without Director).
That's a very real choice to make, personally I don't think the digital director would be able to make up the gap to the Hybrid dac modules on the Reference, but I haven't done that comparison. Might be good for your dealer to demo both for you.
 

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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That's a very real choice to make, personally I don't think the digital director would be able to make up the gap to the Hybrid dac modules on the Reference, but I haven't done that comparison. Might be good for your dealer to demo both for you.
Yes this is what I am thinking/expecting.
 

Armsan

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Jan 28, 2016
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Yes this is what I am thinking/expecting.
Of course the proof is in the pudding but, besides the hardware, don´t underestimate the new firmware that will be installed in the DACs. From my experience, the software/firmware plays a major role in digital gear and are responsible for significant improvements in the SQ. That said, I don´t know if, with the new firmware install needed to DD operation, will work without the DD in the chain, and this is crucial for the A/B comparison. Would one have to reinstall the previous firmware? What do you guys think/know about this? Thanks.
 

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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I believe software/firmware generally makes a difference. I would hope that the new MSB SW will work with and without a DD. This would make it easier to do an A/B comparison between my Premier with and without a DD. I'm curious to hear the improvement the DD makes. If I commit to the realm of a 40K DAC (Premier + DD), I have to consider a Reference (non DD).
 
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Armsan

Well-Known Member
Jan 28, 2016
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I believe software/firmware generally makes a difference. I would hope that the new MSB SW will work with and without a DD. This would make it easier to do an A/B comparison between my Premier with and without a DD. I'm curious to hear the improvement the DD makes. If I commit to the realm of a 40K DAC (Premier + DD), I have to consider a Reference (non DD).
Bryans, I understand your dilemma. BTW, two years ago I suppose, I listened in my dealer‘s room, the Premier, the Reference and the Select. From the Premier to the Reference there’s a huge step up in SQ, in all the sonic aspects. Sure they share the MSB DNA, but it’s a different beast. Not that big, from the Reference to the Select. I know this is not new for you. So it’s a math decision and do the listening tests with the DD.
 

MarkusBarkus

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Feb 7, 2021
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...to speak frankly, my initial take on the DD was: it kind of pissed me off.

I bought a Reference about six months ago, and a very significant factor was MSB stated the modular design made it "future-proof." I'm paraphrasing. You could add new modules and of course, update the firmware.

I get the stated reasons for the separate DD device...and no one is forcing me to update a device that sounds great (except for cutting off the first bit of a track, which is really nuts)...but 25K is a different level of upgrade to me, and doesn't read: future-proof. It reads new device.
 

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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(except for cutting off the first bit of a track, which is really nuts)
Are you using Roon? If so you can go into Roon under Device Setup and change the "Resync Delay". I have mine set at 500ms and don't get the cutting off of the track.
 

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bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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...to speak frankly, my initial take on the DD was: it kind of pissed me off.

I bought a Reference about six months ago, and a very significant factor was MSB stated the modular design made it "future-proof." I'm paraphrasing. You could add new modules and of course, update the firmware.

I get the stated reasons for the separate DD device...and no one is forcing me to update a device that sounds great (except for cutting off the first bit of a track, which is really nuts)...but 25K is a different level of upgrade to me, and doesn't read: future-proof. It reads new device.
I feel you pain about the "future-proof". I wish the cost was cheaper because I have a Premier and with a DD I am now in the 40K range for a DAC. I personally like that one doesn't have to have the DD but like a lot of crazy AudioNuts (I'm talking about myself), I want one. I do see the DD as part of an upgrade to my current unit so I can't say it isn't future-proof. But I do realize future-proof only last a certain amount of time.
 
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MarkusBarkus

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...you're right. Future-proof is kind of like lifetime guarantee. Whose lifetime? How long is "the future" anyway? And thanks for the Roon tip, but I don't use it. I use the Taiko software from the Extreme.

It will be interesting to see how this DD shakes out. I already use the ProISL converter from the Extreme, and a TT7 for power, so the upgraded processing would have to be remarkable to stimulate a 25K add-on.

I'm skeptical but open minded. The"future" will tell...
 

bryans

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And thanks for the Roon tip, but I don't use it. I use the Taiko software from the Extreme.
I would check the massive Extreme thread. I believe the issue is with the MSB switching formats. Roon gives you the ability to pause the track when switching formats. I would "assume" the Extreme SW has this option or a workaround.
 

bryans

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Dec 26, 2017
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It will be interesting to see how this DD shakes out. I already use the ProISL converter from the Extreme, and a TT7 for power, so the upgraded processing would have to be remarkable to stimulate a 25K add-on.
I agree, hard to process spending 25K. Heck hard for me to process spending 15K for my Premier.

What is a TT7?
 

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