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

MarkusBarkus

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...BTW I am not at all sour on MSB honchos trying to up their game, if I came across that way. I like the concept of isolating the dac. That is what I (and others) were essentially doing with the Dave. Bypass the Amanero USB board with a Gaia (or other) and remove the internal SMPS to be replaced with an SJ DC4. Similar concept to push any noise away from the dac. However, for the Dave, firmware is orphaned inside the device, having no way to update by the user.
 

pleroma

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Jul 7, 2018
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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.

MSB emphasized the difference was in the new filtering, courtesy of the processing power on the DD.
 
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divertiti

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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.
In technology, "future proof" means it will not become obsolete in the foreseeable future. It does not and has not ever meant that it can not be improved upon or immune to future upgrades. In fact it means quite the opposite, it means that it will be compatible with future upgrades, extending the useful life of the piece of HW you have already purchased.

All of the above has been true for the MSB DD, it improves upon and extends the useful life of the existing DACs instead of rendering them obsolete. This was possible specifically due to the modular nature of MSB's design.

All of that being said, I agree the pricing of these new devices are not consumer friendly at all. Take the Premier dac for example, currently the Premier power base powers the DAC using a dual transformer linear power supply, but if you spend an additional 60% of the DAC price on a Premier DD, you are then somehow taking a step backwards to powering all your inputs and processing using a switching power supply? That doesn't make any sense. What's even worse is that to upgrade the DD to a linear power supply you need to pay another $10K. $10K for a linear power supply, that is some next level mark-up right there.
 
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bryans

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...BTW I am not at all sour on MSB honchos trying to up their game, if I came across that way. I like the concept of isolating the dac. That is what I (and others) were essentially doing with the Dave. Bypass the Amanero USB board with a Gaia (or other) and remove the internal SMPS to be replaced with an SJ DC4. Similar concept to push any noise away from the dac. However, for the Dave, firmware is orphaned inside the device, having no way to update by the user.
Nope I didn't take your comments as sour. Heck I agree with you. A 25K upgrade to the Reference has to make one think
 

bryans

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All of that being said, I agree the pricing of these new devices are not consumer friendly at all. Take the Premier dac for example, currently the Premier power base powers the DAC using a dual transformer linear power supply, but if you spend an additional 60% of the DAC price on a Premier DD, you are then somehow taking a step backwards to powering all your inputs and processing using a switching power supply? That doesn't make any sense. What's even worse is that to upgrade the DD to a linear power supply you need to pay another $10K. $10K for a linear power supply, that is some next level mark-up right there.
You make some very valid points here. Doesn't seem right going to a switching power supply with the Premier DD. I'm guessing part of the 10K+ upgrade is due to the casework of the Reference/Select DD. But I do wonder how much additional would a linear power supply cost for the Premier DD.
 

MarkusBarkus

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...it will be helpful to eventually get better specs on the various DD models and their performance/spec when integrated, as it was noted by MSB that all DDs work with all dacs. That's quite a few permutations and mix 'n match performance options, or so it appears at the moment.
 

MarkusBarkus

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Hi @bryans. I actually have just been ignoring it a bit, thinking the XDMS release was imminent, but that's been slow to arrive. I was hoping to see if changes in the new software would take care of things.

Actually, the more annoying issue is with the later firmware, which delays only one of the channels. That sucks.

Similarly to above, I was hoping MSB would push out new firmware that would resolve that issue. Also not arriving.

Unfortunately, I need support to make the reversion update, as it cannot be "played" as MSB intended. Does the fact that my 50K dac and 30K server don't play nice make me wild? You betcha...
 

bryans

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Are you getting the delay when all songs start playing? Or is it only when you change formats like 24-96 to DSD?
 

MarkusBarkus

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...yeah, all songs. It's a known issue, apparently, the solution to which is: revert. I understand the potential issues with the changing bit-rates, etc. but this seems universal. Although I can no longer recall if I tried all known permutations. I really should just ask them to reapply the older software. Thanks for the stimulus...
 

bryans

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Is this a Taiko issue with MSB? I don't have this issue but I'm not a Taiko owner. If this is a known issue I'm curious what the workaround is. Hopefully you will find a fix via Taiko and/or MSB. I agree you have too much money invested in these products for this type of issue.
 

Kingsrule

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Hi @bryans. I actually have just been ignoring it a bit, thinking the XDMS release was imminent, but that's been slow to arrive. I was hoping to see if changes in the new software would take care of things.

Actually, the more annoying issue is with the later firmware, which delays only one of the channels. That sucks.

Similarly to above, I was hoping MSB would push out new firmware that would resolve that issue. Also not arriving.

Unfortunately, I need support to make the reversion update, as it cannot be "played" as MSB intended. Does the fact that my 50K dac and 30K server don't play nice make me wild? You betcha...
Not sure I understand what ur issue is here.
I have no issues using Extreme/Roon/MSB Select II
 

MarkusBarkus

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Baseline: I do not use Roon. I will never use Roon.

With MSB Reference dac firmware 28.21 there was a second of missing sound when starting tracks, streaming or local. It seemed the dac was having trouble locking onto bit rate or other data it was expecting for the handshake.

As I did not have this issue before Reference dac, I assumed it was something with the firmware; however, in all fairness, I do not know that to be a fact. It is possible the dac is expecting something it is not receiving from the server.

As others had experienced this issue, it was suggested I try the newer firmware: 29.21. Users on another forum have experienced the same issue with 29.21 and contacted MSB. I assumed a fix would be imminent, so I was waiting.

29.21 did not resolve the missing data at the beginning of a file; rather, it was now missing data only on one channel for an instant. So, I should have the file updated to revert to 28.21 since missing both channels equally is less annoying than one.

I recognize Roon has a setting to create a delay in the handshake/signal lock that might manage the issue. Aurrender has this in the Conductor app too. I am not aware of a way to do this in TAS, but I will circle back with those guys re: options.

I know they are busy, so I have just been living with it thinking XDMS was imminent. I'll sort it out with them. Thanks guys...
 

Kingsrule

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Who are others?
I never had an issue
Get on Roon and enjoy. TAS is Alpha software at best..
"I will never use Roon" is myopic and a bit closed minded......even Emile agrees that the latest Roon is great
 
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MarkusBarkus

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...I bought the Extreme 1.5 yrs ago *only* with the caveat I would not have to use Roon. Ever. I have no interest in Roon. Taiko is aware of the issue and we're working on it. There are things in TAS that are not commensurate with the level of product the Extreme represents, but SQ is not one of them. SQ is excellent, fortunately. Cheers...
 
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bryans

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Just returned from my dealer and he hasn't heard the DD yet. From my understanding it isn't shipping yet so that decision is on hold. I did get a chance to listen to the MSB Reference (not in my system) and from what I heard it is pretty special. Now of course the only true way for me to tell how much of an improvement it is over my Premier is a home demo/trial. I didn't realize how much bigger the Reference chassis is to my Premier.
 

pleroma

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Jul 7, 2018
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...I bought the Extreme 1.5 yrs ago *only* with the caveat I would not have to use Roon. Ever. I have no interest in Roon. Taiko is aware of the issue and we're working on it. There are things in TAS that are not commensurate with the level of product the Extreme represents, but SQ is not one of them. SQ is excellent, fortunately. Cheers...

Same here on Roon. Looks like XDMS is almost ready, and will be the player to have anyway.
 

pleroma

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Jul 7, 2018
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Here's some recent communication with Daniel@MSB:

"Just came across your YouTube on the Digital Director from Munich. The question I see most consistently from MSB owners is the level of improvement over the Pro USB, since all the promo photos show the Ethernet input module. Some also find odd the notion of keeping the Pro USB conversion in addition to the DD. Seems like a lot of interfacing to get to the DAC."

and his response:

"The level of improvement purely through the DD isolation is significant over the Pro USB. With its own power supplies (instead of the computer power supplies) the signal is able to be reclocked with much lower jitter. We tested just this aspect without the processing enabled and it was significant. Once you add the processing, the gap is even further.

With the DD, you would not need the Pro USB. If this is something that you already owned, there would be no reason to change it out, just feed the DD directly. We have done many conclusive listening tests between the renderer input, USB, and Pro USB into the DD and have not discerned any performance differences."
 
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Levitator

Active Member
Jul 1, 2020
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Here's some recent communication with Daniel@MSB:

"Just came across your YouTube on the Digital Director from Munich. The question I see most consistently from MSB owners is the level of improvement over the Pro USB, since all the promo photos show the Ethernet input module. Some also find odd the notion of keeping the Pro USB conversion in addition to the DD. Seems like a lot of interfacing to get to the DAC."

and his response:

"The level of improvement purely through the DD isolation is significant over the Pro USB. With its own power supplies (instead of the computer power supplies) the signal is able to be reclocked with much lower jitter. We tested just this aspect without the processing enabled and it was significant. Once you add the processing, the gap is even further.

With the DD, you would not need the Pro USB. If this is something that you already owned, there would be no reason to change it out, just feed the DD directly. We have done many conclusive listening tests between the renderer input, USB, and Pro USB into the DD and have not discerned any performance differences."
Thanks for sharing - I guess we now just have to wait until people start to hear it in their own systems…
 

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