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Audiolab M-DAC Reviews

sq225917

Like it lots,

Posted

Pros: Compact, high VFM, good functionality, designer has provided many feature updates in firmware

Cons: lack of 192 on USB, and nobalanced headphone out from the front panel.

I've had this forever, but never thought about writing a review for it.   I came to the Mdac via the Young and the Weiss 202, both which i still had when the Mdac first landed. it saw the Young off with its pre-amp functionality, remote control, headphone out  and better treble. The Young sounded a touch coarse in the upper register compared to the Mdac. Similarly the Mdac a touch coarse compared to the Weiss, but only slightly so and for less than 1/6 th the costs I was cashing my Weiss in and putting the money into my hifi elsewhere.   I lived happily with the Mdac for a good year or so, then the designer started mentioning upgrades to the unit, revisions to the...
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head8k

Great DAC

Posted

Pros: Feature packed, great sound, balanced outs, preamp mode

Cons: Parent company (IAG, China) not providing support, weak power connector

I love this DAC - it really sounds fantastic and is packed with features, inputs, outputs and great looks. Designed by arguably the best engineer working in this field - John Westlake (Google him if you're not familiar with his work) - I knew it was going to be good even before hearing it.   John provides support over on the Pink Fish Media forums and has released firmware updates and fixed customer's units if faults arise. It's a strange situation where a designer working as a consultant (for Audiolab/IAG in this case) is providing repairs outside of the official warranty. Anyway, the community arising around this DAC is growing all the time and it seems to have a great future...
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Ruzhyo

Slick

Posted

Pros: Great sound

Cons: cannot off display

Works and sounds great.   Too bad display cannot be off.  Bright and distracting. 
v3n

Audiolab M-Dac

Posted

Pros: Sound Quality, Ease of Use, Fantastic Support including firmware requests, Features

Cons: Requires galvanic isolation on USB input through additional device

Fantastic half width DAC that features 5 inputs, a remote, an OLED display, a pre-amp and a headphone amp.   Based around the transparent ESS Sabre 9018 chip, this box of tricks can transform your listening experience.     Bit-perfect playback of your music is guaranteed if you pass the units testing procedure as the M-DAC can check your digital audio chain and will report failure when testing via two test files (44khz and 96khz) that have known values.   I'm using the USB connection on PC with a Olimex galvanic USB isolator in-between two regular USB cables with 100% pass rate.   Constant feedback on the pinkfishmedia.net message...
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