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My Musiland M-10 Arrived! 56K!!

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
I bought a Musiland M-10 from yelzin! It arrived today! It was so well packed I had difficulty in unpacking it for 10 minutes!!!












After all that efforts untangling it, I saw a small yet heavy unit! Face plate should have been more polished and refined! But I like the feeling of the unit. Well built!

Here is a picture of my Supermacro compared to M-10!



Anatomy and Guts!!









Running at 16bit 44.1 KHz optical input from my A710!



Specifications


* 24bit System, up to 192kHz Sampling Frequency
* BNC, Coax, USB or Toslink inputs
* Microcomputer Control, LCD Display, OSD Menu, Real-time to Show Sampling Rate
* Line or Earphone Analog Audio Output Interface
* Class A Earphone Amplifier
* Sampling Frequencies: 32kHz、44.1kHz、48kHz、88.2kHz、96kHz、176.4kHz or 192kHz
* Analog Audio Output Interface: RCA 3.5mm Phone Socket
* CIRRUS Flagship CS4398 D/A Chip, Up to 120Db SNR
* Dual digital filtering: 102 db or 75 db
* MUSILAND Balance Analog Filter class A AMP.
* Up, Down and Function key
* Input mode setting
* Output mode setting
* Independent linear output volume and earphone output volume control
* Decode style setting: HIFI, AV
* Decode bit depth: 16bit, 20bit, 24bit
* Internal memory for user settings


Initial impressions!

Early days yet! But nice warm sound with very good sound-stage! Wish it had more lateral depth! Trebles is most impressive! Nice clear and accurate mids! have attack and not harsh at all. Definition and clariTy are good. I thought bass notes are not hitting the deepest parts yet! Will see as time goes on!

Word on Yelzin! Most helpful and friendly guy, I ever dealt with so far in buying audio gear! If I ever buy Chinese DAC products again I first contact him.

More impressions later!! Have to rush to listen to music!!

After 50 hours of burning 2007/04/26

I really like the size of this DAC. It is smaller than I expected. The Blue display is beautiful. It shows Input source, output source, decoding frequency and volume levels. User interface is simple and easy to use. One can select input source, output source, bit depth and style. It has two modes of audio styles AV and HIFI. Electronic volume control is easy to use. As Musiland aim it for foreign market it has more features user-friendliness and connectivity options: RCA and BNC coax SPDIF, Optical SPDIF and USB.

There is no white noise when I switched on using line-out. Headphone out gives a little hiss and sound quality far below that of line out. Yelzin who has a good relationship with Musiland designers told me, It is 90-95% DAC than headphone amp. It gives 5% of its performance to that function.

After 50 hours of burning it changed it SQ considerably. Sound-stage is more wide apart now. But I thought there is room for more expansion. Trebles are impressive with very good extension. It doesn't have harshness or sibilance. Mid tones are sweet but upper mids still has some piercing quality with front presentation. Bass is good. But I thought has more room for lower extension. It lacks little bit of OOMPH factor and punch.
Transients: Decay and attack qualities, are impressive with trebles. But Bass need some more speed. Mids are avaerage. Separation and clarity: I thought it needed some improvement as due to prominent upper mids I felt little congestion in sound, though its separation is very good. Here I have been bit over-critical perhaps. Sound-stage, Airyness: Right out of box it had rather narrow soundstage. But after burning it has impressive soundstaging. There is airyness, but I wish there would have been few more layers of air.

I Modded the DAC with Replacing OPAMP with LM4562, Capacitors with RUBICON ZL series and DIODES with UF4007 ultra fast diodes. Silver solder used for re-soldering. I would have increased the capacitance of power supply with either 4700UF or even 10000UF capacitors. But as it is a precision device I didn't want to deviate from original values.

The Chinese Audio forums mention that removing the AC-filter has some effect on improved sound-stage. I didn't do it again for above reasons but will give it a go later when I burn the DAC after above Mods for 50 hours for comparison.


After 50 hours of burning of modded DAC 2007/04/30

The sound-stage is huge now. The clarity, definition and layering has improved a lot. There is now airyness with few more layers of music. Bass has more deeper extension. Most impressive thing is the punch and attack of bass notes. It can give you sudden well controlled kick now. Trebles are impressive even from the beginning. I think the upper mids are more tamed now. The tonal accuracy is good.

The most improvements were achieved in transients, sound staging and bass after the Mods.

Removing the AC filter showed some little improvement in sound -stage.

What I don't like: Even after modding I do not like its more front presentation of upper mids. Some recordings and loud female voices sometimes give me a feeling that I should adjust sounds with foobar EQ! With HD650, which has laid-back sound this may be a disguised blessing.

I really enjoy this little beauty now. Really enjoyed modding it. My next adventure would be trekking into high-end DAC zone by buying a Stello D100. The Musiland has very user-friendly features, which I will miss a lot, even when I upgrade.
post #2 of 72
Thread Starter 
I am already having ideas to mod this beauty! Should examine it carefully I think output stage OPA275 is the first target! May be with AD 8260! Not to forget power supply capacitors and diodes if they are not fast switching ones!
I have heard that removing DAC POWER FILTER gives more sound stage and clarity!
Some high capacity Panasonic HA power capacitors and Rubicon ZAs will not hurt at all!
post #3 of 72
hey.. thanks for the pictures. i'm too afraid of voiding the warranty on my unit. I've had mine for a couple months and been very happy with it. Enjoy.
post #4 of 72
Thread Starter 
Yeah! I think it is perfect match for laid back Senn House sound and SMIV! That is one reason I went for it. Warm upfront sound!
post #5 of 72
Out of interest, my output is always set at 0dB, howcome yours is set at -17dB? Do you use it as the volume control too?
post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Out of interest, my output is always set at 0dB, howcome yours is set at -17dB? Do you use it as the volume control too?
That is a picture I took as soon as I connected the components! But I should say, when it is connected to Supermacro IV, Zero gain setting gave too much volume and I had to correct it with VIA audio deck.

One way of using headphone amp is making it power amp by keeping its volume maximum and use the source as preamp with volume attenuation. I think as M-10 has electronic volume control it can be used as a preamp in "PRE-POWER" combo. Right now I am using it with zero gain!
post #7 of 72
Thread Starter 
More pictures of the guts!



Power Unit!



The headphone amp uses Hitachi B649 and D669!



OPA275 in output stage!



The ATMEGA48V monolithic integrated circuit chip, central control chip of menu functions!



AC filter which eliminates the EMI disturbances and acts as a ESD protection circuit. But according to some Chinese forums bypassing it gives more natural sound with wide sound stage. It seems to remove warm nature of sound too. Very easy to bypass it too.

post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 
Removal of AC filter, definitely, has some effect!

It is mentioned here

It has a little bit more details and deeper soundstage by removing the filter.

I will check it, when it reaches 50hour mark of burning!
post #9 of 72
Thread Starter 
For those modders, here is my modding plan!

1. There are six (6) 2200uf 25V Electrolytic caps! All are generics. They will be replaced by Rubycon ZL capacitors
2. There are two (2) 470Uf 25V Electrolytics and one 220 Uf 16V electrolytics! They will leave room for Rubycon ZAs!
3. The OP275 will be replaced by LM4562
4. AC filter would be bypassed with a Toggle switch!


There are LM317 based voltage regulaters! All the rectifiers are stock IN4001s. Ultra-fast UA4002 will do good but there are at least six pairs need replacement.
Enough for technical details! I will burn the stock M10 for 50 hrs and then mod it.
Audio impressions will follow!
post #10 of 72
Tube buffer output stage!
post #11 of 72
Thanks for the pictures of the internals. I haven't opened mine yet. But I will.

I've had mine since the beginning of the year and find it to be quite nice for the price. I'm thinking of upgrading and appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Keep us posted as you progress.
post #12 of 72
Thread Starter 
My impressions at 12 hours of burning!

Its warm! Very detailed!! Bass is now more tight and there is better extension. Mids and Trebles are so impressive even out of box. Mids are accurate. Trebles have nice upper extension with very good attack. Not grainy at all.
Sound has upfront presentation. There is bit of opening up in sound-stage. But I think there should be more lateral and vertical extension. Imaging and clarity is good. Its very airy.
I wish, it would have been little less upfront. It brings up shortcomings in harmonics in low bit rate MP3s and poor recordings. I am now listening to my lossless ambient/new-age/ classical collections. I am using the optical toslink for input and line out. Looking at the topology I never bothered to use the in-built amp with my HD650.

Its user interface is very good. Compared to DAC-AH, I had, its nice to have a measure of what DAC is doing. I love the blue LCD! Menu functions are very basic but user friendly.
post #13 of 72
nice review kaushama! I like the blue display. Looks cool. You should try its own amp anf compare with ya supermacro amp and tell me how diff is it?
post #14 of 72
Thread Starter 
After 24 hours!

I love it! Sound-stage has opened up considerably! Treble notes are even more defined now. Still has up-front presentation. Bass notes are clean now. Only thing I dislike in sound, is the little over emphasis on front presentation. May be I am used to Senn House sound.
I am waiting for parts for the Modding op!!!
post #15 of 72
dear me... you've caught the modding bug
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