Musiland Monitor series driver update, version 18.104.22.168 (31,Jul, 2012)
supports windows 8 customer preview
Official direct download link :
I have been using this DAC for years now with my sr80i and A700. I was thinking of selling the two and getting the dt770 250ohm but I'm not sure the musiland would be suitable for this change. What do you guys think?
I have the 02 US and I love it's sound, but I'm planning to make an upgrade.
Has anyone already made a comparison among the 02, 02 dragon, 03 and 03 dragon? Which one sounds better?
I like 02 because its power cord and the isolation that it provides, and I know that the 03's doesn't have it...
So I installed Windows 8 and I can no longer use ASIO through Foobar with my MM02US. I also cannot change to 'Precision' mode even with nothing running (says there is an audio application running).
I am running 22.214.171.124 (never had any luck with other drivers). I tried installing the latest 126.96.36.199 but I cannot get past the part where it tries to find 'MlCyMon.msi' (I think it is trying to uninstall the old drivers). I tried everything...uninstalling old drivers, unplugging, restarting, etc. Also cannot find this .msi file.
Anyone have any luck getting this thing to work with ASIO in Windows 8? Thanks..
I want to buy a cheap USB DAC for office usage. It seems like Musiland 02 will be enough for me. I can see several offers on ebay and they all have different notes like "2010 version" or "the newest 2011 version" etc. Does anybody know if there are real differences or just firmware?
So far as I can tell, it may be just the firmware. Mine is of the older type and required a firmware update very early on so that I could upgrade the drivers. This was easily done. I am now using drivers 14 which, for regular 02 models, is just as good as one needs for up to Windows 7. They do have newer drivers but it seems like they cover the more recent Dragon models. One of the more recent drivers works with Win 8.
Now, there is also a Musiland 02 Dragon (and a 03 also). I don't care much for it. These latest models only need USB power (no AC). To do this, they use a nice DAC/amp multifunction chip that requires lower power. There is one downside to this one, it appears. Unless it has been fixed recently, this PCM5102 chip seems to be prone to behavior akin to clipping in some situations. Besides, the potential of higher than 192khz can only be attained with other Musiland gear or connector. So, I am not salivating for them.
Thus, I am just upgrading my old 02, something that I started and then dropped quite a while ago because I got too busy.
I've just received legendary Koss 4AAA 250 Ohm phones and my DIY ampl doesn't drive them well, it is only for low impedance phones. Is it any change that Musiland will do it? Of cause I mean not volume level, but full frequency range. I understand that separate amp is better for such purpose. But I wouldn't make a big setup on my workplace.
Stage 1 of mods to a Musiland 02 US (original model, now called 2010?) completed a week ago and tested this weekend after 130 hours of burn in. These are based on what Fab_flix did long ago (in postings from aprox pages 78 to 82).
I am not doing them in the same order. I started with the opamps; Fab_flix began with the caps first.
This mod stage, the opamps alone, is worth the trouble. In my dedicated audio PC, the modded Musiland 02 which has a PCM1793 DAC is scaring the crap out of my player, which has a PCM1796. Not bad at all.
If enough interest merits it, I will go into the detail of how the sound changed vs my player. However, I am not testing with cans, just speakers.
The 2nd stage started this evening. Just 2 caps changed. Another week before I know if it was worth it or it was a mistake*.
(*LOL! Please note that it appears that Fab_flix no longer owns the unit he modified...)
Ektalog - I'm definitely interested in hearing your opinion on the individual changes. As mentioned previously my situation required that I do all of the mods at once.
I'm still currently using the MM02 but am waiting on the arrival of an MHDT Paradisea+.. It should then make for an excellent transport! Impressions to follow..
DJ, what values & brands did you use? In the meantime, I'll look up some notes that I have in a laptop left at the office and tell about "stage 1" later this next week.
Today, I was just starting stage 3. However, I made a boo boo with the soldering iron and damaged the red WIMA cap and stopped. [One freakishly nice hole on top of it proved that I still have the right skills to mess up this project grandly! ] Perhaps it was for the best. This, and what I relate below about "stage 2" is affecting the schedule of, and thoughts about, the mods.
Last night I had finished a week of break-in and evaluation of stage 2: changing the 2 caps that are near the PCM1793. These seem to be part of the output linkage from the digital side of the circuit board, not the analog side. I may have mentioned earlier my fear that this change could be a mistake. Fab_flix had replaced these with 4.7uF Black Gates. Yet, when I opened the M02 after ordering 4.7uF Elna Silmic-II, I found that the original factory values were much lower (.33uF 50v). So, I had some misgivings.
Anyway, here is how things stack up thus far. This is with these Elna S-II caps in almost constant playback for 130+ hours plus some 7 hours' worth of deliberate pauses, distributed for effect
A. The first result of replacing these seems to be that imaging contrast suffered a little. Specifically, the respective "space slot" of each object [instruments/voices in 3D space front to back] is less obvious. I talking about spacing contrast not the objects themselves. The objects remained as sharp as before.
For example, the singer in the foreground and the piano well back behind are not in a different position. They are still where they were perceived before. Yet, that depth does not jump at you so quickly. This was an improvement that had been gained from the op amps...now it was lost when these caps came. My speakers (planars) image very well and these imaging changes tend to be easy to detect. Yet, even the rinky dinky set of Sony wireless headphones that I have here (a friend borrowed my better ones...forever, it seems ) could show the loss.
To be sure, imaging is not worse than when the M02 had no mods. Again, it simply is loss of an improvement that it got from the new op amps, when compared to my player. This perceived loss was evident from day one and never got better along the week.
B. Another negative impact appears to be a slight loss of top end percussive "crystallinity" (say, triangles) and harmonic sheen of violins.
With stage 1, after the op amps replacement, for the first time ever, the analog outs of the M02 could almost always match the analog output of my Denon 3910 player on this count. The 3910, in this mode and playback signal path, uses the PCM1796, vs the 1793 in the M02. To make sure, I then rigged things for a "passive pre-amp mode" (straight from the Musiland > to power amps via the PLLXO.) No joy. This loss was evident from the start but became less pronounced after 50 hours or so...then it stabilized at a still insufficient level.
C. Almost forgot... I could never put a finger to it but decays appear to have been reduced. The issue is so faint that I have no reliable way to be sure yet. Always present, from the beginning.
D. For now, I'll call this one a "positive": A VERY slight gain in warmth of the "good kind" showed up in a few pieces of music. This came very late in the game, after the first 100 hours or so.
So...the problem could be
1.) the new, higher values,
2.) that these Elnas may be better than the Nichicon FG they replaced, but not in THIS particular role,
3.) that even 130+ hours break in is not enough for the Elna S-II ???
4.) a mix of these.... or
5.) Perhaps the moon was in a different phase this week
Now I am undecided as to how to proceed. The unit is open on the table...while I write this...and think this through even as I write.
- As soon as I heard the issues early in the week, I decided to order caps of original values...just in case. I found and ordered the same Nichicon FG (Fine Gold) .33uF/50v, like the M02 came with.
- The issue of the damaged WIMA 1uFcap almost threw a monkey wrench. Fortunately, I have some broken-in caps of the same value and whose behavior I know well...they are indistinguishable from WIMA in this kind of role. I replaced the WIMA with one (and I ordered more WIMA for retro-comparo later, if needed). Note that this is where Fab_flix placed a large Mundorf cap as a final mod.
Part of me wants to take out the Elnas and put the "correct values" to see if that recovers the losses.
Or, I could just leave the Elnas on for another intensive week... and probably do nothing else but confirm that the cap I just used to replace the WIMA has no audible effect. However, I am also intrigued by that warmth that was observed with the Elna S-II, slight as it was, late in this test phase. Could additional break-in bump this up (wanted or not)?
Hmm, actually, there is additional logic to doing this ...
...many of the other replacement caps are also going to be Elna S-II. Yet, to my surprise (after I opened the Musiland) these would be replacing not "crappy caps", as someone may have said. Some of these in the Musiland are Nichicon KG, their best in the Muse line.
So, a line of thought is to NEXT -- a week from now -- replace the rest of the caps that will not have Elnas. This would leave the rest of the Elnas for the very end.
What would be the point? Well, we may get further experience on Elna Silmic II vs Nichicon KG, something about which I can't find enough reliable details on the web. The fact IS that right now the Musiland 02 with its original Nichicon KG caps ain't too shabby.
Perhaps your early input may steer my thoughts on this. You may have observations that could shed some light.
Ektalog - I used:
Elna Silmic II
2x 50V/4.7uF (stock were 100V)
Panasonic FM Series
Your finds are interesting for sure. I would like to hear your impressions after ~300 hours. I feel thats when mine finished settling down. To me they seemed to sound the worst at around the 80-120 hour mark then increasingly got better from there. Remember, I was breaking everything in at once too so... Also, because of this I only noticed a slight increase in the overall output of the unit.
My goal was to reduce the digital glare of this unit since I have unforgiving headphones and speakers. The added warmth and silkiness these caps provided was well accepted. If your findings support going nearer to the stock values then I have no problem reverting back a piece at a time to observe the changes.
I couldn't find much either on Elna Silmic II vs Nichicon KG. Though I only had time to briefly skim. That would also be interesting to hear your thoughts on the matter.