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Musical Fidelity M1 DAC - Any Impressions?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

New from Musical Fidelity is a a four-input upsampling digital to analogue converter, the M1 DAC, and a novel headphone amplifier, the M1 HPA, which has both analogue and USB inputs, and can double as a simple preamplifier.

The DAC goes on sale at around £399 early in July, while the headphone amp will follow late in August at £499.

The M1 DAC has conventional and balanced electrical digital inputs, an optical digital in and a USB connection, will lock onto any S/PDIF signal at 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz or 192kHz, and can also upsample to 24-bit/192kHz.

It also uses choke filtration on the mains input, and the company says its technical performance is "pretty well as good as any at any price.

"There’s no secret or mystery about this. We use top quality digital components in carefully designed circuit configurations which are subtly implemented on brilliant PCB layouts.

"Looking at the M1 DAC’s total measurements and comparing them to any DAC up to ten times its price you will see that, on balance, the M1 DAC is equal to or better than any."

The company is similarly bullish about its M1 HPA pure Class A headphone amplifier, which has line and USB inputs, loop-out stereo output, a variable line output and two headphone sockets.

It says that "Distortion is incredibly low (less than .0005% across the band) frequency response is ruler flat. Noise ratio is outstanding, and extraordinary low output impedance means that it can drive any headphone with complete linearity and low distortion."

 

Source : whathifi

post #2 of 63

HiFi World praises the M1 but I'm still waiting on people opinion.. Very interested in this dac!

post #3 of 63
Thread Starter 

Interesting, gotta wait till more impressions come out!

post #4 of 63

Underwood Hi-Fi says they are available to order.  

 

 

post #5 of 63

I was disappointed when I saw its innards. Sometimes less is more but c'mon, what's with that power supply. Like from 50usd portable unit. The rest of the board doesn't look impressive either.

post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexon View Post

I was disappointed when I saw its innards. Sometimes less is more but c'mon, what's with that power supply. Like from 50usd portable unit. The rest of the board doesn't look impressive either.


Oops.  Looks like they forgot to put in a power supply.  

 

Still interested, though...

post #7 of 63
Thread Starter 

Can someone translate the conclusions of the M1 dac to english?

post #8 of 63

Ok, my German is horrific but from what I can tell:

 

Obviously there's no LED for 176.4khz. Apart from that they have no complaints. There's "nothing else" wrong.

The benefits include the balanced output.

 

Apparently the upsampling is in a separate module to prevent jitter during the processing.

 

They say the components are good and the "operation" and "processing" are very good. I assume this to mean the sound quality and DA conversion are very good.

They also say it's good for the price.

 

(I probably should check this with google translate as I'm certainly less accurate) :D

post #9 of 63

The video review on audio advisor states how M1DAC has a much better psu than the VDAC. I'd like to know what the heck they are talkin about.

post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexon View Post

I was disappointed when I saw its innards. Sometimes less is more but c'mon, what's with that power supply. Like from 50usd portable unit. The rest of the board doesn't look impressive either.

I agree.  That thing does not have enough doohickies for me!  I ascribe to a fiddler on the roof philosophy - If you don't need staircases or have multiple floors, get them anyway just for show.  Can they shove some random stuff in there for the picture at least?  Have you seen the Reference 7?

 

RE78.jpg
 

post #11 of 63

I agree. The innards of any of the audio-gd dacs put almost all other brands to shame.

post #12 of 63

Just wondering in regards to the photo above, if the two units do the same thing and jitter measurements are the same (for example sake), then why is it that one unit requires so much more components and gadgetry than the other?

Is there any point in having the excessive bits and pieces?

 

Just curious to know.. also in the market for a dac and both AudioGD and MF are high on my list.. :D

post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman View Post

Just wondering in regards to the photo above, if the two units do the same thing and jitter measurements are the same (for example sake), then why is it that one unit requires so much more components and gadgetry than the other?


Perhaps because there's a lot that goes into (or should go into) a reference grade DAC. See Jeff Rowland for examples on how to fit empty circuit boards into $10K components. The Ref 7 has eight 1704 DACs. The MF has presumably one.. of something. They don't mention anywhere what chip is being used, which I think is disappointing. I think if the chip was something to be proud of (Sabre, 1704, etc.) they'd want to talk about it. All that said, the price is pretty reasonable and I think one of the British Hifi mags gave it a decent review. Still I have no doubt that an Audio-GD for similar money would flatten it.


Edited by DaveBSC - 9/21/10 at 7:00am
post #14 of 63
Thread Starter 

One and probably the only thing that got me interested in the M1dac is the success of the Vdac. In both cases, they seem quite naked when it comes to component and bragging rights. If MF can produce something like the Vdac at 150 pounds, it would be very interesting to see what they can do for 400.

post #15 of 63

I have one on the way. Perhaps next week you´re gonna hear my extremely useless comments on it. = ) My first real DAC, so... I can´t probably tell anything right away because I really doubt the difference will be anything stunning. I might be wrong of course.

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