Originally Posted by threed
Anybody able to compare it to the Rega DAC? Or any links to existing post doing such comparation.
I am unable to find such.
I own a Rega Dac and currently demoing the MDac.
The majority of my listening has been through these setups:
Laptop USB -> Rega Dac -> Rega Brio-R -> Monitor Audio Rx1
Laptop USB -> MDac -> Rega Brio-R -> Monitor Audio Rx1
Sources include JRiver CD ripped flacs and Spotify.
I have tested with both Dacs plugged so I can instantly switch between them on my PC and change the input on the Brio-R. This way I can seamlessly go back and forth for comparison.
My impressions are as follows:
After unboxing the MDac I have to say that it looked a lot nicer than I thought it was going to be, one of my worries was that it would look a bit ugly compared to my Rega Dac, but this is not the case.
Initial impressions after plugging in the MDac were that the soundstage was more pronounced than the Rega, but everything sounded extremely harsh to my ears and overly digital. I spent about 1 hour flicking between the 2 dacs and at this stage the Rega was the clear winner to my ears.
Later I tried disabling the MDacs digital pre-amp. This seemed to change the sound considerably and flicking between dac outputs I could barely tell the difference between the 2, in fact at that stage if it was a blind test I doubt I would have been able to tell them apart. I found this quite on considering the MDac pre-amp is digital, so turning it off should have effectively been the same as having the pre-amp volume set to 0db (Which it was). So I contacted the dealer to let them know my findings and to my surprise this demo unit was actually brand new and as such the sonic differences I was hearing could in fact be down to the burn in.
With this new knowledge after the last few days I've noticed the MDac really start to change. The Rega definitely sounds more analogue and smooth than the MDac, a couple of days ago when the MDac was really started to sound different to the Rega I actually started to wonder whether I preferred this analogue sound. Perhaps the MDac was too clinical for me?
Comparing the 2 last night I can clearly say that I now prefer the MDac sound. The soundstage is much larger than the Rega, there is a lot more detail and to me the sound is more exciting. Switching from the MDac back to the Rega it almost feels like their is a very slight veil over the speakers. The MDac no longer sounds overly clinical to me.
Another thing I noticed last night is that performance from my TV to the MDac via optical sounds superior to me. With all this in mind I've almost made up my mind to replace my Rega with the MDac and I'm also toying with the idea of replacing my Brio-R with a power amp as recommended by the MDac designer.
I'll be having my final day of listening today where I will make a final decision on which dac to keep - but right now I'm thinking MDac.
One more thing of note - On the first day of testing I did try the headphone out to my HD650s and thought the sound was OK, but my old Essence One sounded better to my ears in this instance. I'll do some more headphone tests today as the burn in will have likely changed this also.
Hope this helps.
Edited by Mutsu - 6/5/12 at 5:48am