I have been waiting on this for a looong time.
Edited by tim3320070 - 11/6/13 at 10:43am
I see there is a new 3-pin ACSS connector. I have a Phoenix and a Ref.7 with the "old" 4-pin connector. Does anyone know it's just a new connector or is the signal itself also different? I really like this "one case" Phoenix!
That concerned me too but he states that it's better SQ. Also, the knobs were breaking in shipment too often I guess. I am hoping to be the first buyer- I sold my Phoenix months ago for this.
Just a different connector, same 4 pin wiring. They have the cable that goes from the old style to the new mini-xlr type. The biggest difference for this over the Phoenix is the ACSS output (there are other internal changes but I don't know what). This only matters if you have an ACSS speaker amp (which I do).
So Tim you knew this will get released? I always wanted a full sized balanced headphone amp. I heard about the knobs breakig but how does it help make the sound better? Because its all digital now?
Yeah, I knew about it months ago but was asked to keep it confidential. I was bugging him to make a Phoenix with ACSS output and apparently he had it in the works already.
It may well have stayed in Chinese as I don't really understand it but this is from the webpage:
The volume control is also different from conventional technology. Conventional volume control technology is the volume control implement in the analog amp input stage through a volume pot to reduce the signal . but the volume pots quality effect the sound quality direct , the low quality volume pot cause lost the detail and channels imbalance cause the soundstage distortion . Even the high performance volume pot still cause the detail lose.
But in the Master-5 , we applied the I/V conversion volume control , the volume control just a variable passive I/V conversion place at the ACSS amp output , where the output is the current signal, not the voltage signal. The volume control is I/V conversion, and the volume depends on the current (I) conversion to the voltage (V). (Like R-2R D/A chips output passive I/V conversion) It can keep the signal frequency band flat and not lost any detail. It can't degrade on sound quality in every volume level . After the volume , there are four groups diamond non-feedback buffer output stages offer the very low output impedance .
Mark Levinson also knows that current volume control has great benefits, so in their Top End preamp NO.32 volume control, they use many components to change the signal to current signal (I), then through the R-2R network to control the volume, and then change back to voltage signal (V) again. But Master-5 is simply a more complete work in terms of the current signal, and technically, it is superior to conventional technology.
The volume control quality is much important in the real balance gear . It must guarantee the four channels signal control exact to achieve the performance of the real balance gear . If the cool and hot of the balance signal can't guarantee exact, the balance output will has large distortion cause the sound quality and performance even much worst than a single end gear waste the balance gear design and the cost.
In Master-5 is applied a four channels digital control relays based volume control. Master-5 has 99 steps exponential characteristic volume control allow users smooth to control the volume level . .Master-5 has total four channels through changing the DALE resistors to control the volume for avoid channels imbalanced ,achieve the best performance and sound quality of the gear.