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Purchased Audiolab M-DAC.... - Page 2

post #16 of 21

I have been listening to my MDAC for the last few days and I have to say I am mightily impressed. I am running it into my Phonitor with a pair of T1s. There is a real fullness to the sound that I love. Extremely detailed, yet there's no harshness at all. The thing I love about the MDAC is that it is forgiving to badly recorded music, yet still retains it's detailed presentation. How does it do that?


I don't think I will be replacing my equipment for a very long time, if ever. Unless Beyer bring out an upgrade for the T1 with removable cables.


This is a replacement unit, the first one would stutter randomly and drop out playing 24/192 files. This one seems spot on though.


Very happy!

post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by aphinity View Post


how did you connect the mdac to your computer?  toslink?


how does the mdac sound so far?  burning in nice?


Yes, optical out from Asus STX to M-DAC.


Can't say I noticed any changes in the sound.  I thought it sounded excellent out of the box. 

post #18 of 21

Hi all, I purchased an Audiolab M-Dac today and am very pleased with it so far.. Just updated the firmware and very grateful for the option to dim the display.  The only gripe I have about the unit is that the volume control feels very cheap and not at all satisfying to turn.  I bought this dac to use as a headphone amp and having remote control is crucial for me so the volume knob is not a major issue.

I'd be grateful if someone could explain what the 'filters' are for as they all sound the same to me..



post #19 of 21

I also bought the same Dac/Amp combo and using it to drive Hifiman HE-500. Frankly the headphones need more amplification than the M-DAC can provide. But I have noticed that earlier on the image from the left channel was weak compared to the centre and right. Everything was a bit congested and centred. I have been using the amp for about 8 day and slowly but surely the left image is getting stronger. And the soundstage is getting wider. I personally think that this Amp requires a burn in time to reach its best. Before this I had the Arcam rPac so this was a big jump for me. But even the rPac needed some burn in time. I have upgraded the firmware to the latest from the Wiki and find that very interesting that the designer is working on software updates outside the company. 


The filters all sound the same to me with maybe very slight change in sound. I am using Optimal XD, someone had commented that Optimal DD was better. Well my ears dont hear any change between the two. Would have loved it if the manual that came with the product would have explained each filter/use of it.


All in all I think its a lovely product a bit expensive. But would not look at it as a one unit solution for people who have hard to drive Headphones. As a DAC it is really 5 star. 


Currently I am running it from USB (wire world cable) straight from my Mac and using the Amp out. Hopefully soon I should have a dedicated Amp to power my HE-500.

post #20 of 21

So I bought a Corda Jazz to go along with the M-Dac expecting the world. Well Actually cant really see that much difference except that the Corda Jazz can drive the HE-500 to where my ears would start to bleed. But at a reasonable level the M-Dac sounds the same as the Corda Jazz. Atleast to my ears. Which proves only one thing M-Dac can run HE500 at a reasonable volume level and Corda Jazz is a very neutral amplifier (meaning it does not take or give away from the sound that comes out of the DAC). Frankly I am impressed with the Headphone out on the M-Dac. The Corda Jazz is around £300 and is only an Amplifier without DAC. 


My main goal from this setup was to get a wider soundstage and more instrument separation. I feel I have failed. The sound from the headphone out of the M-Dac sounds in my opinion the same as from the Corda Jazz. OK there might be small difference but apart from running HE500 at a higher volume setting I do not see much change.


It makes me feel like I wasted my money getting an Amplifier. Could have gone with a Lehmann with USB Dac or a Burson 160D. That would have costed me less and maybe would have provided a better sound. 


Would a Burson HA-160D provide a better sound quality? Than M-Dac/Corda Jazz.

post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by kasimoa View Post

Would a Burson HA-160D provide a better sound quality? Than M-Dac/Corda Jazz.


Haven't heard the HA-160D but the HA-160 is one of the most boring and unengaging amps I have heard. I guess they share amp section.

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