MSB Link DAC overlooked?
Nov 6, 2007 at 9:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

alleyezon_d

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I was just wondering why there is never mention of this DAC. It got rave reviews and fits within the price range of most DACs discussed here. Is there a reason for this or just because it is not well known? Is it because it doesn't have a USB input that people look at imported DACs first? I might be biased because I do own the original MSB link DAC with Half Nelson upgrades, but it seems alot of China DACs get more recognition than this one. I did see a review for one in the reviews section, so I'm just wondering why in the very common "what DAC should I get threads" this DAC never pops up. Are there known issues? Your comments are appreciated!
 
Dec 12, 2007 at 12:06 AM Post #2 of 23

socrates63

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I think you've identified the reasons why the MSB Link DAC is not often mentioned. It's not being widely available product, and it's an old product lacking modern features, like USB, that many on Head-Fi prefer. In addition, it's a beast, weighing in at nearly 20 pounds and the size of a extra large pizza box. If the HeadAmp Pico craze is any indication, people want small components.

As you said, it's too bad that it's not recommended more often. While looking up information on the Gold Link DAC III, I found that the Link DAC III's price has been halved to $249. I paid $300 for a used one on Audiogon earlier this year. I think the Link DAC III is a very musical DAC, and is an especially wonderful upgrade for those using older or cheap transports.

I bought mine based on comments by some experienced Head-Fi'ers that I was able to dig up.
 
Dec 12, 2007 at 9:49 PM Post #3 of 23

alleyezon_d

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Yea it's an unbelievable deal right now. My personal preferences lean more towards rack sized components because to me they look and fit much better on stands and with other components. I guess it's only a small minority of people (like me) who actually dislike those weird box shaped DACs and components (bel canto DAC2, fubar DAC, zhaolu, beresford, etc) and instead prefer some heft and rack sized items. I agree its more of a stereo type DAC because of its size and lack of a headphone amp. I use mine running out of my computer through coax SPDIF out with no issues. I would love to try their Gold Link DAC or Platinum one in the future.
 
Dec 12, 2007 at 10:53 PM Post #4 of 23

jinp6301

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Quote:

Originally Posted by socrates63 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think you've identified the reasons why the MSB Link DAC is not often mentioned. It's not being widely available product, and it's an old product lacking modern features, like USB, that many on Head-Fi prefer. In addition, it's a beast, weighing in at nearly 20 pounds and the size of a extra large pizza box. If the HeadAmp Pico craze is any indication, people want small components.

As you said, it's too bad that it's not recommended more often. While looking up information on the Gold Link DAC III, I found that the Link DAC III's price has been halved to $249. I paid $300 for a used one on Audiogon earlier this year. I think the Link DAC III is a very musical DAC, and is an especially wonderful upgrade for those using older or cheap transports.

I bought mine based on comments by some experienced Head-Fi'ers that I was able to dig up.



Can I ask where its being sold for half price? My google skills suck :p
 
Dec 13, 2007 at 5:43 AM Post #6 of 23

socrates63

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alleyezon_d /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I guess it's only a small minority of people (like me) who actually dislike those weird box shaped DACs and components (bel canto DAC2, fubar DAC, zhaolu, beresford, etc) and instead prefer some heft and rack sized items.... I would love to try their Gold Link DAC or Platinum one in the future.


Haha, yeah, while I've never seen the Bel Canto DAC in person, its appearance is a real turn off. I also like the size and feel of the MSB products, and it's obvious that they were meant to be used with audio racks.

The other stuff would look funny in a rack. But I can see them being used on desktops though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jinp6301 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Can I ask where its being sold for half price? My google skills suck :p


Ah, yes, sorry about not giving the links. Thanks, Earl.
 
Dec 13, 2007 at 10:21 AM Post #7 of 23

jinp6301

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Dec 13, 2007 at 5:52 PM Post #9 of 23

alleyezon_d

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A quick google search will yield many reviews (soundstage for something "professional" and audioreview for user opinions). Personally, the only other DAC I've heard is the Beresford, and the MSB Link Dac (original version) with Nelson Upgrade was more detailed/clear, dynamic and had better balance. They aren't really in the same price range new, but I did get mine used for $200.

On a side note, I love how the front panel display of the MSB DAC's show in the incoming bitrate, this just made it so much easier to confirm things like bit-perfect signals on my computer as source rig.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 1:31 PM Post #10 of 23

Jaska

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alleyezon_d /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was just wondering why there is never mention of this DAC.


For those outside of the USA, it may well be because of the fact that the shipping alone costs substantially more than the product itself (over $296 for a $249 DAC). If it weren't for that, it would definitely be on my list.
 
Dec 15, 2007 at 10:22 PM Post #11 of 23

IPodPJ

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Screw the Link DAC III.
tongue.gif
I want to know how much the Platinum DAC III is. I can't find prices for it.
 
Dec 16, 2007 at 9:51 PM Post #12 of 23

angchuck

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Well, the link dac, when modified, is one of the better sources in price to performance that i have had. The pcb fills less that half the the space of that tank of a case. I guess relatively cheaper stuff had to look industry-worthy to be taken seriously back then when there really was not a lot of chinese made stuff.
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:07 AM Post #13 of 23

Cata1yst

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Appearance is a huge turn off....but its the sound that counts right guys?....guys?
biggrin.gif


Just need it to turn up at a meet or have a handful of people get them...most we ever hear about is zahalou mods. bresford. and PS
 
Dec 17, 2007 at 1:59 PM Post #14 of 23

dhwilkin

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I had a Dan Wright-modded MSB Link DAC III many years ago. It sounded quite good... somewhat warm, definitely musical, reasonably good on details. I tried an Art DI/O DAC w/ upgraded PSU (no improvement, sterile tonality), ARC CD3 (a step above, but didn't like overall tonality), and an Arcam FMJ CD-33 (a step above, but didn't like overall tonality) before going up to a Musical Fidelity NuVista as an upgrade to it. Haven't heard any recent dacs like the Benchmark, Zhalou, etc...
 
Dec 18, 2007 at 12:39 AM Post #15 of 23

alleyezon_d

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Yup, Musical Fidelity stuff is just plain good.

I've seen MSB Platinum DAC's sell on the used market for $1200-ish. Shipping for the product to Canada is about $60 which isn't too bad considering it's heft. I personally think the metal casing makes it look much better than things like the beresford, zhaolu, etc. it looks great under my Audio Refinement Integrated amp. And I guess the reason you wouldn't see it much at meets is because it is very large and heavy!
 

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