I would go a Mytek Manhattan II w/ Network Card but also consider Bluesound in the mix. I am not knowledgeable of tube based equipment, but someone might chime in with their experience.
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Thanks all. I was leaning Manhattan, as I do quite like the sound of the Brooklyn, but wasn’t sure if I was missing some obvious options. The Lumin X1 looks pretty amazing but it’s 2x the cost of the Manhattan.
As for the Roon interface, I’m guessing you’re kidding? It’s practically unusable. The only thing it’s even moderately functional for is searching. My setup now is to use Tidal and Apple Music to browse and discover then search for the specific track or playlist on Roon.
Auralic Vega G2
No Roon, very nice.
Audio iFi Pro iDSD
Hybrid : solid state and tube
l have one and itl is fine.
DSD files can only be played trought USB
I am new to this, so maybe I misunderstand the question, but I'm surprised to not see the Aurender A10. That gets you the streamer with a built in DAC. Three of the auditions I've had used it and it impressed me greatly.
The PS Audio Directstream with network bridge card does not have a built in DAC.
The PS Audio Directstream with or without network bridge IS a DAC ! I know, I have one with Bridge II and it is an exceptional DAC worth every penny. I use my PS Audio Transport and PS Audio NuWave Phono Pre using the I2S connections as well as the network bridge via JRiver 24 to feed my listening needs.
If the OP hadn’t ordered a Manhattan, I would have highly suggested the PS Audio Directstream w/ Bridge.
I too, would have recommended the PS Audio DAC, especially as it can be had for considerably less than it's list price, either through the PS Audio trade-in program (where they credit you for the original MSRP of your used equipment) or from a certain well-known online dealer. I love mine. I used it for some time without a preamp, which was fine, but it's even better with a high-quality preamp. (I've been in heaven since I added the PS Audio BHK preamp to the chain.) But if you're OK with spending $7K on a DAC, the Manhattan may well be superior. I haven't heard it.
IMO, the ps audio DS with bridge ii is hard to beat. If you aren’t using some kind of bridge, you are using old technology and sacrificing SQ. Ditch the troublesome usb connection. Also, FPGA dacs are the future and the ps audio DS uses that technology today. If you aren’t using a FPGA dac, you will either be unable to upgrade when new technology comes out or you will have to pay a good sum of $$$$ the upgrade the dac. A case in point, to add MQA support to my ps audio DS dac, I had to update both the DS software and the bridge software, at no cost. My buddy had to pay $1500 to get a new card for his out of date msb analog dac, which still makes his outdated dac outdated.
all, I appreciate the suggestions for PS Audio. As you can tell, it was second on my list. I did order the Manhattan II, but if anyone is in the SF Bay Area and would like to set up a side by side comparison, I'd be interested. My only other option is to buy both and sell the one I don't like. There really aren't any comparisons of the two. It might be nice to get a head to head comparison write up. I'm sure both are excellent DACs.
@chachi112 It was tough finding reviews of the S1 and it seems a little out of date with the X1 arriving. That said, I would love to hear them side by side. The nice thing about the Manhattan is that I have the Brooklyn already, so I know I generally like the Mytek sound signature. That said, I may like the Lumin, PS Audio, Chord, or Aurender sound even better.
I've heard the Chord Dave and Huge TT, but not with the same setup as anything else, so tough to compare. I do have a Violectic V800 DAC, and I can't seem to find good info on which chip type it uses, but the Brooklyn does sound better overall (while the V800 does perhaps have sweeter mids).
gotcha. I think you’ve made a good choice with the Manhattan. Don’t want you to second guess your choice, but I would agree with Lumin, Aurender, Naim but also SimAudio MIND-based sources. MIND was one of the first components/modules to showcase 24/192 streaming.
Also, if you are a member of the SFAS in the Bay Area, you could suggest to Alón (Prez) to have a streamer showdown with other streamers for comparison.
David Ten, their are only a few reference level streaming devices on the market you will either have a computer/streaming kind of device:
Baestis, Antipodes, Innous, SGM, Aurender, Naim Core
the dedicated network streamer without storage:
One of the leading questions is do you want to use Roon and or Jriver?
We find that upconversion to higher upsampled PCM or DSD usually sounds way better than 16/44
The Innous new statement is probably the finest digital source currently available the design and feature set of this piece is off the charts:
1: custom motherboard
2: custom usb board
3: custom software
4: femto clocks
5: massive regulated outboard power supply
6: shock mounted drives
7:incomming ethernet noise filter
8: usb isolation
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
@tdimler thanks! I watched several of the PS Audio videos on YouTube. I thought it was interesting that the founder specifically mentioned not really liking B&W, which makes me think the DirectStream and 802 might not be the best combo anyway. I’m looking for an accurate, uncolored sound with authority. In particular, for orchestral music.
Hi all... Just took delivery of a Manhattan II with network card (no phono preamp as yet... likely upgrade soon). Note that I am coming from a PS Audio DS and before that, an Auralic Vega. My setup, real quick, is running the Manhattan as preamp to BMC M2 mono amps which power a pair of Focal Utopia Scala (v1). Most of my music is stored in a Sony HAP-Z1ES server connected via usb to the Manhattan.
All in all, I am blown away. I cannot speak to Lumin or Aurender, but I cannot imagine resolution, tight bass and overall dynamism to get better than this. $7K is a lot of money but you get what you pay for. As someone said, the PSA DS was a bit softer... great if you have a bright system. For me though, the Manhattan hit the sweet spot. The Vega was good too but somewhat less sophisticated and mature compared to the Manhattan’s sound signature. Michal at Mytek has hit a home run. My only suggestion to Michal moving forward would be a better quality network card. Mine quits working every now and then.
sourojit, its been 2mos + since your last post on the Manhattan dac and was curious as to the overall experience since the last update? I have the PSA DS DAC II and Luxman 900u and 700c combo with ML 15's and am looking for an upgrade believe it or not..? Another mirage perhaps.. I had the Brooklyn and loved it but fell into the PSA camp and have really enjoyed a broad range of their products, all excellent! Leaning hard towards the Manhattan now..what you say!?
As much as I liked my Brooklyn and was looking at the Manhattan as an upgrade, I dumped it and won’t buy another Mytek product. Support, when you can get it, is poor. It’s not a well run company on the business side of things.
Bricasti, on the other hand, is light years better in communicating and providing service.
Good luck on getting answers from Mytek. I don’t like seeing people unhappy with their stuff.
Like other folks here, looking for a DAC that will play Quoboz via an on-board bridge or with an external streaming server (thoughts and suggestions on either configuration welcome).
My short list of contenders, in no particular order:
PS Audio DirectStream with Bridge II
Naim ND5 XS 2
Mytek Manhattan II
Linn Selekt DSM with Katalyst
Anything else I should consider?
From what I gathered, Mytek support can be underwhelming. It may not be an issue if the product works flawlessly, but can be frustrating if there are issues.
I've had good experience with PS Audio, they are very responsive. I like that their DAC is upgradable. I like that it is FPGA-based, and I do like the idea of converting every manner of input format to DSD before analog. Quite frankly, my main concern with their DAC is the grainy touchscreen with dated interface that a lot of folks complain about and some find downright ugly.
I auditioned Linn with a local dealer and will buy from them if I decide to go with Linn. It looks very nice, they are selling it for around $7,000 with Katalyst.
It is interesting to note that all the DACs are in the $6,000 to
$7,000 range - thereby defining a market segment and competing directly with each other.
I'd give strong consideration to the Manhattan II.....it is a very competent piece of gear. I had the Manhattan I and now Manhattan II.....one thing I haven't had much desire to swap out. I've actually had VERY good support from Mytek...I just recommend calling them on the phone rather than email etc.
It is a totally different sound from the PS audio you mentioned which will sound very soft compared to Mytek.
A few points. First, Bluesound does support AirPlay.
Second, I am a former owner of the Manhatten I. I loved it but I declined to upgrade to Manhatten II. I currently use the Bryston DAC3. These are very different sounding DACs, with the Mytek being very detailed and occasionally a bit to clinically. The Bryston has just as much detail but it is more of a mid concert hall experience rather than a front row seat.
I also have the Bryston BDP3 streamer. It’s two boxes, but together they would be in your price range. It is a major sonic upgrade from my previous streamer, Bluesound Vault2, but the app is clunky.
@mahler123 Are you using Roon with your setup? To me the appeal of a streamer (separate or integrated with the DAC) is that I can use streaming services and NAS, while controlling it with something that has an intuitive and pleasant to use interface (maybe Roon on iPad or PC, or something similar). A clunky app would totally kill the buzz for me. Can you comment on that, please? Does Bryston require a proprietary app to control the BDP3?
Rockna Audio’s sister company AudioByte have just released a dac with separate power supplies, with a yet to be released streamer to complete the stack all for under $6,000.00.
AudioByte Hydra Vox dac and Hub streamer stack.
Audio manufacturers like PS Audio and other highly regarded brands have commissioned Rockna to help develop their own digital products, brilliant guy with much to offer .
The description of the AudioByte stack is really very interesting and I will listen this new dac next month .
US dealers Vlad Bazelkov AudioMirror.com and MikePowell.com I believe is the North American distributor for AudioByte.