When I looked in to your thread I was amazed that you are planning to setup your digital front-end just like how I set up mine. I am currently using a Philips 921 (Transport) XLO Ultra 4 going to DIP (24/96 Version) XLO Reference 4a going to MSB LINK II. My result is a super fast accurate mid- and high-freq with pin point focus (XLO's Characteristic). Very punchy and speedy yet well define low-freq. Midrange has a bit shadow of tubes but just not too sweet and colored. (I dont like things to sound too tuby, I like fast and well define accurate sound) Hype everyone up when my system is playing Jazz and "Chesky Records". Transparent elegant mid to high with speedy and punchy low, yet just a little tuby (MSB Link DAC Characteristic. Somebody think MSBs are a little bit too bright, but I like it; just match it with maybe Kimber and Cardas from the MSB to your Preamp and it will fix the problem. A lot of you may want to get Link III Gold or Nelson Version which will cost you maybe triple the price of Link II. To me, Link II has always satified what I looked for. I tried Link I, it sound just like a DAC-IN-THE-BOX, of cox it's better, but won't go no where. Link II is good. I heard Link III at my friend and the characteristic is just like Link II but has a average of 15-20% improvement overall, and it's better easier for upgrading. To me, Link II and Link II are both good, if I were to buy a Link III, I will go get a Nelson or Gold Version with the PowerBase; since I am going Link III (if...) might as well get the most out of it. To use the DIP is a smart choice, lower jitter to a incredible level, but at the same time sucked away a lot of mid-freq juice. If cables changing couldn't help getting the mid-freq back alive, take away the DIP. One thing though, if you are not using DIP 24/96 your Link II will not get a true 24bit signal, because DIP will reprocess it to 44.1. I like XLOs, but you may wanna use other sweeter sounding cables since XLO might comes up too bright on your system. Email me if you have any question.
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