Meitner/EMM Labs Firmware Upgrade = Sonic Bliss

As some of you know EMM Labs/Meitner has just released a MAJOR Firmware Upgrade for the DAC2x and MA-1.

I have the MA-1 and here is my impressions on the differences in the sonics after the upgrade.


OK, So far I hear HUGE dynamics with more lifelike harmonics, better imaging, separation of instruments, with a bigger sound-stage, cleaner-less noise, not that it was noisy before, better spacial cues. Better leading and trailing edge. Highs that go ever so high but are not harsh but clean, in a natural way. Better timing and pace, so more musical...etc.

And I can go on and on. I do not know how they could do so much of a sonic improvement with just a Firmware Upgrade.

Two of the PCM hirez albums I used. Lang Lang, Rachmaninoff:Piano Concert No, 3 (24/176) and Dave Brubeck, Concord on a Summer Night.

I have not tried DSD yet.

Contact your dealer or EMM LABS or Meitner for the firmware.
That's what I like about digital Hardware. No matter what you/we own right now, no matter how expensive the unit was/is, the next upgrade is always a sonic revolution. A game changer. Something ultra terrific. Something which beams us back into a dark cave when not jumping for it...

Sometimes (but only sometimes) I ask myself, why did nobody hear the flaws before? Is a correct tonal reproduction something which comes over night from outer space?
Syntax, the same can be said for analog or just about anything. There is not much in the world that does not progress and get better.

But you read too much into my impressions. The MA-1 prior to the Firmware Upgrade was by no means wanting at all.
It was/is one of the best sounding DAC's in the world. With this firmware it is now that much better.

And I think it is great that some digital gear CAN have improvements made that are free to the end user. I can not think of any analog gear that can be improved upon by a just free update.

Is there one for the XDS1 v1? :(
Doggie, I am not sure. The best thing to do is email them and ask.

I know they are working on another update for later this year.
Is there a cost to receive this firmware update? How did you get yours? Only through a dealer? I wonder why there is no press release on it shown on the EMM Labs web site.
There is NO cost for the Firmware Upgrade.

Try your dealer first, then EMM Labs/Meitner websites, or email them. But make sure you email the right person and dept.

It is ready and should be posted any day now.

There are a lucky few of us that got it just before it is about to be posted.
The XDS1 v1 does not get the upgrade. I am a bit cheesed off. This is not a cheap player by any means and it should still be supported by EMM Labs.
Too bad, I have one as well. Still sounds damn good to me, though, so I think we can take some solace in that.
I received instructions to download and upgrade the new firmware and assume it was done correctly as I am hearing music. The upgrade does lower the noise floor, create more air between instruments and increased resolution without sounding analytical. It is amazing so many improvements were made to the presentation and soundstage with just a software upgrade, but Ed Meitner has done it. I tried a DSD file I downloaded and it did not play back. It makes me wonder if I didn't load the new drivers correctly or if there is change on my JRiver settings needed. A final comment; up to this point I much preferred my SPIF connection from my Baetis Music Server as it sounded superior even on DSD files converted back to PCM on the fly through JRiver. This upgrade from EMM Labs has greatly improved the sound via USB I am now preferring it to the SPDIF. I will continue to listen and report back later if this isn't the case and I stick with the SPDIF connection that comes right off the mother board of my Baetis. Until this upgrade, the SPDIF was clearly superior to all who listened to my system.
After much frustration and some help from Hifimaniac I finally got this upgrade loaded and fully functional. Prior to it's installation my dacx2 and the rest of my system sounded great to me. After firmware upgrade it still sounds GREAT. Once upgrade loaded you no longer have the luxury of going back and forth to compare. My memory may not be as good as others. I will say it seems to function more smoothly now. You use to have to wait once it was completely powered down. Now I have total functionality instantly. I wonder what the firmware upgrade was suppose to improve? I would ask emm labs but good luck getting a response. I will continue to listen. Maybe at some point, I will think, wow, didn't sound that way before. Who knows?
FYI! Below is a copy of an announcement from EMM/Meitner on their Facebook page for the 2014 Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show being held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from the 8-10th of August 2014.

"Meitner Audio and EMM Labs are also also extremely excited to show our platform changing MDAT2 DSP updates for all our current DACs.

More than a year in development and 1000s of hours in testing, the new MDAT2 DSP update brings all of our current DACs to that next level of audio performance. Accuracy, transparency, soundstage and low level detail all greatly enhanced and refined. This free and large update for all our current DACs provides the listener an even more immersive experience and further brings the music to life."

Maybe the update will be posted on their web site by the time the show starts or is over.

The firmware updates are specific to products they are for. You must not use MA-1 firmware to update a DAC2X for example. The MDAT2 DSP update is for all current products that have a DAC.

Also it is my understanding that the updates should be posted on the web sites AROUND the 15-18 of August, hopefully
*sigh* no love for the XDS1 which is still a DAC - just apparently not current enough :(
Gentlemen, if you want the information now, please feel free to write me as follows, mssiidd38 the carrier starts with an A and ends with an L. If you send me your info I will send what you need. or four eight zero dot two zero five dot two one nine six.
Hello Hifimanic, you are so kind to help everyone out. I am going to be contacting you soon. Thank you
FYI. The Update is not only Model specific but also Serial Number specific. Please make sure you know that the Firmware you plan on using also is for your specific Model AND Serial Number product.
Hi Hifial,

Thanks for the post. I'm picking up an MA-1 on Saturday. I thought I was excited before. Now I'm ecstatic and can't wait to hear this thing.
Press Release!! Here are the details.

More than a year in development and testing, EMM Labs and Meitner Audio is proud to announce the release of our MDAT2 DSP update that will take all our current DAC platforms (DAC2X, XDS1 V2, MA-1, MA-2) to that next level in audio performance.

MDAT is our high performance multi-award winning DSP engine. It takes all digital audio (PCM and DSD) and does real-time transient filtering and up-conversion to 2xDSD (5.6Mhz/6.1Mhz) before being sent to Ed`s proprietary custom made 2xDSD (5.6Mhz/6.1Mhz) DACs (MDAC modules) for conversion to analog.

With MDAT processing, there is no pre and post ringing (please see MDAT .JPG diagram), which is why MDAT unlike any other processing technology is unique in its ability to preserve the phase, frequency and dynamic integrity of the waveform.

In MDAT2 we have built an improved new DSP engine with:

· Increased sonic detail from all digital audio streams (PCM and DSD) using new high-resolution algorithms

· Time and frequency response filters that are greatly optimized

· A new signal processing engine that is built for very high-precision audio up-sampling (2xDSD up-conversion)

· A new more accurate 2xDSD up-sampling algorithm

Think of it as supercharging your DAC! Accuracy, transparency, soundstage, low level detail all greatly improved and refined. All these improvements providing the listener with a more immersive experience and bringing further all music to life. The best thing is .you will receive this new MDAT2 engine for free!

For those with current EMM Labs (DAC2X, XDS1 V2) or Meitner Audio (MA-1, MA-2) products contact your dealer or distributor to schedule the update being released shortly after the HK Show (middle of August 2014).

MDAT and MDAT2 are both patented. Associated algorithms are patent pending.

Thanks for the info.
I had all these details and the links to send anyone who emailed me, but none of you knuckleheads did. You could have been enjoying this two weeks ago.

Better late than never.
1. I wanted to bump this thread to find out how people
still feel about the new firmware for the XDS1/v2 or DAC2X.
2. Also, has anyone upgraded their XDS/v1 to the v2 and how
did that go?
3. And is the new firmware just as non-fatiguing (without
any digital shout) as I find the original xds/v1?
Thank you.
Except for SACD playback, I have been using the PS Audio DirectStream DAC. With the new Yale OS, it's superb. Had a friend who sold his DAC2X after getting the DS as well.
At one third the price of the DAC2X, the PS Audion DS looks like very good value. :)
Make sure you give it at least 2 weeks of running in before you do any serious listening. :)

It really is ground breaking
I have the dac 2X and I did the upgrade. There are subtle improvements. But what can you expect it was a great dac to begin with. Only boredom would get me to change. And not with the dac. Please people who say their dac is so much better then the dac 2X or I have friend bla bla bla, tune them out. It's all bull!
I'm just say'in ✌️
I'd be happy if EMM Labs provided the update for the original XDS1 which I owned for less than 3 years.

But they didn't.

And with the new DA2.. I think it signs a death knell for the older models.
Maybe the death knell, but you know, the older products still stack up well against the other products out there.
Sadly they don't.

I have the EMM Labs v1 and while I prefer it over the Playback, it is not a night and day to me. Yale OS on the DS is a very big improvement over the EMM.
Doggiehowser - I've seen that you've done many DAC comparisons and find it interesting that you find the DS with Yale OS to significantly outperform your EMM DAC. Have you had a chance to hear the Bricasti M1 DAC in comparison? Interested to know if you've found any DAC that outperforms the latest Yale DS. TIA for your time!
I haven't heard the M1 though.

But the upgrade path on the DS hasn't ended. In the PS Forums, Ted Smith is already talking about what he is working on - from the firmware side and it looks like we might be getting another Christmas present on the way. :)
I finally got the upgrade to the V2 and OMG it's amazing like people said! All the cliches apply: like musicality, unforced/plankton detail, see-through transparency, holographic soundstaging and a more controlled powerful deeper and most importantly more detailed bass. I had the Playback Designs for a while when I decided I liked the original EMM v1 better, but now the EMM is way ahead in my book. Thanks to the members here for steering me in the right direction.

I have owned EMM continuously since 2004 (DCC2/CDSD), and when I tried other brands, I keep deciding that nothing reaches into the music and affects my music-senses in the uniquely profoundly fine way that EMM does. I just can't put into words how the EMM sound is uniquely good, but somehow it is.