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Because they are expensive. At least that’s the perception. It is also very exclusive brand, with extremely strict control on dealers to avoid discounting and territorial restrictions.
Having said this, the Discrete DAC is relatively affordable starting right below $10K. Once you add one of the modules, and the second power supply, you are at around $13,000. This is the DAC I have, with the ProISL ProUSB module combo and the optional second power supply, and I am extremely happy with it. If I ever had the cash to upgrade, it will certainly be the Premier. But unfortunately prices double from one model to the next. Then once you add the upgrade clocks, powerbase, then....
Anyways, if you can find something in Used market (current model that is), grab it! Truly SOTA, and definitely endgame territory for most.
i am now of the belief that in the last couple years the outboard DAC offerings have advanced substantially in terms of trickle-down performance benefits into lower cost units
this really shifts the point of diminishing returns / value curve to the benefit of more affordable units
like everything else in hifi (turntables, cartridges, amps, speakers...), more expensive is often still better, but just as often, it is just different, or only ever so slightly better, however better may be defined
just soooo many truly excellent dacs that are hard to better in the $1000-1500 range now - those who have any interest in value for money would be best served to put $$ into other parts of the chain over this price tier of DACs imho
There are well designed American made DACs which are a fraction of the cost of an MSB. There is not really a lot of difference in DACs other than engineers chasing better inaudible numbers. MSB makes very well engineered DACs and it cost a lot to produce them. I admire the complexity of these discrete DACs and the engineering that goes into them. If someone can afford them go for it but realize you're buying a boutique item not necessarily a better one.
really expensive stuff getting less interest makes all the sense in the world, especially when the pricing is out of reach of most that might be interested - whether the item is better or not is only of tangential relevance
smaller audience deeming relevant to them
shdn't be any surprise or amazement
more people discuss porsches than bugattis
Th MSB Discrete DAC is expensive. I looked at the MSB Discrete DAC but everything thing was an extra cost option (USB, AES/EBU, power supply, etc,). There is the base price of the Discrete DAC PLUS extra costs for the Optical/Coaxial modules, the balanced XLR module, (AES/EBU), the MSB UUB Inputs, the MSB Network Renderer V2 and the MSB ProISL Interface.
Yikes, I thought I was finished and then the issue of power supplies was discussed. The standard is the single Discrete power supply but they STRONGLY recommended a 2nd Discrete power supply. AND, for even BETTER sound, I should purchase the Premier Powerbase for another $7,500.
I never heard the MSB Discrete DAC because it costs more than I wanted to spend. Their higher end DAC's are even more expensive.
Not sure where you were looking @hgeifman but the Discrete DAC comes standard with:
1x RCA Coaxial
2x Advanced isolated input module slots
And ... XLR Analog Outputs (comes standard with them)
It also comes standard with one (outboard) Discrete power supply. The second one is extra if you opt for it to separate the power for the digital and analog boards.
I know. Because I own one
There are two empty slots. Modules. That is IF you want to add extra. I did buy one, the ProISL/ ProUSB module combo.
What I copy / pasted above comes standard. I can assure you of that. But you can look for yourself:
I also understand what you are saying too. Very expensive for you, and obviously you will find extra many stuff to make it even more expensive to justify your thought process. Human nature
the vibe here is a significant portion of posters get their panties in a bunch with expensive gear. which is neither good nor bad, it just is simply the lay of the land and it’s not changing any time soon.
so why would an MSB owner (such as myself) fight the headwind when other forums are not that way? who needs the grief?
i’ll chime in when asked a direct question like now, but otherwise it’s listed on my audiogon system page and i’m not going to worry about it.
Hey @mikelavigne : you are spot on. I wish I had your testicular fortitude in approaching these Dow Jones types.i don't really see my posting as approaching anyone. i had no such intent. just answering your question.
i do happen to think there are lots of modestly priced fine sounding dacs out there. so i do understand why it's hard for some to not connect the dots on what makes some dacs so expensive.....and whether they are worth it. the value equation is different for everyone......depends on your expectations.
personally i came to MSB trying to find a dac to be seamless in my system with lots of high level analog. that is a tall order. and the MSB does that better than any digital i have heard. my vinyl and tape are top level.
so if you are simply wanting to improve your current digital, then the answer for you might be different than for me. and we can both be completely right. my only issue here on Audiogon is that so many opinions are offered without ever listening......mostly dismissing products just based on price. more social commentary than a hobby forum mindset. and so be it. i just don't happen to care much for it and it's off putting to me.
i certainly do not look down my nose at well performing modestly priced gear. nor should i. if i did i deserve scorn.
Hi @mikelavigne : well said. As much as it hurts, I ultimately agree with you. Part of the testicular fortitude I mentioned above, which I admit I lack. Kudos to you.
I also don’t look down my nose at well performing modestly priced gear. Been there, done that. Years ago. I just can’t stand people dismissing better stuff as snake oil, unnecessary expense. Again, I shouldn’t care, but I lack THAT testicular fortitude of not caring. Maybe I’ll get there one day. The key is not hating people like you, but trying hard to be like you. One day.
i have heard the MSB Analog w optional powerbase and it gave my Aesthetix Pandora signature a serious run SQ and build quality dimensions, a real toss up decision. My reference in that fairly resolving system ( Poverty Bay Sound in virtual systems ) is against high speed half track tape ......
I agree with Mike to paraphrase something he said in a different drain swirl thread, “ the IQ of audiogon has fallen “