I am not ready to break my Piggy Bank to buy it.
But it sounded good enough to justify its price to people who can afford it.
Somehow no response from Audiogon members.
But I got more response from other forum.
I am having lot of fun in Korea listening to several high end and vintage systems not available in Seattle area.
Way out of my price ranges, so of limited interest to those of us who don’t have the ability to audition the stuff.
I also don’t really know how to respond when people compare digital to vinyl. Regardless of the cost, all vinyl rigs have inherently limited dynamic range compared with digital, so people who prefer
vinyl to digital have that preference based on non musical factors. I would have been more interested if you had compared the DAC to a dCS stack...
The MSB Select II dac is very good by all accounts, though i've only heard the MSB Reference dac so I couldn't specifically comment. MSB sounds natural and very smooth. The most analogue sounding transport/dac i've ever heard however is the APL Hifi DTR-MR transport & DSD-MR tube dac. That is the best sounding digital i've ever heard.
Steve Hoffman Forum is the LAST place I would seek advice on High End Audio. 90% of the people on that board think PS AUDIO and Parasound are as good as it gets. Audiogon, AudioShark, Audioaficiondo sites are some of the best places to ask....but still a limited number of people own stuff in that price range.
MSB Reference Dac is no slouch with the price tag of 45k$.
I wish to have a chance to compare it with Select II Dac but I could not.
Overall I felt my system more musical than the system using MSB Select Dac in the show.
I've never quite understood the "limited dynamic range" argument. That's like saying Car A is better than Car B because it has a higher top speed, when we all have the same speed limit. Vinyl has plenty of DR for the human ear and with proper gear and isolation, one can take advantage of all it has to offer.
I'm in a bit of a Redbook discovery phase and I have to say, I love it. I finally got a DAC that reminds me of my vinyl rig in terms of tonal density and "ease" or as I like to think of it in my own head, the muscularity of the music itself. I've been through a few digital rigs and the ones before, which weren't cheap, were thoroughly trounced by a relatively pedestrian vinyl rig which set me off on a 3 year vinyl pilgrimage. And I still have all that and love comparing similarly-mastered RB to vinyl I own. In some cases, RB wins, vinyl wins others.
So, at the end of the day, as usual, the answer is - it depends. Because it's a sensory experience, using a mic or oscilliscope to guide our decisions is foolish. Those are data points, sure, but they're no better at ultimately deciding one vs the other as the nutrition label will tell you how a meal will taste, or how a car's spec sheet will tell you how it feels to drive it.
No other hobby is so bent on proving our opinions correct using "scientific means" when the hobby is completely subjective and personal. I follow a lot of cooking forums and FB groups and I've never once seen a fellow cook ask another to prove how tender a piece of meat was, or measure the crunch of his or her vegetables. Or ask for a double-blind test proving that Prime is better than Choice. But alas, thankfully the music fuels my passion for this hobby, and not the need to prove something to an anonymous person whose opinion really doesn't mean much at all nor who will ever hear what I am.
RE: " ...Regardless of what you may perceive, vinyl has an inherently limited dynamic range vs digital. It doesn’t matter how much money the turntable costs"
You realize your comment makes no sense ?
(i.e. " ..Regardless of what you may perceive ...")
How else would we/should we 'judge' dynamic range ?
And you're simply sadly mistaken suggesting different turntable/ arm/ cartridge combo's has no influence on dynamic range characteristics.
Hey Todd: Good reply. And nicely articulated.
But, when you say (in /with today's digital):
" .... digital rigs .... and the ones before, which weren't cheap, were thoroughly trounced by a relatively pedestrian vinyl rig ..."
..I'm reminded of the year 1988/9 (working part-time hi-fi shop) and sadly pondering the future of hi-fi -fronted by 'digital'; it sounded like crap.
It wasn't until about ten years after that (99/2000) when I FINALLY heard some 'musicality' with CD ! By 2005, there were several impressive players / DAC's.
Today ? U kidding me, digital can (and does) sound spectacular; easily competing/surpassing that of premium Vinyl/Tables.
BUT, it's VERY sensitive to AC power quality -and signal cable/wire.
If you can arrange a quality Balanced/Symmetrical Power 'Supply' (or AC Re-Gen) to power your digital, do it. And ensure you have some quality cabling.
When you do, you'll discover 'Digital' to be far superior to what you currently believe/have experienced.
Todd (toddrhodes): I return, to your most insightful post ...
" ... No other hobby is so bent on proving our opinions correct using "scientific means" when the hobby is completely subjective and personal. I follow a lot of cooking forums and FB groups and I've never once seen a fellow cook ask another to prove how tender a piece of meat was, or measure the crunch of his or her vegetables. Or ask for a double-blind test proving that Prime is better than Choice."
Lol. But great analogy.
It should be clear that showing interest (and communication) in this hobby although enlightening -and entertaining- is ultimately a case of Get-In/Out -quickly.
Like-minded folk (with the necessary talent/experience) by which to share meaningful chat, can be hard to come by, but remains enlightening when one does connect with sharp(er) minds !
Seriously, no Chef/food critic asked for a 'double-blind' on steak quality ?
Hmmm, maybe it's time to have 'cooks/chef's' "put their money where their mouth is" (haha) -and start the "D-Blind" food shoot-out ! (lol)