From your sound preference list you will be very happy with the MSB Platinum. It is a very neutral, very detailed DAC with sweet, smooth, non fatiguing presentation at all frequencys.
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The latest issue of Absolute Sound has HP raving about this player, he compares it favorably to the Burmiester gear. I have thought of upgrading to one also. I hesitate because of the price and the logistical factors.
Has anyone had experience with a moded version. I have heard you can get better performance from the Platnium DAC and a better transport. Has anyone have experience comparing the CD station to the DAC/transportation combo?
I am personally using a CEC TL5100 (belt drive) as transport and a vacuum tube Metronome Technologie C20 24/96 converter. I have tested various combinations (my wife got mad) and this one is very good. I have replaced the poor 6922 Sovtek with a pair of excellent Siemens Cca. Sound is excellent for voices, jazz (what I am essentially listening to), VERY natural. I highly recommend this config. This combination allows you to listen to music till late in the night. Both power cords have been replaced advantageously with Vecteur ones. AES/EBU link provides a more detailed sound but the classic cinch connector (I use a wireworld starlight III) is smoother - question of personal taste - I am using alternatively both connections according to my mood ! One detail, I leave the DAC permanently on but it is not required. Another thing, should you need information from Metronome Technologie, the guys are very open minded and have answered all my questions by phone in all simplicity.