If you are upgrading to a new dac.... why don't you get one with the interface you want? The converters are a stop gap solution. I also have a Hag USB... I debate the merit of an upgrade to an asynch converter versus a new dac with an asynch USB built in. I don't hear a consensus of advice on this issue though. Right now.. I lean to a new DAC when the budget will allow.
M2Tech Hiface gets good reviews.
I recently bought a Musical Fidelity V-Link usb/spdif converter to use with my Emotiva XDA-1 dac. I am very pleased with the sound as it brought the Emotiva to an entirely new level. Stereophile rates the v-link as a solid class B.
The Computer Audiophile does not like the M2Tech .He wrote a piece and did not seem to care for it.I am getting decent sound now ,so Im not in a big hurry.I want to gather as much knowledge and info as I can .Some of the converters are so new not many folks have written anything about them yet.I do know that I want the ability to play Hi rez .My DAC is a BelCanto DAC 2.
The Computer Audiophile review is a bit of a mystery to many people. It just does not seem to be in line with others' findings. As I remember, there was some question as to whether Chris might have had a bad unit and, if I remember correctly, he never contacted M2Tech to discuss his findings or get another sample. I, and many others, just do not hear what he heard. Its price has now gone up to $200 from the original $150, but it does have a 30 day return policy. The Halide Bridge has gotten very good reviews and its price is down to $400 and has a 60 day return policy.
I used the M2Tech hiface for about a year, and realized that while very good I could get better sound into my old dac. I've since upgraded to the M2Tech Evo combined with a linear power supply and couldn't be happier. I run ST glass from the Evo to my Levinson 360s which sounds great. But that being said I haven't try any of the other converters out there, and there are many.
The Levinson 360s is a great DAC. I am sure it can benefit from the EVO. The John Kenny upgrade to the Hiface is also an improvement for the Hiface. As you move up in price, the Empirical Audio Off Ramp is worth looking at.
Dtc ,There does seem to be many happy M2Tech owners,with upgrades is even better as Ts0711 and you have mentioned.The Halide Bridge sounds intesting too.Many have entered the market in a short time.Someone said they notice no ,or little improvement going above 24/96.The availible sample rates are getting very high.
Raytheprinter - regarding going above 24/96. Stereophile recently reviewed the Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, which has been designed to take a 24/192 input signal. However, the output from 24/96 and 24/192 looked essentially identical -- dropping at just above 40 KHz. It seems they upped the speed of the front end, but did not change the back end. When you look at the Stereophile reports on some of the higher end DACs (e.g. Bryston, dCS Debussy) the 24/192 input does extend the output range, with some close going close to 90 KHz. I have not listened to any of those high end DACs that extend the output range up to close to half the Nyquist frequency, so cannot say if 24/192 is really better. But the M1 review, made me stop and think if the mid range DACs that take 24/192 inputs are actually taking advantage of 24/192 or not. I am very curious to hear a true 24/192 DAC, but the MF M1 DAC review made me much more cautious.
I have the Musical fidelity Vlink... excellent choice if you want better sound from an existing DAC that came without asynchrous USB. DTC probably has a point, for under $1K I doubt you would get full benefit from data rates above 96K.... which is maybe 0.01% of recorded material available.
I just bought the Musical Fidelity V Link and got it two days ago. I have tried it on some music that I purchased via itunes piano recordings that sounded particularly harsh in the treble via USB (source--MacBook Pro) and it has completely ameliorated that problem. Too early to make other judgements but if it makes itunes more listenable then I consider it worth the $170 that I paid.
Hey Guys,Thanks for your responses.I recieved my MF V-Link today.On sale for
99.00 ,I figured why not! I planned to wait a while to digest all the info,food for
thought,,,but,,I was anxious to hear 96K audio.I have not listened enough to
form any serious thoughts on the V-Link or 96K,88K yet.I do not hear anything I
dislike.I will give it a few days to settle in.I have been happy with my BelCanto
DAC 2.Ive only had a DAC1 to compare it to. I will buy another DAC,but I am not
in a hurry to do so.As I would like to upgrade my poweramp too.And my system
sounds pretty good now.I feel I need to do more research ,speaking with others
,and reading,listening to other systems when I can.I know a computer will be a
part of my system,I use an Imac that is used for things other than audio.I will get
a Mini Mac for audio only.Some of the newer DACs have a USB connection,so a
converter is not needed,but there are so many nice DACs that do not .Im sure as
time goes on, some of the newer converters,DACs will fall by the wayside and
others will shine.I think the next year will be fun!
Just received a gen 1 V-Link from Audio Advisor. The $99 clearance price was hard to ignore. Using it with a gen 1 V-DAC. Asus netbook via Kimber USB to V-Link to V-DAC via StereoVox Coax. V-DAC via JPS Labs RCAs to pre-amp. I need to do some more a/b'ing but my initial impression just based on listening to Pandora is a big improvement over the V-DAC alone. More presence, air and wider/deeper soundstage. Not at all broken in yet (only a few hours on it) so I'm hoping more hours will cure what to my ear sounds like a bit of hardness that the V-DAC alone did not seem to have. FWIW.
I am using a generation 1 V-Link with an Emotiva XDA-1 dac. No hardness at all, just sheer musical bliss.
As luck would have it, the price on the v link dropped from 169.00 to 99.00 31 days after I bought it from AA.
Stereo5 - what sort of interconnects are you using? Haven't looked it up but I'm guessing your Emotiva is a cut above the V-DAC. Thanks.
I am using the Emotiva X series digital cable from the spdif converter to the dac, and Groneberg quattro reference cables from the dac to the preamp.
Thanks, Stereo5. I think I'll give some more time to the V-Link. Sounds are certainly NOT objectionable right now. Merry Christmas.
Thanks for the tip. Ordered one as well. At $99, V-LINK is a no brainer.
Elberoth - let us know what you think about the sound.
I posted a short review of the v-link in the digital section. It's a sweet unit used with my rega DAC.
Great price for the close out of the first generation.
I like how they, AA, stuck review comments in from the mkll version. Oh well. Has anyone compared the mkll version for $189?
If anyone is still interested in this thread, I can say that the M2Tech was a huge improvement in sound from PC optical out to DAC. After living with the HiFace for a year, I upgraded to the Anedio U2 USB interface. It was a major improvement in overall presentation. In fact, I was so happy with the U2 that I pre-ordered their new DAC2 and am planning to eliminate another "box" and go straight from the PC via USB to the DAC2.
Hope that helps.
Did you ever get the Anedio D2? If so, can you share your impressions?
In the FWIW column I have since replaced the Vlink with the JK MkIII modified Hiface and using the Young drivers. This was an outstanding improvement but 4x the cost.
Well more than a year has passed ,and I still have my 1st gen V-Link.I enjoy the SQ ,and I understand that for more money I can have better.There are times I do not think of upgrading,just enjoying the music .And that is fine,but there is also times when I know I could have better SQ for more money.For now I will stay where Im at.For financial reasons as well as waiting to see what the next 6 months or so brings.
Try the JK mk 3 when funds allow. It is much better than the V-Link.
BTW - I have confirmed at MF UK that V-Link and V-Link II are identical when it comes to internal design. The only difference is different box.