"If there is a digital converter that can convince a die hard vinylphile that digital has at last arrived, this is the machine "
"The Platinum lacks the standard digital byproducts that have become a staple of "digital sound" and by disposing of those artifacts has ended up sounding more analog-like than many turntables people listen to"
Martin G. DeWulf, Bound for Sound
“To test the female voices, I chose Beautiful Female Voice in xrcd with many great artists like Emy Fujita, Dominica and Maricel Bedana and many more. Here, I shook for a moment. I've never loved, in digital, the extreme pursuit of detail with an often fake outcome. You analog friends know very well what I'm talking about! Luckily, after a few notes, I realized I was wrong. The DAC IV gives back very natural high notes, rarely tiring or cool, and you want to turn the volume up.”
Francesco Taddei, REMUSIC
“ The Platinum DAC IV (including Platinum Power Base) reviewed here cost a smidgin over $15,000 and delivers performance that's as good--or better--than any other high-end DAC I have ever heard, even models selling at twice the price and more.“
“ ...as you'll see from the graphs, even the DAC IVs 'worst case' results are so exceptionally good -- in most cases better than any other DAC I've ever seen -- that this just won't be an issue. To conclude, I have to say that I was gob-smacked by the incredibly high level of performance from the DAC: it truly and very effectively represents the state-of-the-art in digital-to-analogue conversion technology.”
Greg Borrowman and Steve Holding, Australia HiFi Magazine
The Platinum DAC IV plus was designed in a way that it can be used as the last component in your system before the amplifiers. With the added convenience of having multiple digital inputs and one Analog input you can easily eliminate your preamp. You may connect your turntable through the analog input and all your digital sources directly to the DAC IV plus. The Analog Output can be volume controlled (if the optional Volume Control is installed).
The DAC IV plus package is simple and elegant. It has much needed integral heat sinks, our amazing new MSB Isorack Damping Feet as well as a clean new front panel, with full suite of programmable features.
About the DAC
The Second Generation Platinum DAC modules are of our own design, hand made, discretely built R2R Ladder DACs. How DACs Work! A simple but accurate explanation. The Platinum DACs draw from the older ladder technology but with incredible improvements that allow them to operate up to 3 MHz. The Platinum DAC IV plus contains four of these 24 bit MSB DAC Modules configured in a true balanced architecture for optimum balanced or single-ended operation..
About the Digital Filter
Now after years of development, we have included our own Custom 32x Digital Filter in the Platinum DAC IV plus. Previous versions of the Platinum DAC used the MSB 16x filter, and before that, the Burr-Brown DF1704, which at the time was the best Digital Filter on the market. Our new 32x Digital Filter is built to our specifications and standards, and is designed to get the most out of the Platinum DAC modules.
The performance of this new Digital Filter is amazing. Immediately you'll notice the lack of fuzziness around voices and instruments of all frequencies. This new filter also dramatically increases the resolution and dynamics of the machine. This filter is also completely customizable; By playing a special .wav file on a CD new filter coefficients, either temporary or permanent, can be loaded into our DSP.
The Digital Filter is a 32x oversampling, single stage filter with 32-bit input resolution, 80-bit computation, and 36-bit coefficients. More information on this custom MSB Digital Filter can be found here.
About the Clock / Jitter Control
Jitter control devices (and inputs on most DACs) normally clean up or phase lock loop the input signal from which the DAC clock is derived in an attempt to lessen the jitter of the DAC clock. The Platinum DAC IV plus does no such clean up. We actually pay no attention to the clock on the input signal. All DAC clocks are generated by the Femto 140 clock. This extremely low jitter - less than 140 femtosecond clock sets a new industry standard. Since the input clock is no longer related to the clock of the DAC, an intelligent half-second buffer is used to maintain data synchronization. An upgraded Galaxy Clock is also availible as an option with half the jitter!
Keeping the Source in Sync
We have demonstrated very clearly that a major sonic improvement can be experienced if the source device can be clocked off the DAC clock. Our PRO I2S interface keeps our transports in sync, by sending the super low jitter clock generated in the DAC out to the transport. Some servers also support this PRO I2S interface and run in sync. Other servers provide a clock input, and the MSB Clock Adapter can be plugged into either the PRO I2S output or the older MSB network output. The BNC output is a LVDS level 512x master clock output that can be used to keep the server in sync. This is a great upgrade and has already been approved by Aurender.
All 384 kHz, 64x and 128x DSD on all inputs, .DFS, .DFF and .DXF files played native
Coaxial (RCA and BNC), Toslink, Balanced AES/EBU, MSB PRO I2S (32 bit) and Balanced Analog input (<600 ohms)
3.6V RMS (10V pp)
7.5V RMS (20V pp)
50 ohms at 0 dB
2dB Stepped Attenuator
(34 steps, 0 to -68 dB)
1.5 MHz up to 3 MHz
64x and 128x DSD
136 dB A Measured
Signal to Noise Ratio:
Display Dim Mode
Platinum Volume Control
Aluminum Multi Remote
Upsampling and Digital Filter Suite
USB2 192k input
USB2 384k input
Additional S/PDIF inputs
Pro I2S or MSB Network Input Option
Galaxy Femtosecond Clock Upgrade
iLink II Upgrade
Power Base Manual
Superior DSD playback
The DAC IV plus is able to accept DSD in all of its digital inputs, not just the USB input like most DACs. You can play .DXD, .DFF and .DFS files and can play 64x DSD and 128x DSD. Please note, you must have a 192 kHz USB input rate for 64x DSD and a 384 kHz USB input rate for 128x DSD. (You have been wondering why MSB has been shipping 384 kHz inputs for years now!) The extreme speed and resolution of our DACs provide a DSD experience unlike any in this world. You must hear it to believe it.
About the Optional Attenuator
Our Preamp philosophy is based on the belief that from the moment analog audio is created, every transition that is made degrades the quality. This is why we have used a passive attenuator within the Platinum DAC IV plus, to achieve the simplest, shortest possible signal path with the least possible degradation of the true music. The Volume is controlled in 2 dB steps from 0 to -68 dB. The Volume Control is completely bypassed when at 0 dB.
This attenuator section is also designed to serve as a way to match the naturally high output level of the Platinum DACs to any desired outboard preamp. This has proven to be extremely useful for many of our customers that are happy with the Preamp they have known and used for years. It allows the two devices to be correctly matched with each other.
About the Power Base
The DAC IV plus is equipped with an outboard power supply. This remarkable power supply has separate torroidal transformers for each voltage supplied. The torroidal transformer produces a very small amount of magnetic radiation.
The Power Base includes a positive and negative analog supply and a digital supply to run all the digital processors. But it also contains an entirely separate extra clean digital supply to run the sensitive digital clocking circuits on the DAC modules themselves. Each of these supplies is regulated and filtered in the box, so no noise is introduced into the DAC chassis. See Power Base Comparisons for an upgraded power base.
This Power Base can be upgraded. A digital only supply can be added to operate an MSB Transport. These supplies are completely independent and their combination do not degrade performance.
An optional front panel control can also be provided. This option moves the power switch from the back panel to the front panel.
This is the Signature Power Base with DC transport supply installed.