Diamond DAC IV plus plus
“ All I can say is that Harry Connick Jr.‘s ‘A Nightingale Sang in Barclay Square‘ was absolutely transfixing through this system -- and perhaps the best digital reproduction of music I have heard. It was clearly on the same level as the previous champ, the benchmark four-box dCS Paganini stack.”
“For the first time in 30 years I can listen to Jacques BREL which was impossible since CDs replaced my LPs. Thank you for this.”
“The MSB stack gave me the best digital sound I've ever
heard in my system. I know it's a cliche, but I was digging
out music from all corners of my collection, just to hear it
'real' before the MSBs had to go back. The best recordings
were a sheer pleasure to listen to. I spent many long nights
going from track to track, feeling closer to the truth of each
recording than I had previously imagined possible.”
“In most ways, MSB Technology's
Diamond Platinum DAC IV offers the best
measured performance in the digital domain
that I have encountered.”
The Diamond DAC IV plus is the reference DAC in the world today. It is flexible, upgradable, with customized features and color, and offers the most life-like sound possible. It 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 or more Analog inputs 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 is volume controlled (if the optional Volume Control is installed).
History of the DAC
The Diamond DAC IV plus is the result of wild abandon in the engineering budget. MSB had several good years of sales and we decided to invest the proceeds in finding out just how precise a DAC could be made, and whether it would be noticeable or if other system limitations would mask the improvements. The project was surprisingly successful and the outcome most gratifying. By 2007 we had a concept that was theoretically going to exceed the accuracy of our outstanding Signature DACs. In mid 2008 our first rough prototype indeed provided clear sonic improvements over the very high precision Signature DAC. In 2009 the final design was finished and the results were outstanding. Not only has the DAC still been the limiting factor, but it has been a significant limiting factor. (For more information on How DACs Work! see this simple but accurate explanation.)
Now the Diamond DAC IV plus is not just a better DAC, it is a whole new DAC. It includes new DSP code, a new clock and new DAC modules as well as additional shielding, as the already low noise design required additional shielding as the DAC precision increased.
Let's compare the Diamond DAC to the industry standard Signature DAC.
About the Sound
The Diamond DAC IV plus takes your listening experience to a new high. The lower noise and distortion allow the dynamics to come to life with more room for the music. The top end is much more open and the bass response is more musical and more resolving. It may be hard for owners of the Signature DACs to believe that their DAC IV can get much better, but it can. All we can say is listening is believing.
About the Diamond 384 kHz Upsampler
The upsampling technology applied in this product is based on years of development, experimentation and speculation. It goes beyond what should matter and has really only been enabled by the continuously improving DSP technology. It offers offers several advancements:
About the Digital Filter
The Diamond DAC IV plus uses a specialized version of our own Custom 32x Digital Filter. It is built to our specifications and standards, and is designed to get the most out of the Diamond DAC modules.
The performance of this new Digital Filter is
one step above the Signature filter described by one dealer as follows:
The Digital Filter is a 32x oversampling, single stage filter with 32-bit input resolution, 80-bit computation, and 36-bit coefficients.
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 Diamond 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.
The Femto 140 clock is mounted in a clock socket and it can be replaced with the amazingly low jitter Galaxy Femtosecond Clock. This clock is the lowest jitter clock in the world, with less than 77 femtoseconds of jitter. This clock can be easily installed and any time. No setup is required.
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.
About 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 .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 Diamond 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 and a single op-amp within the Diamond 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 1 dB steps from +9 to -69 dB. Half or quarter db steps can be selected as a menu option. The Volume Control is completely bypassed when at 0 dB. It is individually shielded to provide the lowest noise floor possible, at least 5 dB lower than the Signature Volume Module.
About the Diamond Power Base
The Diamond DAC IV plus is equipped with an outboard power supply. It has twice the power rating of the Standard Power Base. This remarkable power supply has a total of 6 separate toroidal transformers! See Power Base Comparisons
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 Diamond supplies is tightly regulated, filtered and shielded in the box, so no noise is introduced into the DAC chassis. Each transformer is hand shielded and extra capacitance has been added to provide a little extra punch.
The analog supplies are quite remarkable in the Diamond Supply. Rather than the high-quality rectifiers used in our other supplies, the Diamond uses super fast Silicon Carbide Schottky Diodes. These vacuum tube like devices turn on and off instantly with zero reverse recovery current.
This Power Base can also power a transport. A 12 V DC supply is included. These supplies are completely independent and their combination do not degrade performance.
An optional front panel control can also be provided. This option adds a power switch to the front panel and remote control.
This is the Diamond Power Base. See Performance Chart
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