MSB is an unconventional company, so why not make our review page a little unconventional. What follows is a blog style series of reviews, comments and emails that we receive from reviewers, distributors and customers. Last names are removed to protect the privacy of the submitter. Unlike most companies, we do not exclusively on formal reviews, rather depend primarily on word of mouth to spread the news. Any comments printed here are reproduced as received.
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August 2009, Published in Hi-Fi Choice
June 27, 2009
I have been putting down digital recorded music since the early digital-to- vinyl days of the early 1980s. The idea of using the iPod, iTunes, and a common, household computer to deliver a near bit-perfect data stream to a DAC intrigued me, so I took the leap. I never had a chance to audition the iLink before purchasing. It seemed to me that spinning CDs had to go from high end.
The bold boasts by MSB that it matches or betters any other data stream source seems to hold up. Even using my modest, old X-24 DAC, the clarity and precision of the music is obviously improved. Spacial cues from the recording venue are more present than I have ever heard, even from my upgraded LP-12 playing new Speakers Corner, Chesky, or Classic re-issued LPs. Instrument separation, even in large, complex ensembles is also the best I have heard. The greatest surprise has been the enhanced beauty of massed strings in symphonic music,and the richness and weight of concert grand pianos. My speculation is that harmonic overtones are much better preserved through the iPod-iLink system than reading off a spinning disc on the fly.
The device that transmit wirelessly from the iPod to the iLink station works better than you could believe until you use it. Try it, you'll LOVE IT!
I agree with MSB that a head-to-head comparison with dCS, Wadia, Theta, Meridian disc spinners would be fascinating.
The only downside with this innovation is that the iPod-iTunes component does not handle any of the higher resolution (NO, NOT HIGH REZ - I'M STILL A VINYLPHILE) digital formats. I would love to try it with DVD-As which my X-24 can decode.
NEXT INNOVATION I WOULD LIKE TO SEE FROM MSB - A PCICIA card for laptops that will take the digital data stream directly from Music Giant premium downloads on the laptop's harddrive and transmits them wirelessly to the iLink docking station. Now that would be beyond a Killer Application. Such a product could cause my Linn LP-12 to gather dust.