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Modwright Transporter vs comparably priced stand alone DAC.

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I am interested in thoughts anyone may have as to how a Modwright Transporter would weigh up against a stand alone DAC of roughly equal price and DAC specs. I know the two product types are apples and pears but my interest is in how they sound.

My reason for asking is that I would love the convenience and extra features of the Modwright Transporter but am unsure if I would be taking a step down in sound quality because it is wireless.



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of its upgrades and changes (hypermod PS upgrade was from our love of the 36.5 PS sound; octal adapters to tube roll 6SN7's was my idea, etc.) so i can speak quite fluently about it. I have also compared it in it's best/latest incarnation to some great leading DACs (Weiss, Berkeley, etc.). The best DACs beat it, but they should for the money.

Note: using the MW TP as pure transport (i.e driving a DAC with it's digital outs, whether BNC or AES/EBu) is significant overkill, as you're not using his tube analog stage, but does take advantage of the superior power supply and better shielding regardless.


The MW Transporter is the ONLY way to listen to the analog outs of the TP; they are wayyy too clinical in their stock form, likely a byproduct of the fairly analytical; nature of the AKM dac chip included. If you saw Dan's mods you'd understand that the TP bears no resemblance to the stock one except it's frame and front panel. Dan's mods were almost a complete gutting of the interior..except there was little to gut. (See 6Moons review for great before and after pics...and some of my comments).


Tube rolling is a blast, whether you use the now-popular octal adapters for 6SN7 rolling of the signal tubes or my fave, the addition of the immense "bug zapper" EML 5U4G tube as rectifier. I help run a tube rolling thread over on Audio Circle in Dan's Modwright-specific subforum (Circle).


As far as using the MW TP, it is primarily a Squeeze Center transport, capable of 24/96 max. Both XLR and RCA outs are upgraded. It's also a 24/96 tube DAC with BNC, AES/EBU and toslink inputs. The flexibility of tube rolling and the convenience of iPod and iTouch-driven remote control make it quite a nice product.


If you are looking for higher than 96k sample rates look elsewhere...but as many have said, it's about the implementation more than the features. Dan's sound is exemplary, as is his customer service.


The only DACs that beat it cost at least as much as his mods, and most of them (Berkeley, Metric Halo, Sonic Studios) cost considerably more. The Bryston doesn't beat it, IMO...unless you need to get to 192k. The Benchmark falls considerably short...again IMO (you asked). The Weiss DAC2 is worth looking at, however, assuming you need more than 96k. Feel free to ping me on any addtl questions.


P.S I think it sounds better wired (ethernet) rather than wireless, but that's me. I can't explain it (and I'm not talking droputs and signal strength). Many will argue. :)


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