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Meitner / EMM Labs Firmware Upgrade 7/2014 = Sonic Bliss


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As some of you know EMM Labs/Meitner has just released a MAJOR Firmware Upgrade for the DAC2x and MA-1.

 

I have the MA-1 and here is my impressions on the differences in the sonics after the upgrade.

 

But first, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND GET THIS FIRMWARE UPGRADE, PERIOD!!

 

OK, So far I hear HUGE dynamics with more lifelike harmonics, better imaging, separation of instruments, with a bigger sound-stage, cleaner-less noise, not that it was noisy before, better spacial cues. Better leading and trailing edge. Highs that go ever so high but are not harsh but clean, in a natural way. Better timing and pace, so more musical...etc.

 

And I can go on and on. I do not know how they could do so much of a sonic improvement with just a Firmware Upgrade.

 

Two of the PCM hirez albums I used. Lang Lang, Rachmaninoff:Piano Concert No, 3 (24/176) and Dave Brubeck, Concord on a Summer Night.

 

I have not tried DSD yet.

 

Contact your dealer or EMM LABS or Meitner for the firmware.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

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I posted this for EMM thread but they are one and the same...

 

This may seem overkill, but these additional steps work for a clean INSTALLATIONarrow-10x10.png sans issues:

unplug usb CABLEarrow-10x10.png to dac and reboot computer.

Go to programs, Thesycon file and use the uninstall program

Decompress and unlock files downloaded from EMM

Print both direction for DRIVERarrow-10x10.png install (you will do first) and firmware instructions - after driver installation.

Reboot

Use USB output 2.0 or greater from motherboard to MUSICarrow-10x10.png USB in of dac to load the driver V2.20.0. Do not load from any USB cards (SOTM, Jriver, Paul Pang)-Drivers do not load right. Use a high QUALITYarrow-10x10.png generic usb2.0 or better cord.

Reboot after COMPLETIONarrow-10x10.png.

Place standard USB 2.0 complaint cable from USB 2.0 or better output of motherboard to service USB of dac(central USB-B input).

Follow instructions. Open DAC2X_Update_Utility.exe Select the most recent firmware program, by date. Select the highest COMM-#, for me this was COMM-3 and worked fine. This will be obvious in the instructions given.

Reboot both dac and computer and replace USB cable from USB sound card to USB music in.

Read and follow new driver instructions.

 

email me with questions

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I must say that the above install is different then mine. I think each person should contact their dealer or Meitner/EMM Labs as they have a PDF for the install and all the links one would need.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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It doesn't seem to be on their website yet ...

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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Hi Jens. No, it is not yet but it is available by contacting your dealer or EMM Labs/Meitner. Otherwise just wait a few hours/days for it to be on their websites.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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Ok. Thanks. I'm looking forward to it! Amazing what software can achieve - Devialet has even managed to upgrade their 170 w model to 200 w, purely by software.

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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@kevalin

Good point about using standard mobo USB port, not SoTM or other sound-dedicated USB port. I might not have thought of that ...

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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I installed the new firmware. I followed the instructions exactly and used the proper revision. After flashing the june 2014 firmware, i turned off the ma-1 via the front button then i power off the rear button. When i turned the power button back on and pressed the front button-- I got nothing-no power. I first thought golly gee (no the exact words) I bricked the unit. I tried several times turning the rear power button on and off but now response. I finally unplugged the ac cord from the wall socket and replugged it. I finally got power. Since i had power I tried playing several songs. I agree that the sound has improved. The music seems to have a bit more body, detail and better separation. I played a song from alan parsons vulture culture which i use as a reference when i have new equipment. The song is separate lives. In this song i could hear 2 distinct voices where as before i knew there were 2 voices but it was kind of blurred together. I then turned off the ma-1 with the front power button but when i tried the front button again to turn it on it did not work. I had to reload the earlier firmware and it seem to have restored it to the original state. I guess the new firmware needs more work and that is why it is not on their website yet.

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Finally. Does anyone have a "changelog", i'd love to see what they've changed/added? The two biggest hopefully being dsd128 support and DoP over spdif, which they've been saying for well over a year would be included with the next (this one!), firmware.

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I installed the new firmware. I followed the instructions exactly and used the proper revision. After flashing the june 2014 firmware, i turned off the ma-1 via the front button then i power off the rear button. When i turned the power button back on and pressed the front button-- I got nothing-no power. I first thought golly gee (no the exact words) I bricked the unit. I tried several times turning the rear power button on and off but now response. I finally unplugged the ac cord from the wall socket and replugged it. I finally got power. Since i had power I tried playing several songs. I agree that the sound has improved. The music seems to have a bit more body, detail and better separation. I played a song from alan parsons vulture culture which i use as a reference when i have new equipment. The song is separate lives. In this song i could hear 2 distinct voices where as before i knew there were 2 voices but it was kind of blurred together. I then turned off the ma-1 with the front power button but when i tried the front button again to turn it on it did not work. I had to reload the earlier firmware and it seem to have restored it to the original state. I guess the new firmware needs more work and that is why it is not on their website yet.

 

Albert, did you also disconnect the USB cable? If using the same PC that you did the upgrade with did you reboot the PC after the upgrade?

 

Also is the PC a Windows PC or a Mac that you are using with the MA-1? If a Windows you need to also upgrade the USB Driver.

 

It is my understanding that the Firmware is ready for prime time. If none of the above is helpful Meitner is very helpful.

 

Good luck.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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Finally. Does anyone have a "changelog", i'd love to see what they've changed/added? The two biggest hopefully being dsd128 support and DoP over spdif, which they've been saying for well over a year would be included with the next (this one!), firmware.

 

 

robbby, no DSD128 (or DXD) yet, that will be sometime this fall (end of year) when there will be another upgrade. Do not know about the DoP over spdif you will have to ask Meitner.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]info

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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Albert, did you also disconnect the USB cable? If using the same PC that you did the upgrade with did you reboot the PC after the upgrade?

 

Also is the PC a Windows PC or a Mac that you are using with the MA-1? If a Windows you need to also upgrade the USB Driver.

 

It is my understanding that the Firmware is ready for prime time. If none of the above is helpful Meitner is very helpful.

 

 

I was using a laptop running window 7 home premium. I did disconnect the usb cable. I am not using a computer but use bryston bdp-1 vis aes/ebu. The only thing is that i did not upgrade the usb driver. I had never had to do that before with any of my computers. The upgrade went smoothly as the screen flashed success. I had email meitner directly if they had a link to the new firmware but had no answer from them.- (i had received the link from another helpful member here). I hesitate to call them since i assume it is not official yet ie not on their website.

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The link you received my not have the proper upgrade for your DAC as it goes by serial numbers. Depending on your serial number you would need either A or B. Also you must be careful as there are two sets of A and B, you need to use the ones ending with mcs. Did you run the proper Installer for either Windows 64 or 32 that is on your PC. Also you use a Windows PC so you need a USB Driver that works with their DAC. And with this upgrade they have a new Driver that must be installed, otherwise you may have problems. As you do not use USB it may not matter.

 

Good luck and let us know the out come.

 

Yes there are a few of us that are lucky to get it sooner but I was told it is all done. All that is left for them to do is wrap and post it.

 

You still might get an answer from them. Otherwise it should be posted anytime now.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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Finally. Does anyone have a "changelog", i'd love to see what they've changed/added? The two biggest hopefully being dsd128 support and DoP over spdif, which they've been saying for well over a year would be included with the next (this one!), firmware.

 

This is all that's in the readme/changelog section, sorry there is nothing more specific. My assumption is that they revised the DSP and processing inside the unit to "MDAT2" (Meitner Digital Audio Translator) which is their DSD upsampling technology. There is nothing on the web I can find that references this new version 2, so what we must be hearing as sonic improvement I suppose is a result of a refined upsampling algorithm or at least a better filter or something?

 

 

note: 18-June-2014 MA1-MDAT2 release

 

<removed some web links to the files>

=================================================

 

note: 22-May-2014

 

with revised MDAT-2 digital filters.

 

=================================================

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Just got the update files for an XDS1v2. Posting this cuz I looked for info on whether the XDS1v2 would get MDAT2 - it does - it's the same as the DAC2X from a DAC standpoint anyway.

 

The only bummer: have to use a Windoze machine!

 

Miguel

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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Just got the update files for an XDS1v2. Posting this cuz I looked for info on whether the XDS1v2 would get MDAT2 - it does - it's the same as the DAC2X from a DAC standpoint anyway.

Done! Used my 14 yr old XP machine (I rarely use it but keep it very clean for these situations). Awesome!

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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Done! Used my 14 yr old XP machine (I rarely use it but keep it very clean for these situations). Awesome!

 

Miguel, please post your sonic impressions of the update.

Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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I must say that the above install is different then mine. I think each person should contact their dealer or Meitner/EMM Labs as they have a PDF for the install and all the links one would need.

Correct. Through the serial # they will know exactly what it is that you need.

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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The steps I posted are extra regarding driver install and then consistent with firmware. Using a USB card could create problems.

I used a 14 yo Windoze XP computer with a USB 2.0 / Firewire card (the motherboard's USB ports are USB 1.1!!!). No problems at all. I keep this computer around and very clean for cases like this.

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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Miguel, please post your sonic impressions of the update.

The XDS1v2 (identical to the DAC2X from a DAC standpoint) is hard to fault in the first place so I find the changes to be subtle to be honest. If anything what I'd say is Diana Krall's voice (CD rip from Live In Paris) sounds a bit more relaxed and present. Ottmar Liebert's "One Guitar" (24/96 from HDTracks) has also better presence. It is quite hard to make such assessments give A/B is out of the question.

 

Miguel

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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Ok so I do have some comments now...

 

Firstly: all I really care for my system to do is to paralyze me on the couch, to make me feel I'm melting to the sound of music. Soundstage and all other fireworks are ok but ultimate it's just that feeling of melting, of weight of my body. I don't know what produces this and I don't really care.

 

I am getting more of that with the update. If I had to give a reason, I'd say it's the attack and decay of notes, which seems to give them more body, more something around them. In particular piano and female voices. There's more space and more freedom to the notes. Dare I say they added some reverb (ducking right now for I'm causing a shite storm).

 

Tracks that are more fun that I remember them to be:

Come away with me - Norah Jones (sacd rip with my PS3): Her voice was lacking life previously

Mienteme bien - Buika (cd rip to AIFF): More lifelike voice, piano has improved decay

The Real Blues - Ray Brown (sacd rip): Piano improved, more space around it, gorgeous decay

A Sound Like This - Cantus (cd rip to AIFF): Just a gorgeous track, dunno if improved but certainly as captivating

 

Anyway... That's my 2c!

 

Miguel

mini+Roon > RAAT > dCS Rossini DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

system pics

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Still no news on their website on an upgrade. And on the emmlabs website it specifically says that there is NO update for the DAC2x. Maybe they have had second thoughts?

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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