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New DAC from Merging Technologies for Home Audio Market


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Merging Technologies is teasing their "new toy" on Twitter and Facebook with a picture showing an audio rack with equipment from EMM Labs and the new toy at the bottom. It will be shown at this week's CES 2015 show in Las Vegas in their suite at the Venetian Towers 30-311 and 30-315 starting today.

 

If you click on the Comments section on Facebook, Chris Hollebone, their sales director reveals it's a new DAC for the home market. With a new web site to follow.

 

This could be quite interesting, coming from the pioneers of DSD 256 professional recording!

 

Merging New Toy.jpg

 

Merging's Audio Rack at CES 2015

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One way they could distinguish their product is by including ADC tech, since that is their specialty. Otherwise they risk becoming yet another cookie-cutter entrant in the high-end DAC market.

 

Merging was one of the first two companies (along with exaSound) to offer Stereo and Multichannel DSD 256 playback - and the first to offer a DSD 256 ADC. To date, most DAC makers still haven't developed DSD 256 products.

 

I also see that they are comparing their home DAC to the EMM Labs DAC - which sells for a higher price than Merging's HAPI product. If the new home DAC meets or exceeds the Meitner DAC sonically, offers DSD 256 playback in Stereo and perhaps even 8 Channel DSD playback, it will be a very interesting product. Not "cookie cutter" at all! :)

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Finally something better than DLNA for consumers!! It will be AES67 compliant using Ravenna for ethernet. I wonder if it will be comparable to the Hapi/Horus or if it will be a different/newer design on the inside.

 

The question is whether this DAC is in the price range of the Hapi without ADC or more expensive.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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One way they could distinguish their product is by including ADC tech, since that is their specialty. Otherwise they risk becoming yet another cookie-cutter entrant in the high-end DAC market.

 

 

 

There won't be a need to have a built in ADC inside of this unit as long as there's another ADC on the same network; they will share the same master clock as if the ADC were inside the DAC.

 

There won't be a DAC on the consumer market with the ethernet ability of this device; whatever it's going to be called. Audiophiles will need to be familiar with the following topics from now on:

1. AES67

2. PTPv2

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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I should have more info later on today. Merging's pro gear seems reasonably priced for what they offer, so I don't think they can charge crazy prices for this.

 

Yes, that would be nice, but Mytek goes with the Manhattan into the opposite direction.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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Also interesting since Prism has made Pro DSD DACs for sometime now. More choices for the home audio market !

 

Exactly. I have a great deal of respect for most of the pro audio DAC/ADC companies. Many of them have outstanding software/hardware engineers and know how to compete at much lower prices than some of the audiophile-only guys.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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Exactly. I have a great deal of respect for most of the pro audio DAC/ADC companies. Many of them have outstanding software/hardware engineers and know how to compete at much lower prices than some of the audiophile-only guys.

 

I think the same.

Recording studios have to earn money with their gear, audiophiles are pursuing a hobby.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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Exactly. I have a great deal of respect for most of the pro audio DAC/ADC companies. Many of them have outstanding software/hardware engineers and know how to compete at much lower prices than some of the audiophile-only guys.

 

I'm not as worried about the cost of the DACs as the quality.

 

It's also quite compelling to own a DAC that is based on the very units used in the studios to create the DSD recordings. That's how Ed Meitner's EMM Labs became a factor in the home audio market. And the same could happen here with Merging and Prism.

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I'm not as worried about the cost of the DACs as the quality.

It's also quite compelling to own a DAC that is based on the very units used in the studios to create the DSD recordings. That's how Ed Meitner's EMM Labs became a factor in the home audio market. And the same could happen here with Merging and Prism.

 

Yes, but I do not want to pay more money for an audiophile DAC than for a pro DAC.

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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There will three or maybe 4 versions. It's called the NADAC (network attached DAC). There will be a 2CH, 8Ch and 16CH version. Prices aren't set yet. The boards will be the same as the Horus/Hapi but will have a linear power supply. It will also be powerable with external power supply as well. I think they will all have standard digital inputs but also include the Ravenna ethernet which makes them able to sync up with all the other AES67 gear over the network without any additional software needed. The Ravenna ASIO driver will needed of course. Merging has been using Ravenna with their pro gear for two to three years; it's stable. Dom said later on there may be a version with only the ethernet input. It will do all sample rates up to and including DSD 256.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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Chris and i met with Dom yesterday. I am asking that Chris review it as a 2 channel dac, then i grab it and review it in my 5.1 setup. The same dac will be used, configured differntly. I asked that if an 8 channel config can merge to 2 channels (quad chips on each), could we do 6 channels, and give me the two others to parallel for the main fronts, for example.

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Interesting. What did Dom say about paralleling chips in the NADAC?

 

I may buy a HAPI soon with both premium cards.

 

Chris and i met with Dom yesterday. I am asking that Chris review it as a 2 channel dac, then i grab it and review it in my 5.1 setup. The same dac will be used, configured differntly. I asked that if an 8 channel config can merge to 2 channels (quad chips on each), could we do 6 channels, and give me the two others to parallel for the main fronts, for example.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

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There will three or maybe 4 versions. It's called the NADAC (network attached DAC). There will be a 2CH, 8Ch and 16CH version. Prices aren't set yet. The boards will be the same as the Horus/Hapi but will have a linear power supply. It will also be powerable with external power supply as well. I think they will all have standard digital inputs but also include the Ravenna ethernet which makes them able to sync up with all the other AES67 gear over the network without any additional software needed. The Ravenna ASIO driver will needed of course. Merging has been using Ravenna with their pro gear for two to three years; it's stable. Dom said later on there may be a version with only the ethernet input. It will do all sample rates up to and including DSD 256.

 

Interesting. A 16 channel DAC for home use?

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It's also quite compelling to own a DAC that is based on the very units used in the studios to create the DSD recordings. That's how Ed Meitner's EMM Labs became a factor in the home audio market. And the same could happen here with Merging and Prism.

 

Weiss has also been around in both camps for a while.

 

What makes EMM Labs different is that they don't use off-the-shelf converter chips. AFAIK, Merging and Prism have so far been using such.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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What makes EMM Labs different is that they don't use off-the-shelf converter chips. AFAIK, Merging and Prism have so far been using such.

 

That's true.

 

Another company that designs its own converters is dCS:

 

"Unlike its rivals from a range of American, British and Japanese companies, the Ring DAC inside wasn’t simply the repurposing of an OEM chip such as the aforementioned Philips. Instead of sticking someone else’s silicon in a swish box and adding a few flashing lights, dCS did a ground-up platform..."

 

Reelin’ in the Years | dCS

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