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EMM Labs and Meitner Audio update their DAC2x and MA-1 DACs

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I have recently upgraded my DAC2X (purchased new from EMM in 2012) to Version 2. The upgrade was done at EMM in Canada as I have no local dealer. The upgrade is a major step up from an already excellent dac and well worth the cost. I strongly recommend the upgrade to anyone who owns the DAC2X (including Computer Audiophile, Chris Connaker if he still has a DAC2X on hand). When I have more time, I will give more detail about the improvements I notice with the upgraded unit. They aren't subtle.

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I have a confession to make:

 

When i first setup the dac2x v2, i might have inadvertently connected the optilink (ST Optical cable) in the wrong direction!

 

No wonder i couldn't feel at ease listening to the new dac unit at all, and had felt that it doesn't perform as well as the previous version unit in so many critical aspect of sound reproduction, so much so that before the end of the first week i had been contemplating returning it for the older unit that had been here before.

 

Unfortunately i had only made the mistake of reversing the directionality of the fibre optic cable just once, but not a second time, or otherwise the directionality would have been corrected (180° + 180° = 360° = 0°)

 

The resultant soundstaging size and upper frequency extension after the direction of optilink cable was reversed is now close to how i remember them with the older unit. And listening fatigue is much, much reduced!!! 

 

What a dunce i had been, for losing faith, for thinking that Ed Meitner had lost his mojo, and had rushed a product (8×dsd decoding) into the market without perfecting it.

 

Hmmm, next I probably should contact Steven Hill to ask about his Straightwire ST Optical cables....

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Hello everyone. This is Fram from Mumbai! I am about to update my Dac2x. I have received the hardware from EMM Labs and the instructions as to how to update the software too. Hope to get this done soon. My question to all you fellow users is about the "ST Link", "Orange fiber cable" that i use between the Transport and the DAC. Are there any other alternatives that you all may have tried or read about? Thankful.

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Have you guys seen what's new in the box? Could you please check with your dealer?

 

In my case, the only change with my MA-1 will be the rectangular blue digital board. The red analog board, the square blue digital board and the power supply stay untouched.  I hope below image from 6moons review of the MA-1 V1 will clarify what I am trying to tell:

open10.png

 

Is there a way to check what my firmware version is? 

 

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I did the update on my MA-1 myself a few months back... yes, the "blue I/O board" is the hardware change.  A new firmware is installed as well via an update utility. It's been awhile now but the firmware update is straight forward also. 

 

The utility is installed/ran on a PC which is USB connected to the Service port on the DAC.

 

 

 

Edited by rayooo
clarification

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15 hours ago, rayooo said:

I did the update on my MA-1 myself a few months back... yes, the "blue I/O board" is the hardware change.  A new firmware is installed as well via an update utility. It's been awhile now but the firmware update is straight forward also. 

 

The utility is installed/ran on a PC which is USB connected to the Service port on the DAC.

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback!!

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On 2017-04-04 at 3:35 PM, Starre said:

Yes it is a bit confusing, I have the first version of ma-1 with updated firmware to "DAT2" which had 2 versions depending on serial number. Now the new V2 of ma-1 I presume there is an even newer firmware for V2 only. But the USB drivers for Windows works with all models if I am correct, it is version 3.30. I use it without problems so far.

It sounds very good I think.

I quote myself with what I use today. You who have upgraded to ma 1 V2, how do you find it better now compared with V1?

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Question for those Meitner ma-1 v2 owners with Roon on WinServer2016:

 

Did you have to tick the 'work around drivers that misreport device capabilities' option under the Wasapi device setup settings ? Unless I tick this option, I do not see bit-perfect support for PCM352.8khz, PCM384khz and DSD128 for Wasapi.

 

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On 2/20/2017 at 6:25 AM, Hiro said:

Cool, but why isn't it actually handling DSD512/8xDSD audio, like for example the T+A DAC 8 DSD?

 

I believe that DSD512 input is only available with native DSD, whereas the DAC2x uses DoP for DSD, which is limted to DSD128. The T+A DAC 8 DSD supports native DSD.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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I was hoping someone might share their opinion of EMM Labs DA2 reference DAC vs the DAC2X DAC. The feature list for the DA2 has a bullet point for a clock. Or has anyone added a Master clock into the mix for the DAC2X?

 

  • Next generation MCLK2™ proprietary custom clock

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Anyone using UpTone ISORegen with Meitner MA-1?


Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AudioQuest Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AudioQuest NRG-1000 < AudioQuest WEL XLR < exaSound e32 DAC w UpTone JS-2 < AudioQuest NRG WEL < SOtM tX-USBultra w 75Ω Master clock input & UpTone UltraCap LPS1.2 < AudioQuest Diamond USB < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Stillpoints UltraSS, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid

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I've been afraid of doing the v2 upgrade on my MA-1. For whatever reason, it seems like the v2 Meitner and EMM Labs DAC's are being dumped at a rapid pace on Audiogon not long after being upgraded from v1.

 

Cant say I've ever seen so many of these available on the used market before until the v2 upgrade was released.

 

Hrrrm?

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14 minutes ago, cjf said:

I've been afraid of doing the v2 upgrade on my MA-1. For whatever reason, it seems like the v2 Meitner and EMM Labs DAC's are being dumped at a rapid pace on Audiogon not long after being upgraded from v1.

 

Cant say I've ever seen so many of these available on the used market before until the v2 upgrade was released.

 

Hrrrm?

 

Very strange... I know I'm not dumping mine, (MA-1 V2) not now and no plans to. 

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2 hours ago, johndoe21ro said:

Anyone using UpTone ISORegen with Meitner MA-1?

 

I experimented with the ISO Regen as well as the device made by Wyred  (Can't remember the model name) with my MA1.

Both were installed off and on for several months.

 

Neither made any kind of improvement from where I sit.

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Did Meitner give you a hard time about wanting to do the update yourself? Did you just pay them directly and they mailed you the parts?

 

What would you say is the biggest benefit you noticed from v2 coming from v1? Is it more clinical now? Does the upgraded DAC still maintain that nicely warm and inviting sound with rock solid bass like the v1?

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My dealer sent me the parts, so I'm not sure if Meitner knew one way or the other. I paid my dealer and he arranged getting the update items sent to me.  

 

Having spent many many hours with the DAC, and having done the previous update nearly 2 years ago I was (am) very familiar with it.

I'd say I noticed immediately a better focus, detail and separation between instruments/vocals within the sound stage. 

I didn't get the sense I was losing anything.  However,  in my case the DAC is used within an entirely Valve based system.

If I think about it, the added detail could in some cases could come across as a slight loss of warmth.

 

I never considered for a second going back to V1.

 

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I’m writing to thank all of you because after reading your views, I upgraded my DAC2X (purchased new) for the new v.2 (my dealer only offered an exchange when I requested an upgrade). I was initially appalled - the music sounded hard, like red book CD, played through Audio Reseach Ref 10 pre-amp and Ref 250 monoblocks to Magico Q7s. Fortunately, after a week of use, the sound opened up to a level much above that of the original, in the many respects you’ve described. 

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