Jump to content
IGNORED

Pacific Microsonics Model Two


Recommended Posts

The Model Two is special. Here are a couple of quotes from the Goodwinshighend site to understand why:

 

"... the Model Two was never supposed to be a source of revenue for Pacific Microsonics. They were essentially sold at cost [$15k ten years ago], and the company made money by selling the HDCD decoder chips to CD and DVD player manufacturers like Rotel and Denon." - Dave Peck (Model Two Manufacturing Manger)

 

"Maybe someday someone will come up with the necessary funding (which as it turns out would be several million dollars) to start another company, re-engineer the Model Two around parts that are either attainable or buildable, and put it back into production." - Alan Goodwin (music lover)

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gordon, yes most of the Berkeley Audio Design team are Pacific Microsonics alumni. And yes, they have produced what seems to be a fine DAC in the guise of the $5K Alpha.

 

However, the Alpha is certainly no re-engineered Model Two. As Alan Goodwin says, a re-engineered Model Two would require millions of dollars of investment. And that's the problem really - a business model to do this just doesn't exist.

 

So, it looks like the Model Two will remain a truly unique and special product...

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mani,

 

Not really... See the model two did not require a ton of development cost. Yes tons of time maybe if you want to say that and yes the cost of making that puppy was high.

 

But really most of the R&D is done. The modules are still available. The metal layout would need a go through and the boards would need to be so also.

 

But really why??? At this point it would be a waste of time. The technology is far better today than it was back then. The DSP's are better the dac chips the interface, caps, resistors everything. You could make a better unit easier with lower cost and better output than the Two much easier today.

 

Thanks

Gordon

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gordon, you said, "You could make a better unit easier with lower cost and better output than the Two much easier today."

 

[EDIT: I'm making the assumption that someone has already done this.]

 

So can you help me understand the following?

 

In another thread, Chris wrote, "Magico will be using a Matan server with the Swiss card this year [at CES]. These guys have the option of using any equipment in the world and they're going with the Mykerinos."

 

Presumably, they have the option of using any DAC in the world also, to mate with the Mykerinos. So why have they chosen the Model Two, with its supposedly 'inferior output'?

 

This just doesn't add up.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really who cares. I wonder how many people on this forum have ever heard a Model 2. I bet less than 1%. And seeing as it is no longer in production that number isn't going to get any larger.

 

So really there is no point talking about it any more. Maybe to put it in some list of old good dacs, but not to debate whether it stands up with the best of what is available today.

 

Anyway, my custom built one off DAC IS ACTUALLY the best DAC ever in the whole world, even though I and my close friends are the only ones who have ever heard it ;)

 

Nyal Mellor, Acoustic Frontiers LLC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The technology is far better today than it was back then. The DSP's are better the dac chips the interface, caps, resistors everything. You could make a better unit easier with lower cost and better output than the Two much easier today."

 

Yes I agree, it would potentially cost a lot less today to produce a similar (or better?) performing product than it did back then.

 

But would the economics still add up? I'm not sure. Remember, the Pacific Microsonics business model was not based on making a profit from selling Model Twos per se - it was from selling the PMD100 and PMD200 chips to CD/DVD manufacturers.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Mani raises a very interesting question....given that Magico could use any DAC they wanted in their CES room, why would they use an "antiquated" Model Two? I'll go out on a limb and conjecture it was because they thought it sounded the best....in their opinion of course.... :-)

 

That being said I find Barry D to be a very credible poster and he says the ULN-8 sounds better than the Model Two.

 

Then we have Bruce who puts several DAC's ahead of the Model Two and makes no mention of the ULN-8.

 

I'd love to find a way to do a shoot out of these DAC's. I'm in motion ot get a ULN-8 to compare to my Berkeley. Anybody know where I could buy a Model Two?

 

Mac Mini / Pure Music > Firewire & USB > Metric Halo LIO-8 > Hypex NCORE 400 > Geddes Abbey Speakers > Rythmik Servo & Geddes Band Pass Subs // DH Labs Cables, HRS MXR Isolation Rack, PurePower 2000, Elgar 6006B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"In another thread, Chris wrote, "Magico will be using a Matan server with the Swiss card this year [at CES]. These guys have the option of using any equipment in the world and they're going with the Mykerinos."

 

Presumably, they have the option of using any DAC in the world also, to mate with the Mykerinos. So why have they chosen the Model Two, with its supposedly 'inferior output'?"

 

Mani,

IMO, Gordon's not saying that the sound is inferior, but that the chips & boards have been improved upon, and if you built a new one, you would use different chips/boards that are now cheaper. It goes to the "antiquated technology" comment made (in jest, hopefully) recently. To duplicate it, you wouldn't copy it literally. You'd have to redesign it.

 

With regards to Chris' statement that they could use anything they want - I think that could be said about other high end products being exhibited at shows. :) I didn't read anything more into than it's a vote of confidence from Magico as to the Mykerinos's quality. Others will choose other products to exhibit with.

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clay, Gordon wrote, "You could make a better unit easier with lower cost and better output than the Two much easier today."

 

He's suggesting the sound of the Model Two would be inferior to one that could be redesigned and made today.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I hate to be picky, but techincally a bunch of us have heard it through the wonderful recordings produced through it:)"

 

Thanks for chiming in.

 

Anyone on these forums can 'hear' the Model Two. It's being used to demonstrate the leading-edge in computer audio at various events (at CES and the CA Symposium). And it's being used to create wonderful recordings available for all to hear, through the likes of Reference Recordings, Linn and FIM.

 

And remember, we're talkiing about a 10-year old piece of DIGITAL equipment!!!

 

As I said in the beginning of this thread... it's special.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I THINK he likes the LavryDA924 and the Model Two equally well. I know that since I received my Model Two, Romy and I have been discussing various setups and configurations and (maybe as a result of these discussions) he has switched to using the Model Two as his main AD/DA, as opposed to his LavryAD122 and LavryDA924. But this may be purely down to convenience on his part.

 

You could always ask him...

 

What I do know though is, like me, he has no time for SACD (ie 1-bit DSD as opposed to the original 4-bit DSD) or DACs that use delta-sigma chips.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Mastering engineers all over the world use Pacific Microsonics' professional Model One and Model Two HDCD Processors to produce HDCD recordings. The HDCD Processor is a two-channel analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) converter, and digital processor with more than 200 millions of instructions per second (MIPS) in computing power.

 

All Linn CDs mastered with HDCD have the HDCD logo on the back of the album cover, on the CD itself and are labeled so on this website. When you play an HDCD recording on a player with HDCD decoding capability, a light on the player front panel illuminates telling you that you are playing an HDCD recording. If your CD player does not have HDCD decoding capability you can still enjoy the CD on your CD player."

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I guess this 10 year old stuff really needs some modern software to florish. That is, if I must believe this respected user :

 

 

---------------------------

I chose an HDCD track which I know has been mastered with the HDCD options engaged (from the Jacques Loussier Trio playing Satie).

 

With no upsampling and vol at 0 on XXHE, the HDCD indicator on my DAC lit up, as expected. The sound was very warm and lush... listenable, but not very exciting or foot-tapping.

 

I then set the vol in XXHE to -6dB, keeping everything else the same. My DAC automatically disengaged its HDCD processing (the LSB had changed after all) and increased its output by 6dB (all as expected). I expected to hear a decrease in SQ... BUT this just wasn't the case. The sound was actually clearer!!! More tuneful. Everything started sounding more real.

 

Then on to QAP with vol still at -6dB in XXHE (but making all the necessary changes elsewhere for my DAC to accept 24/176.4K). And there was yet another step up in SQ!

 

But the killer was when I then increased the vol in XXHE to -0dB (and decreased my analogue volume control by as close to the same amount as I could). Now, this sounded very, very good... substantially better than when I started out.

---------------------------

 

Hahahaha

 

Hey Mani - I was allowed to do this, right ?

Peter

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, it's true that I prefer the Model Two set to 24/176.4 or 24/192 mode. I THINK at these rates, the Model Two is non-oversampling - it uses a PMD100 IC, which doesn't accept these rates, and is simply by-passed, I believe.

 

For 16/44.1 material, I engage Quad Arc Prediction (4x upsampling) in XXHE and set the Model Two to 24/176.4.

 

In the past, I've been dead against any form of upsampling, holding the belief that the oversampling in the filter achieves a better result. But I believe Arc Prediction upsampling (in the XXHE software) does a MUCH better job than does the PDM100 filter in the Model Two.

 

An unexpected added bonus of this approach is that HDCD-encoded 16/44.1 material sounds abolutely wonderful - MUCH better than it does with the PDM100 engaged.

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"He's suggesting the sound of the Model Two would be inferior to one that could be redesigned and made today."

 

Well, that's probably true, in my opinion. Time marches on, advances are made, and electronic devices can be bested, often at cheaper prices, no matter the manufacturer's original intentions (i.e. to make a profit or not).

 

Some have determined that, in their opinion, the Metric Halo ULN-8 is such a device - noting of course, that at this level of quality, differences are small enough that not all will agree. :)

 

That better products come along at lower prices is a rather widely believed tenet of technology advancement, is it not? You seem to acknowledge this as well with your comment regarding the Model Two's continued reverence after 10 years in the digital age.

 

 

clay

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I totally agree that time marches on. The cost of manufacture of an 'equivalent' product today should be considerably less than the $15K+inflation that it cost to produce each Model Two. (Of course, this doesn't include any R&D costs, which Alan Goodwin believes would be considerable, though Gordan seems to think not).

 

Is the ULN-8 today's equivalent of the Model Two? I don't know. Barry may think so... whereas Chris prefers his Alpha.

 

... BUT I'd bet my house that ULN-8 won't be used to demo leading-edge computer audio (as the Model Two is doing right now at CES) in 5 years time, let alone 10 ;-)

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll buy the PM2 in a glimpse let alone for the look, especially against the uln-8 (yeah yeah judge, firewire rocks).

Note that this is purely bold statement, since I have listened to none of them :~)

 

Regarding Linn and hdcd format discussion, there isn't much material available, right ?

The only one in my own collection is princess mononoke soundtrack :)

Does that really stand for a usable case ?

 

Elp

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what you mean by 'a usable case'...

 

In any event, search their catalogue for 'High Definition Compatible Digital' - you'll find well over 100 titles... all mastered on a PM Model One/Two!

 

Mani.

 

Main: Okto dac8PRO -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima speakers + 2x Rotel RB-1590 stereo amps -> 4x subs
Office: MOTU UltraLite-mk5 -> 6x Neurochrome 286 mono amps -> Impulse H2 speakers
Vinyl: Thöress Phono Enhancer -> RME ADI-2 Pro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...