Musical Design DAC-1, anyone else own one?

Discussion in 'DACs' started by pskaudio, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. pskaudio

    pskaudio No user serviceable parts inside me... Subscriber

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    Delaware
    Earlier this year I come across a Musical Design DAC-1A/20 for auction. Having some experience with the excellent Musical Concepts replacement Hafler boards, figured it might be worth a try. Price seemed reasonable so I bid and won.
    Expecting a well made product, I was not dissapointed when it arrived. Initially, the sound was good, not the best DAC I've heard, but far from the worst. Decided to leave it in the system for a while.
    Six months later, I friggin' love this thing. Still not the best overall, but there's transparency and dynamics.
    Whatever shortcomings it may have ($1200 new in the late 90's. Not much for a high-end DAC then), I really enjoy listening to CDs through it.

    Anyone else have one and what's your take? Musical Concepts didn't have a schematic. I'm planning on drawing one myself sometime in the future, but if someone's got one...
     

     

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  2. sturgus

    sturgus Active Member

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    Yeah I have one with the Sig mods. It's just a musical sounding Dac. It sounds like an analog guy designed it.I haven't tried anything new lately but I am quite happy where I am at the moment. I also have a nice Cal-Alpha with some Musical-Concepts mods done to the P/S. Some days I like this one even better. I do have NOS Mullards in it right now.
     
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  3. pskaudio

    pskaudio No user serviceable parts inside me... Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks for replying. Considering the visibility of Musical Concepts in the audiophile world, strange how little press for Musical Design products. Did you purchase the signature model or had it done to a standard unit? I'm considering upgrading mine if it's worth it.
     
  4. sturgus

    sturgus Active Member

    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    SAINT LOUIS
    @pskaudio I bought mine used from Musical Design. It was already a Sig model. He also did some small upgrades to the P/S. I think it had to do with changing certain caps to lower the noise in the digital P/S. Have you called John and asked him about upgrades? He's a very nice guy and very helpful. I have a pair of tube amps that I am going to have him work on soon.
     

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