This is a group buy for the Matrix M-Stage DAC. You cant build a strong house on a shoddy foundation, the same can be said for audio setups. You can have the best headphones, the best amp, and the best cables but none of that matters if you've got a bad source. That's where this M-Stage DAC comes in.
If you don’t know what a DAC is, worry not, its pretty simple. Lots of people like to use digital music sources like CD players and Computers. Sadly, humans cant hear digital signals so you need a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and an amplifier to hear your music. The better your DAC is, the better your music sounds.
The three most important factors to consider when looking at a DAC are the maximum sampling rate and bit depth, what kind of input does it take, and what audio processor chip does it use.
Higher is better for both. The standard for high end DACs was 16bit/44khz until fairly recently, 24bit/192khz is the new standard and this DAC runs 24bit/192khz flawlessly. This means that more data is being processed for every second of audio and you get a more detailed sound.
Music is analog by default. You've probably seen graphs of sound waves before, very curvy.
The problem at end of the day is that computer processors can only deal with zeros and ones. When music is recorded, it is converted from analog to digital so all the different values you find on a curvy looking graph get rounded to either a zero or a one.
When computers round like this, they are cutting up the sound into smaller portions of either sound or silence. Increasing the sampling rate and bit depth increases the density of those rounding operations so that more calculations go into each second of music. More instances of rounding means reconstructed sound that's much closer to the original analog sound wave (Riemann sums are cool like that).
This image doesn’t go up to 24bit but as you can see, the higher bit rates produce a more accurate reconstruction and a smoother sound.
The Matrix M-Stage DAC is incredibly versatile when it comes to input types. It takes optical, USB, and coax input so you can be sure it'll integrate with whatever digital source you're using.
This DAC uses the Texas Instruments PCM1792 for an audio processor. This is a great chip because of the super low clock jitter (interference) and advanced segment architecture (splits up the signal for easier processing). This chip has a very high resistance to interference which means your audio comes through sounding as pure as possible.
This DAC has a unique filter feature that lets you change sound signature on the fly. The M-Stage DAC comes with a filter you can set for fast (a more forward and cutting sound, good for rock and metal) or slow (better for jazz and reggae music). If you’re not interested you can just mute the filter and enjoy the music as it comes through.
We estimate these will take about five weeks from the buy ending to arriving at your door. That includes time for manufacturing, shipping to the US, clearing customs, and shipping out to all of you. We’ll keep you updated on the status as each of those steps is completed.
You will be able to choose from these at checkout:
All orders will be shipped by Massdrop.
Estimated ship date is Aug 9, 2013 PT.
After the drop ends, payment will be collected. To deliver the best value to the group the request will then be submitted to the vendor up front, making all sales final. Be sure to check the discussion page for updates.