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Mousai MSD192 DAC
Mousai MSD192 DAC
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I bought this unit during the last drop. So for those who are interested, here is my impression of it ...
First off, sound quality is excellent. I also own a Burson Conductor, with a SABRE32 ESS9018 DAC chip, touted in many places as being the premier "up to 192" DAC chip available in audiophiland, and frankly I cannot tell the difference between the Wolfson chip in this Mousai and the Sabre in the Burson. The rest of the unit, built around the Wolfson, is also well made. Questyle, the designer of the "parent" of this unit, is a top-notch builder of extremely high end audiophile equipment. This is indeed a well enough made component, for the price. Every unit even comes with its own test sheet and stats, completed by the sound engineer who vetting it, before sending it out the door.
Having said that, there is, as I see it, one flaw to this unit. While there are 16 and 24 bit sample rates at 44, 48, 88, 96, and 192, there is no 176 sample rate available. There is one listed at16 bit, but it doesn't work, and there is none listed at 24 bit. Now, if this doesn't matter to you - and for 95+% of you this might be the case - then never mind. But I happen to know that the Wolfson WM8741 chip is capable of 176, so it was left out *by design*. Which is a shame, because it's really the only flaw of this unit. While 192 is sexy and sells units, truth is almost all music out there is 44 based, not 48 based, and while you can cleanly 2X upsample (to 88) from your music source into this unit, you cannot cleanly 4X upsample (to 176) before sending it through.
Also, as others have mentioned, it does produce several seconds of static when sample rates are changed. Not something I do often, but it is true.
Finally, they had a website once (I saw it, I swear), but it has since gone down. Not sure how to interpret that.
Even so, if you want a superb DAC with possibly the second best non-DSD stereo audio chip currently produced, and for most people (myself included) effectively indistinguishable from the best, and have no need for 176, then this unit is at least worthy of consideration. Other than that one odd flaw, it's a very serviceable DAC for downstream pure amp units. I don't regret my purchase, and mine worked correctly out of the box.
It's just a shame ... so close ... so close ...
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