Hello all, several months ago I started a quest for a new CD player. Currently I'm using a NAD 541i CDP hooked up to a Simaudio i-5080 via Cardas Twinlink interconnects which powers two Polk Audio LSi9's on Sansus Ultimate foundation stands.
I had the opportunity to test a DAC. It's a Museatex Meilor. For those of you who dont knowl, Ed Meitner use to do wonders with normal redbook dac's years ago. His DAC's still compete with some of the best stuff out there today. Ed currently runs his own Company EMM labs, he's dedicated on all SACD and high resolution sources. Most of his work is in the professional arena but his stuff is available for the Audiophile High enders. His latest CDP/Preamp costs over 10k and is always talked about on audiogon.
At any rate, I was fortunate to get an older Meitner DAC that was modded by Museatex. The man who runs Museatex was Meither's old running mate years ago. http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....onv&1104031293
I was sent this DAC along with Kimber 8TC speaker wire, Harmonic Technology's Prosilway mk2 interconnects, a Van Den Hul digital Interconnect, and a Moray James digital interconnect.
First I tried the cables, to my surprise there was a huge difference between my old cardas and HT interconnects. So much so I wanted to throw out the HT interconnects after only a few minutes. I hated the sound so much, it was muted, dumbed down, and felt like the soul had been ripped from the music. But alas' I left it in there. 3 nights later I switched back to the Cardas, and suddenly they sounded bright, harsh and not as musical. What I once thought was a more lively wire was actually a wire that gave me more then the music on the CD. I then hooked up the Museatex DAC with an Harmonic Tech digital interconnect. The difference in sound was there, but not as much or as noticable as the cable switch. About 2 hours into it, I really started to hear how much more musical the Museatex was, it had already been plugged in for 2 days but I was expecting a Night and Day difference in an instant. This doesn't happen often. The differences are there, but you have to be patient. Audio memory is long term, not short.
To my suprise though, the next night I hooked up the Moray James digital Interconnect ($500) one word. WHOA. The differences I heard were instant. Suddenly the DAC wasn't being held back by a connection and the NAD and Museatex were now sown at the hips. The musical differences were LARGE. Vocals were clear, dynamic differences I thought only an AMp could make, and a musical feel that made even older recordings like The Band shine even though they use to sound somewhat shrill on my NAD. What a difference.
I really think that I have no outgrown my Speakers with this setup. The LSi's still hold together, but the dynamic and musical efforts of these speakers have been pushed. The LSi's are very much the weakest link now. I have learned alot over the last week, and I'm glad I found this DAC, how I'm going to afford a digital cable to make it all come together is beyond me. But now I know. I have a complete understanding of "high-end".
It's been a fun little journey. My next upgrade will be speakers, so far I've been considering Reference 3a's, Totem Hawks, Focus Audio. This won't happen for many more moon's so for right now I'm just enjoying it on my LSi's.
btw, I was using an XLO power cord from the DAC. This might have made a difference, I didn't have the stock power cord on hand to compare. Aftermarket power cords are recommened with the Transports as well. The NAD however doesn't have a detachable cord.