MSB Select Dac vs Vinyl
(This the same room with slightly different setup)

On Dec 6th, 2018 I had attended Launching event of YG Acoustics Hailey 1.2 speakers in Seoul, Korea.

MSB Select II Dac  and Pre was connected to Viola Legacy Mono Amplifier to drive the speakers.

Nordost Valhalla cables were used.

The system gave wide and deep soundstage with tight and tuneful bass.

There is no doubt it was top notch system in every way with the total cost of component over 200K $.

At the end of show, we decided to do interesting comparison between MSB Select Dac II (85K$) and vinyl system using Kronus turntable.

Kronus turntable was fed to Octave phono amp and Viola Pre amp,

MSB Select was used as Pre and Dac.
We selected above Vinyl and 24/96 network media.

I got surprised to find that MSB and Kronus gave very similar sound.

MSB Select provided slightly more dense sound with little bit more details.

Kronus gave slightly more relaxed sound.

If I had to choose one, I would take Kronus over MSB on this music since I like relaxed sound as I get older.

But it could change with different music.

Unfortunately we could test only one music.

Other people may have different opinion.

Despite this conclusion, MSB Select II gave one of the best sound from any DAC that I had ever heard.

RE: " ...Regardless of what you may perceive, vinyl has an inherently limited dynamic range vs digital.  It doesn’t matter how much money the turntable costs"

You realize your comment makes no sense ?
(i.e.  " ..Regardless of what you may perceive ...")

How else would we/should we 'judge' dynamic range ?

And you're simply sadly mistaken suggesting different turntable/ arm/ cartridge combo's has no influence on dynamic range characteristics. 


Hey Todd: Good reply. And nicely articulated.

But, when you say (in /with today's digital):

" .... digital rigs .... and the ones before, which weren't cheap, were thoroughly trounced by a relatively pedestrian vinyl rig ..."   

..I'm reminded of the year 1988/9 (working part-time hi-fi shop) and sadly pondering the future of hi-fi -fronted by 'digital'; it sounded like crap.

It wasn't until about ten years after that (99/2000) when I FINALLY heard some 'musicality' with CD ! By 2005, there were several impressive players / DAC's.

Today ? U kidding me, digital can (and does) sound spectacular; easily competing/surpassing that of premium Vinyl/Tables.
BUT, it's VERY sensitive to AC power quality -and signal cable/wire.

If you can arrange a quality Balanced/Symmetrical Power 'Supply' (or AC Re-Gen) to power your digital, do it. And ensure you have some quality cabling.
When you do, you'll discover 'Digital' to be far superior to what you currently believe/have experienced.



Todd (toddrhodes): I return, to your most insightful post ...

" ... No other hobby is so bent on proving our opinions correct using "scientific means" when the hobby is completely subjective and personal. I follow a lot of cooking forums and FB groups and I've never once seen a fellow cook ask another to prove how tender a piece of meat was, or measure the crunch of his or her vegetables. Or ask for a double-blind test proving that Prime is better than Choice."

Lol. But great analogy.

It should be clear that showing interest (and communication) in this hobby although enlightening -and entertaining- is ultimately a case of Get-In/Out -quickly.

Like-minded folk (with the necessary talent/experience) by which to share meaningful chat, can be hard to come by, but remains enlightening when one does connect with sharp(er) minds ! 

Seriously, no Chef/food critic asked for a 'double-blind' on steak quality ?
Hmmm, maybe it's time to have 'cooks/chef's' "put their money where their mouth is" (haha) -and start the "D-Blind" food shoot-out ! (lol)

peter jasz