Playback Edelweiss in the house

So, after a long wait my Playback Edelweiss MPS-6 just arrived.  This unit is the DAC and SACD Player in one and I have had the Stream X added.  It is not Roon Ready at this time but the streaming function via MConnect Controller worked just fine.  

Build quality is obviously brilliant.  Nice chassis with simple, understated displays.  SACD controls are on the remote and the top edge of the DAC.  The remote is metal and well constructed.  

They say that it will take 500 hours to break-in.  Out of the box, this is clearly an elite DAC with what feels like unprecedented levels of detail in my system.  I am connected via Digital Coax from my Nucleus+ through a Chord 2Go/2Yu (K50 is on loan).  

The plan over the next 4 weeks is to keep it running most of the time and do a variety of tests once fully broken in and a few tests on the way.

One will be the standard five songs from the DAC Shootout connected via USB but I will also plan to put it through its paces as an SACD Player, Streamer and DAC with the K50 as the source.  

With less than an hour on it, all I can say is HOLY CRAP this thing sounds good.  


I enjoyed the playback design mps-5 for many years and the company is quality and Andreas is a genius.  Its unfortunate that the prices are so high nowadays for this sort of top of the market digital.  Luckily I mostly spin vinyl and listen only occasionally to digital with modest budget dac like benchmark and chord so sold my playback design.  If you like to spin discs and you got the money though Andreas and Playback Designs is a quality bet.

So two SACDs arrived yesterday and I got to listen casually to them; Dave Brubeck and The Cars.  I am noticing some more top-end sparkle and the soundstage sounds larger deeper than I anticipated for 65 hours of break-in. 

The unit has been on and off for days with the volume turned off on my integrated amp.  I actively avoid listening during these break-in stretches to make any changes more noticeable.  

At the moment, this unit is a hair forward of neutral.  I will do a side-by side compare but I feel like tonally it is about where the Weiss is.  Detail remains unprecedented.  I am wondering if my amp is a bottleneck and am looking forward to getting my AGD back as it is a bit more refined.  

Keep us posted on Playback Designs. I know you had another thread about different dacs, but any comparisons to Meitner would be welcomed (at least by me) :-)


I will keep you updated but I am burning it in.  Literally, there is an explanation of how the sound will change over the initial 350-500 hours.  I am at close to 200 hours now.  I am frustrated in that I was just informed the first batch of these sold out and there won’t be more till end of June/early July.  30 units sold out in two weeks.  

I am actually talking to the Meitner distributor who is here in NJ.  it is definitely a line I would carry.  


Quick check in with a listening test - at 175 hours on the DAC (there is a counter) I can say that there is only one DAC I have had here in this league and that is the Rockna Wavedream Signature.  I wish I had it here for direct compare.  

The description between 150 and 300 hours is "Midrange will start smoothing out and clarity will increase but highs might continue to remain recessed.  At this point there will probably no be much change in bass.  You will probably wonder how the Playback Designs converter will ever sound like others have described, but we assure your that you will start to hear substantial changes within another week of play"

Okay...unpacking that. Listening this morning....I am not sure how this can get that much better.  I  will admit, out of the box is sounded like the Weiss 501.  But at this point...I am in complete agreement on the best.  HOLY CRAP.  For this link I am departing from my DAC Shootout thread in that I want every drop of performance I can get.  For this, I am running the Playback straight into an AGD Tempo.  It is being fed by a Chord 2Go/2Yu/Nucleus+ (K50 still on loan).  All ICs and Speaker Cable are Clarus Crimson.  The speakers remain Vivid Kaya 45s.  

I listened to Miles Davis Kind of Blue on SACD and that is frequently a reference track for me.  First thing I noted was that tape hiss or there is just some background noise that is in the recording.  It is not there on Dave Brubeck.  Never noticed that before.  Second, the opening of that has some very detailed picks of the bass and what you hear...well I have never heard before.  Went to my local 192k FLAC version and the noise is there and the level of detail remains unprecedented.  The SACD might be slightly more detailed but wow.  

Jumping into other tracks, Be Still My Beating Heart is wide but not as wide as I recall the Rockna being.  But the depth of the central image.  I am thinking I am understanding the Edelweiss Name.  I started thinking how does this image feel and it is almost like it is spread out like a horn with a bulge between the speakers.  If I drew a cross section of it, I think it would look like the cross section of a flower.  

There is a massive scale to the Rockna.  This doesn't feel massive but there is a depth here in the central image that I have only heard from the Chord Dave.  This makes something like the Berg piece feel more intimate.   

And he says it is going to get significantly better.  The scale of the soundstage is supposed to increase and detail is supposed to improve.  Basically, this unit, when fully broken in should offer the scale of a Rockna Wavedream with the depth of image of Chord Dave and be more detailed than either without being bright or sterile.  A no compromise DAC at $15k.....

I think I am going to preorder a couple of these for the production run in June.